Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty
A New Adventures Production
"Britain's most successful choreographer will blow your mind with his sheer imagination, wit, and brio."
--The Times of London
"In Bourne's clever gothic rewrite, he has triumphantly discovered something beguiling and true."
Read an interview with director/choreographer Matthew Bourne.
Learn about the set and costume designs.
Discover similarities and differences from other versions of the classic fairy tale.
Having dazzled Kennedy Center audiences in 2007 with his re-imagining of Edward Scissorhands, powerhouse British choreographer Matthew Bourne and his company New Adventures return with a haunting new gothic production of Sleeping Beauty.
Perrault's timeless fairy tale, about a young girl cursed to sleep for 100 years, was turned into a legendary ballet in 1890. Bourne takes this date as the starting point for his re-imagining, setting the Christening of Aurora, the story's heroine, at the height of the fin-de-siècle period when fairies and decadent opulence fed the gothic imagination. As Aurora grows into a young woman, we move to the more rigid Edwardian era, a mythical golden age of long summer afternoons, croquet on the lawn, and new dance crazes. Years later, awakening from her century long slumber, Aurora finds herself in the modern day, a world more mysterious and wonderful than any fairy story!
The production features contributions by Tony(r) and Olivier Award winners Lez Brotherston (set and costumes) and Paule Constable (lighting), with sound design by Paul Groothuis, which takes the audience into the heart of Tchaikovsky's magnificent score in specially recorded surround sound. In Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty, the traditional tale of good vs. evil and rebirth is turned upside-down, creating a supernatural love story across the decades that even the passage of time itself cannot hinder.
Recommended for age 7 and up.
Performance Timing: Acts I & II: 59 min.; Intermission - 20 min.; Acts III & IV: 49 min.
Explore the Arts: On November 12, join a free post-performance discussion with a moderator and members of the company.
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Watch and Listen
Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty--New Adventures Trailer
International Programming at the Kennedy Center is made possible through the generosity of the
Kennedy Center International Committee on the Arts.
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