Sir Matthew Bourne’s full-length ballet adaption of the 1948 film THE RED SHOES is currently touring the UK after a sold-out, two-month season at Sadler’s Wells in London where it had it’s World Premiere over the Christmas period. It is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairytale about Vicky Page, a young dancer, who is forced to choose between fulfilling her dream and falling in love. Australian ballerina Ashley Shaw plays the lead role, fresh from featuring in Sir Matthew’s dazzling re-imaging of the ballet fairytale SLEEPING BEAUTY which has smashed box office records across the UK and US. She signed this sketch for me at Sadler’s last week.
Widely regarded as the UK’s most popular and successful choreographer and director, TIME magazine extends the boundaries on that accolade, “Matthew Bourne is the world’s most popular living dance maker.”
For the past 30 years, Matthew has been choreographing and directing dance for musicals, opera,theatre and film. The five-time Olivier Award winner is the only British director to have won the Tony for both Best Choreographer and Best Director of a Musical with Swan Lake in 1999.
I did this sketch of Matthew directing rehearsals for The Car Man sometime ago and since I have had great success getting sketches signed from Sadler’s Wells through the mail, I decided to continue with that process. oddly enough I had just slipped it into the postbox when the man himself walked past me.
The Daily Telegraph called French ballet icon Sylvie Guillem “the most charismatic performer on earth”. She has been a star from the age of 19, from the moment Rudolf Nureyev plucked her from the corps de ballet of the Paris Opera Ballet and confided on her the title of étoile (that’s the leading ballet dancer in a company).
In 1988, after performing the title role in a production of Giselle staged by the Royal Ballet to celebrate Nureyev’s 50th birthday, she left Paris for London to become a freelance performer and one of the Royal Ballet’s greatest principal guest artists.
During that time, she was nicknamed ‘Mademoiselle Non’ because of her desire to work independently.
After an unparalleled career that has spanned almost 35 years of both dancing ballet and contemporary work, Sylvie presented her final dance programme in Life In Progress last week at Sadler’s Wells.
Due to extraordinary demand, additional UK dates have been added in London, Edinburgh and Birmingham. “There are some moments that are so extraordinary they defy physical logic,” said The Guardian. She was awarded the Olivier Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her exceptional contribution to dance.
This year’s Christmas offering at Sadler’s Wells in London is Matthew Bournes’ revival of Edward Scissorhands based on the classic Tim Burton movie and Danny Elfman’s emotive score. It’s a gothic fairytale set in the middle American town of Hope Springs, a latter-day tragic tale of forbidden love, a bionic boy with scissors for hands, longing for love and acceptance.
The Times described it as, “the perfect synthesis of dance and drama, comedy and pathos, exuberant theatrically and heart warming entertainment”.
Dominic North returns to the title role he originated in 2005. He alternates performing Edward with Liam Mower (the original Billy Elliot). Ashley Shaw and Katy Lowenhoff do the same as Kim Boggs, who is torn between Edward and the brutish Jim Upton.
I left these sketches at the theatre last week and Dominic, Liam, Katy and Ashley all signed them for me – a nice Chrissy pressie.