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Matthew Bournes Nutcracker


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Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker was at the Lowry last week and my friend and I went to the matinee on Wednesday.

 

It may not be a "conventional" ballet I love this production of Nutcracker. The opening scene in the children's home is hard hitting and moving. I adore the "snowflakes" skaters with its Patineurs overtones. I think it has become my favourite in any production of Nutcracker. I love all the divertissements!

 

The performance was terrific throughout. I can't mention any dancers except one by name as I am not familiar enough with the Company to recognise them from their baby pictures in the programme (I personally find these very irritating if you want to try and identify dancers). I can, however, say what a pleasure it was to see Carrie Johnson back on a British stage. She was terrific as one of the Cupids.

 

There was a Lowry fund-raising event after the performance that included a Q&A session with Matthew Bourne, hosted by Donald Hutera. Matthew came over as very committed, charming and approachable. I don't think I had fully comprehended before that he had had no formal dance training before he started at Laban at the age of 22. He really is a remarkable man who knows how to put on an excellent show.

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I can't mention any dancers except one by name as I am not familiar enough with the Company to recognise them from their baby pictures in the programme (I personally find these very irritating if you want to try and identify dancers).

 

Me too!

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  • 4 weeks later...

I went with my dd recently to see this production. I have to confess to not knowing really what to expect before we went, except that it would be "very different". What a wonderful production. We loved the costumes and the set and the choreography was really exciting. Part of me thought did miss the pointe shoes, the tutus and those hair prickling on the back of the neck classical routines.My dd and I both wondered, though, how the ladies managed to dance in heels? I understand that the dancers in this company have varied backgrounds. Perhaps some of you know a little more?

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I enjoyed this production, but in my oppinion it wasn't ballet. I think my husband would have enjoyed this version of Nutcracker though. As an audience we are so lucky to see so many variations of our beloved arts, thank goodness for talented choreographers and directors of companies.

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Interesting - I've only seen it on the small screen and it's not really my cup of tea - but enjoyable as you say.

 

As for the heels - dancers who train in jazz styles dance in heels - and in fact, as festivals, some adjudicators nag the senior dancers about dancing in high shoes because it's what they'll need to do in the "real world"

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I don't think anyone goes to a Matthew Bourne production expecting to see a "conventional" ballet do they? He trained at Laban and is probably the most successful choreographer of recent times. My understanding is that he does have his own small company, New Adventures but then employs freelance dancers for larger scale productions. These dancers will come from predominantly classical or contemporary training backgrounds.

I for one love his interpretation of the classics and can't wait to see his version of Sleeping Beauty In November :-)

Edited by Kitschqueen_1
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I've only seen Nutcracker on DVD and hated it. But loved Edward Scissorhands. Certainly not classical ballet and the dancers come for a variety of backgrounds. Some classically trained, some contemporary and some musical theatre. They need strong acting ability. Having known some who have worked with him everyone seems to love the company. Most of the dancers are empolyed for a specific show. Something like Swan Lake will still require a good classical dancer. I think the draw of his work is that it is more approachable for many. Those who are "put off" by the idea of a "classical ballet" find New Adventures more accessible.

 

The stagings are brilliantly thouht out and something like "Scissorhands" was a spectacle.

 

I will see Nutcracker on satge one day as a DVD is never as good a way to judge but for me "Nutcracker" should be as traditional as possible at its core. Mind you did see Vienna State Ballet's "Nutcracker" a couple of years ago which had updated all the toys. That was fun!

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Although I come from a classical background, I love Matthew Bourne's work. In particular his swans are so musical I just want to join in. Some other modernised works e.g. Matt Eks' Giselle just leave me cold. Bourne is certainly one of the best choreographers in UK at present.

 

He says he doesn't run a "company" as such, because there is not a continuity of employment. He auditions each year for specific productions, although naturally he often re-employs the same dancers. His only criterion for auditioning is "3 years vocational training" it doesn't matter whether it is ballet, contemporary, jazz or musical theatre.

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Took my dd aged 13 to see this in Milton Keynes a few weeks ago. She already knew the story from having seen (and been in) the traditional ones.

 

It totally blew her mind (and mine!) and we were absolutely riveted from beginning to end. It was a great experience - particularly as she is hoping for a ballet career - and it opened her eyes to a whole new world.

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  • 1 year later...

I saw a TV program by him "Bourne to Dance" and he takes his dance inspiration from anywhere Fred Astaire through the lot. He in my mind is a contemporary dance company but he takes what he has Classical ballet contemporary anyone he regards as fitting in and for me he always entertains delivers the goods. Highland fling was so good I liked his version of Scotland better than mine.

 

Tongue in cheek. Men dancing in real kilts. About time too!  Only he could have done that and got away with it. I still cant work out his Swan Lake but love it anyway. Looks wise I like the ballet.

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