Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake is a piece of ballet-influenced contemporary dance choreographed by Matthew Bourne that was first staged atSadler's Wells theatre in London in 1995. The longest running ballet in London's West End and on Broadway, it has enjoyed two successful tours in the UK and thrilled audiences in Los Angeles, Europe, Australia and Japan. The ballet is based loosely on the Russian romanticballet Swan Lake, from which it takes the music by Tchaikovsky and the broad outline of the plot. The ballet is particularly known for having the parts of the swans danced by men rather than women.
The ballet has proved enormously successful, with touring companies playing to sold-out houses around the world, and it has won a string of prestigious awards. The ballet was called "a miracle" in a Time Out New York review. However, Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake has also been rebuked by some who resent changes to the standard Russian classic. WIKI.
And I was lucky enough to see it! It is wonderful and witty -- I can understand why swans have been traditionally thought of as female, but after seeing this production, I’ve never though of swans as feminine again. Swans are about a lot of things -- loyalty, they have a lifetime partner, I believe. They may epitomise romance, but they are about raw power and masculine energy. I mean, have you ever seen a swan come up out of the water? They lose their elegance, they are clumsy, but they are truly terrifying. They are muscular and aggressively strong. I’ve heard it said, that they can break a man’s arm with their beating wings.
Here are some extracts from the ballet, and time in rehearsals. Also Matthew Bourne and some members of the cast, talking about the production.