Matthew Bourne

Matthew Bourne has made a choreographic career out of reimagining classic ballets and giving them dark, contemporary twists. His Sleeping Beauty, described as a "gothic romance" complete with vampires and fairies, is no exception. You can see for yourself tonight: PBS will air Sleeping Beauty as part of its Great Performances series on April 25 at 9 pm EST. Check your local listings and catch a preview below.


You have to wonder how much experience Petipa actually had with swans. They're elegant and graceful, yes--but they're also mean, hissy, scary even. The male swans of Matthew Bourne's wildly popular Swan Lake hit much closer to the mark, in that respect, than Petipa's tutu-clad flock. Bourne's beastly birds are seductive and arrogant--about as far from damsels in distress as you can get. Instead, they're symbols of freedom and empowerment. Bourne's Prince doesn't attempt to rescue his Swan--the Swan rescues the Prince.