Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Dance Review: Swan Lake Soars To New Heights, Matthew Bourne

Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake, Photography by Bill Cooper In a triumphant return to the New York stage and Broadway, Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake is a feast for the senses that sends you into the sky!

Mr. Bourne has introduced the great tale of Swan Lake in an innovative, inspiring, and entertaining new way.  No longer the stuffy and reserved version, Bourne’s production is refreshingly hilarious.  With tongue and cheek jabs at classical ballet, it feels strangely okay.  You almost feel as if you are watching a great John Waters film (Hairspray, Cry Baby, or Serial Mom).  Excellently balanced with his comedic side, Bourne’s choreography for Swan Lake is a brilliantly creative, demanding piece of work, a wicked challenge every dancer on that stage grab holds with committed fervor.  The dancers are extremely talented and strong, and don’t lack in technique in the least bit.  They are completely comfortable and capable in all the roles, which makes the tongue and cheek aspect so believable.

Are You A Dancer RED JS 336The lead characters, Dominic North (The Prince) and Richard Winsor (The Swan/ Stranger), are mind-blowing.  With their beautiful and fluid technique, these men give a commanding performance and convincing display in the portrayal of their characters. They would definitely get my Oscar for best actor of the year.  Equally amazing in their roles are Madelaine Brennan (The Girlfriend), completely hysterical, she would be a perfect match for Nathan Lane in a New Broadway Show, and Nina Goldman (The Queen) who is regal and beautiful!  However, once the Swan’s make their appearance, all bets are off and sign-me up to join the flock!!!! The Swans are all amazing and believable.  They lift the roof off of City Center, with the flapping of their wings, and soar right out of the theater!

This production is equally visually stunning; with costumes and set by Lez Brotherston, you immediately fill as if you have just walked into Dylan’s Candy Bar and can’t wait to dive in and try all the flavors.  An utter feast for the eyes, I am already hard at work trying to sample every morsel watching the ballet unfold.  Of course the score by Pyotr llyich Tchaikovsky is beautiful and does not disappoint.  It compliments Bourne’s version surprisingly perfect, like a great bottle of wine at your favorite Italian restaurant.  You very quickly forget you are listening to one of classical music’s most beloved ballets and it sounds so current!

Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake, Photography by Bill Cooper
Overall, Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake is a complete revelation.  It is a great introduction to the dance world for anyone who would like to take a peak.  Absolutely better than a movie on a Friday night, head over to City Center and see live performance, dance, and theater at a level that is simply brilliant.

Photography by Bill Cooper

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Official Dance Review by Devin Pullins
Performance:  Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake
Venue:  City Center, New York City
Show Date:  October 15, 2010, 8pm

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One Response to “Dance Review: Swan Lake Soars To New Heights, Matthew Bourne”
  1. Ashli Sok says:

    I envy your work , thanks for all the interesting posts .

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