Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty is magnificently theatrical. The choreography, set, costumes, special effects and subversive humour bring a hint of macabre pantomime, and transform the ballet with a gothic twist.

I find it hard to tell whether or not I am reading too much into Bourne’s work. Is the fact that the infant Aurora is entertainingly represented in Act One by a marionette a way of showing that the baby girl is expected to be her parents’ puppet, or is it merely a bit of fun? To what extent are the choreographic references to Petipa’s work in the Fairies’ solos a joke, a send-up, a tribute, a witty criticism or just a starting point? (more…)