The work will be premiered at Christmas as part of a season at Sadler's Wells marking 25 years of Bourne's company, New Adventures. Earlier works, including Nutcracker and Play Without Words, will also be showcased at the London venue in 2012.
Perrault's timeless fairy tale, about a young girl cursed to sleep for one hundred years, was turned into a legendary ballet by choreographer, Marius Petipa, in 1890. Bourne takes this as his starting point, setting the Christening of Aurora, the story's heroine, in the year of the ballet's first performance; the height of the Fin-de-Siecle period when fairies, vampires and decadent opulence fed the gothic imagination.
As Aurora grows into a young woman, we move forwards in time to the more rigid, uptight Edwardian era; a mythical golden age of long summer afternoons, croquet on the lawn and new dance crazes. Years later, awakening from her century long slumber, Aurora finds herself in the modern day; a world more mysterious and wonderful than any Fairy story.
Matthew Bourne's haunting new scenario is a gothic tale for all ages; the traditional tale of good vs. evil and rebirth is turned upside-down, creating a supernatural love story, across the decades, that even the passage of time itself cannot hinder.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.