Friday, August 05, 2016

Matthew Bourne's 'Sleeping Beauty: A Gothic Romance'



Watched Matthew Bourne's contemporary 'Sleeping Beauty: A Gothic Romance'. The dance production first premiered in 2012 and it's now presented as part of Esplanade's da:ns series. It's kinda brave to stage five shows on the dates when most Singaporeans and residents fly out for the long weekend (for erm National Day). How to fill the Theatre?! We watched this on opening night and it wasn't even full. There were two empty rows in the stalls.

The show was performed in four acts: '1890- The Baby Aurora', '1911- Aurora's Coming of Age', '2011- Aurora Wakes Up', and finally 'Last Night- The Wedding'. Costumes were lovely and the set was extravagant. Quite the fairytale backdrop. (Watch the fairies dance for baby Aurora.)

I helplessly convulsed into silent cackles each time Fairy King Count Lilac appeared because he's defined in this dance-spectacular as a 'vampire fairy'. Really! Count Lilac. HAHAHAH. I understand Matthew Bourne drew on 'True Blood' for this inspiration of vampires and fairies, and suggested to his dancers to also include this television series in their research for their characters.

In the intervening 100 years Princess Aurora is asleep, she lives in the sleepwalking world of the fairies. And of course tourists invaded the castle with all their brusque treatment of its grounds. Aurora's true love is this new interpretation of the 'Prince' in the form of commoner Leo, the royal gardener who has too been granted eternal life by Count Lilac, AS A VAMPIRE. That sent me into a giggling fit that I had to fight to suppress. Luckily the interval was right after that hilarious twist. Hahahaha.

The evil fairy Carabosse who laid the curse has long died in exile. But there's her son, a new character in the form of an equally sinister dark fairy Caradoc who's still alive and intends to avenge his parent by sacrificing Aurora. In Act Four, because of a case of mistaken identity, the awakened Aurora was forced to marry Caradoc. Of course that doesn't happen. When the happy ending comes around, Leo and Aurora are together in some fantasy fairy land, raising a child who has fairy wings. That confused the hell out of me.

By the end of the rather enjoyable show, I had completely dissolved in violent fits of mirth. Oh the dancing? Oh yes, it was perfectly fine. 

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