Mathew Bourne’s ‘Sleeping Beauty’ New York Premiere as Presented by New York City Center


New York City Center Presents

The New York Premiere of



 *Limited Engagement*


Directed and Choreographed by Matthew Bourne

“Wonderful. Bourne’s clever gothic re-write has discovered

something beguiling.” – The Guardian, London

Sleeping Beauty - 30New York, N.Y., March 14, 2013 – New York City Center will present the New York premiere of Matthew Bourne’s acclaimed Sleeping Beauty for a limited engagement, October 23 – November 3, 2013, at City Center (West 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues). Tickets will go on sale on March 25.

Sleeping Beauty sees Bourne return to the music of Tchaikovsky to complete the trio of the composer’s ballet masterworks that started in 1992 with Nutcracker! and continued in 1995 with the international hit Swan Lake. City Center presented a limited-run production of Swan Lake in 2010.

“We are thrilled to welcome Matthew and his company New Adventures back to City Center with this exciting new production,” said Arlene Shuler, President & CEO of City Center. “This Sleeping Beauty is imaginative, surprising and absolutely gorgeous to look at. We look forward to introducing New York to this new ballet that was so highly praised by audiences and the press at its London premiere.”

“This production of Sleeping Beauty was the fulfillment of a great ambition, to choreograph the three great Tchaikovsky ballets and was made to celebrate the 25th anniversary of my company, New Adventures, last year,” said Matthew Bourne. I am so grateful to Arlene Shuler and City Center to have this opportunity to bring this production to New York audiences, who have always been so welcoming of my work.”

Charles Perrault’s timeless fairy tale about a young girl cursed to sleep for one hundred years was turned into a legendary ballet by Tchaikovsky and choreographer Marius Petipa in 1890. Bourne takes this date as his starting point, setting the christening of Aurora, the story’s heroine, at 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 forward 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 tale.

Bourne’s new scenario introduces several characters not seen in the fairy tale or in Petipa’s famous ballet. The Royal Family is presided over by King Benedict and Queen Eleanor. Princess Aurora’s romantic interest is not a Prince, but the royal gamekeeper, Leo. Representing the central forces of good and evil are Count Lilac (“the King of the Fairies”) and the Dark Fairy Carabosse. Bourne has created the character of Caradoc, the sinister but charming son of Carabosse. Princess Aurora’s Fairy Godparents are named Ardor, Hibernia, Autumnus, Feral and Tantrum.Sleeping Beauty - 3

Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty is a gothic romance for all ages: the traditional tale of good vs. evil and rebirth is turned upside down, creating a supernatural love story that even the passage of time cannot hinder.

The Sleeping Beauty creative team includes three of Bourne’s regular collaborators and New Adventures Associate Artists: The Tony and Olivier Award-winning designers Lez Brotherston (Set and Costumes), Paule Constable (Lighting) and Paul Groothuis (Sound Design) who created the acclaimed surround-sound for Bourne’s recent hit production of Cinderella.


Matthew Bourne is widely hailed as the UK’s most popular and successful choreographer/ director. He is the creator of the world’s longest running ballet production (Swan Lake), a five-time Olivier Award winner, and the only British director to have won Tony Awards for both Best Choreographer and Best Director of a Musical. Bourne has been the Artistic Director of New Adventures (formally Adventures in Motion Pictures) since 1987. During those 25 years he has created new audiences for dance with groundbreaking work both at home and internationally, including Nutcracker!, Swan Lake, Cinderella, The Car Man, Play Without Words, Edward Scissorhands, Dorian Gray and Sleeping Beauty.

Bourne has also choreographed several major revivals of classic musicals, including Cameron Mackintosh’s productions of Oliver! (1994 and 2009) and My Fair Lady (2002). In 2004 Bourne co-directed (with Richard Eyre) and choreographed (with Stephen Mear) the West End and Broadway hit, Mary Poppins.

Bourne has twice been nominated as Best Director at the Olivier Awards, and his achievements in choreography have been recognized with over 50 international awards including The Evening Standard Award, South Bank Show Award, Time Out Award and the Astaire Award for Dance on Broadway. In the 2001 New Years Honours, Bourne was awarded an OBE for Services to Dance from HM The Queen and in 2003 he was the recipient of the prestigious Hamburg Shakespeare Prize for the Arts. In 2010 he was the first recipient of The British Inspiration Award.

Bourne is a Resident Artist at Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London, where New Adventures was invited to be Resident Company in 2006.


Sleeping Beauty - 53NEW ADVENTURES

New Adventures is the UK’s most in-demand contemporary dance/theatre touring company. Under the inspired leadership of Artistic Director Matthew Bourne, it has, over the last 25 years, changed the landscape of British dance with an award-winning repertory of works that have brought unprecedented new audiences to theatres throughout the UK and internationally. Bourne and his team of world-class collaborators have consistently produced some of the most successful dance productions ever staged. Since its formation in 2002, New Adventures has created an enviable repertory of acclaimed new works (Play Without Words, Edward Scissorhands, Dorian Gray, Lord of the Flies and Sleeping Beauty), as well as new productions of popular favourites from Bourne’s former company, Adventures In Motion Pictures (1987-2002) – Nutcracker!, Swan Lake, Highland Fling, The Car Man, Cinderella and the mixed program Early Adventures. The company regularly employs over 60 dancers annually, and they are widely recognized as the finest group of actor/dancers working in the UK today.

New Adventures is proud to be Resident Company at Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London, where it regularly performs record-breaking extended seasons. The company annually undertakes extensive country-wide touring, appearing at more venues and giving more performances each year than any other UK dance company. British dance’s biggest export for over 10 years, New Adventures has performed seasons at the worlds most iconic venues (Sydney Opera House, New York City Center, The Chatalet in Paris, The Kennedy Center and The Moscow Arts Theatre), the most prestigious Festivals (Edinburgh, Ravenna and Chekhov International Festivals), and regular tours to Japan, the USA, Australia, Europe and Russia.

Mixing popular appeal with a groundbreaking and unique theatrical language, New Adventures is one of the great success stories of British theatre. The company has notched up a staggering 10 Olivier nominations for its productions, has won the Manchester Evening News Dance Award four times and was given a Special TMA award for its commitment to national touring.

New Adventures has also been a pioneer in taking dance to wider audiences through the medium of film. Matthew Bourne’s Nutcracker! is the only full-length dance production to be shown on BBC1 in the last 30 years. A studio adaptation of The Car Man is still a dance bestseller, and the recent recording of Swan Lake by Sky Arts 3D became the first ballet to be shot in 3D for cinema and DVD release.

In 2008 the company created its charitable wing, Re:Bourne, which aims to inspire and encourage young people and adults with a year-round program of creative projects, workshops and educational initiatives based on the New Adventures ethos of dance theatre. This was followed in 2010 by the launch of The New Adventures Choreographer Award (NACA), which showcases the work of a young choreographer and was created to honor Bourne’s 50th birthday.

Last year’s 25th Anniversary celebration saw the company performing six diverse works at 32 UK venues. This culminated in the world premiere of Bourne’s production of Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty in October 2012.



New York City Center (Arlene Shuler, President & CEO) has played a defining role in the cultural life of the city for nearly 70 years. It was Manhattan’s first performing arts center, dedicated by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia in 1943 with a mission to make the best in music, theater and dance accessible to all audiences. Today, City Center is home to many distinguished companies, including City Center’s Principal Dance Company, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, as well as New York City Opera and Manhattan Theatre Club; a roster of renowned national and international visiting artists; and its own critically acclaimed and popular programs. The Tony-honored Encores! musical theater series has been hailed as “one of the very best reasons to be alive in New York.” Dance has been integral to the theater’s mission from the start, and dance programs, including the annual Fall for Dance Festival, remain central to City Center’s identity. City Center is dedicated to providing educational opportunities to New York City students and teachers with programs such as Encores! In Schools and the Young People’s Dance Series. Last year, City Center completed an extensive renovation to revitalize and modernize its historic theater.

Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty will run for 14 performances on the following schedule: Wednesday, October 23 at 8 p.m.; Thursday, October 24 at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, October 25 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, October 26 at 2 and 8 p.m.; Sunday, October 27 at 1:30 and 7 p.m.; Tuesday, October 29 at 7:30 p.m.; Wednesday, October 30 at 7:30 p.m.; Thursday, October 31 at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, November 1 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, November 2 at 2 and 8 p.m.; and Sunday, November 3 at 2 p.m.

Tickets range from $30 to $130 and go on sale March 25. Tickets can be purchased at the New York City Center Box Office (West 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues), through CityTix® at 212-581-1212, or online at City Center is located on 55th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues.

For more information on Matthew Bourne and Sleeping Beauty, visit

Artists, program and ticket prices are subject to change.