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Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker | DVD | (22/12/2003)
from £10.59 | Saving you £7.40 (41.10%) | RRP
One of his earliest pieces of choreography, Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker is also one of his most charming and imaginative. Moving the Christmas party from a comfortable middle-class home to a Dickensian orphanage whose proprietors starve their wards to spoil their own children, it then shifts to a wonderland where sweets and sugar are a none-too-subtle metaphor for sexual awakening. In both worlds, Clara (Etta Murfitt) has to struggle to be heroine, or even a participant, in her own story and her struggle for the muscular, sexy Alan Vincent with her bitchy rival Sugar (Soranne Curtin) is not resolved until the last moments of the ballet. Along the way, Bourne finds charming and sexy ways to make all of the well-known genre moments of the score fresh and new--the Chinese dancers are a bunch of daffy marshmallow girls in pink, for example, whose dance is all strutting cuteness. There is a truly stunning transformation scene at the beginning of the waltz, which like much else in the score becomes a complex ensemble in which all the character dancers have their own things to do. Bourne's Nutcracker has become a popular favourite, and deservedly so. On the DVD: Matthew Bourne's Nutcrackercomes to DVD with no additional features. It is presented in a 16:9 anamorphic ratio and has sumptuous sound in both Dolby Digital 5.1 and L-PCM Stereo that does full justice to the Royal Philharmonic's eloquent performance of the score. --Roz Kaveney
Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake | DVD | (20/07/1998)
from £9.80 | Saving you £8.19 (45.50%) | RRP
This Swan Lake was the unexpected popular hit of 1996, when radical choreographer Matthew Bourne took Tchaikovsky's traditional ballet by the scruff of the neck and reworked it with a myriad of modern influences and themes to astonishing effect. Seldom have the dark psychological riptides at the heart of so many classical ballets been so brilliantly exposed. The Prince (Scott Ambler) is a wretched and dissolute young man dominated by his mother, the Joan Collins-like Queen (Fiona Ambler). Shades of Tennessee Williams, indeed. Von Rothbart becomes a press secretary, more sinister éminence grise than hissable villain. Most startling of all, The Swan (Adam Cooper) is a muscular, emphatically masculine male. Bourne has stressed the universality of his interpretation, which proved such a success for his Adventures in Motion Pictures dance company. And indeed this is never an overtly "gay" Swan Lake, although the electricity of the pas de deux at the height of Act 2 delivers a palpably homoerotic charge. Its universal threads--as Bourne suggests, the need to be held and understood is common to us all--are synthesised in the utterly moving conclusion as the Swan cradles the lifeless Prince and raises him to a better place. Swan Lake becomes a human, rather than simply romantic, tragedy. On the DVD: Swan Lake is presented in full screen 4:3 video format and this version would certainly have benefited from widescreen to show off the dazzling court and night club scenes as well as the lake and the impact of the all-male swan corps de ballet. But the lush Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound serves the rich interpretation of Tchaikovsky's score from The New London Orchestra to handkerchief-wringing effect. Extras include menu-driven resumes and a synopsis. --Piers Ford
Romantic Ballet Collection - Swan Lake/La Syphilde/Giselle | DVD | (22/09/2008)
from £12.69 | Saving you £12.30 (49.20%) | RRP
Choreographer Matthew Bourne has achieved worldwide artistic and popular success with his innovative new versions of classical ballets. His groundbreaking work has attracted an enormous new audience for dance both at home and internationally. SWAN LAKE: Matthew Bourne''s triumphant modern re-interpretation of Swan Lake with its cast of male swans has turned tradition upside down and taken the ballet fraternity by storm. Never has such a contemporary re-working of a traditional ballet thrilled both ardent critics and modern dance enthusiasts in such equal measure. This is the recording made in 1996 of the original multi award-winning production. The cast includes: Adam Cooper Scott Ambler and Fiona Chadwick. 'Matthew Bourne has turned Swan Lake on its head he has given it a sex change and catapulted it into another universe.''some of the best performances you will ever see on a ballet stage.' The Times NUTCRACKER!: This delicious production is full of Matthew Bourne's trademark style of wit pathos and theatrical magic. Nutcracker! follows Clara's journey from a bleak Christmas Eve at Dr Dross' Orphanage through a shimmering ice-skating wonderland to the spectacular candy folk of Sweetieland. Tchaikovsky's much-loved score and Anthony Ward's stunning designs combine with Bourne's sizzling choreography. This is the recording made in 2003 of the original production starring Etta Murfitt Alan Vincent Saranne Curtin and Scott Ambler. 'Utterly delicious - a Dazzling Extravaganza' Sunday Telegraph THE CAR MAN Matthew Bourne uses the stirring and passionate music of Bizet's Carmen as the basis for a completely new and original tale. The dreams and passions of a small 1960's mid-western community are shattered by the arrival of a handsome stranger. Fuelled by heat and desire the inhabitants are drawn into a spiral of greed opportunism sex and murder. This is the original production filmed in 2001 and starring Alan Vincent Saranne Curtin Will Kemp Etta Murfit and Scott Ambler. 'Electrifying a dynamite dance of desire' Daily Mail Includes interview with Matthew Bourne.
Swan Lake: Matthew Bourne | Blu Ray | (26/06/2012)
from £24.11 | Saving you £N/A (N/A%) | RRP
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