December 22nd, 2012

Me with Red Ribbon

Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty, New Adventures, Sadler's Wells

sleeping beauty 2

Cut and pasted from the Sadler's Wells Website:

New Adventures' 25th birthday culminates with the world premiere of Matthew Bourne's latest re-imagining of a ballet classic.

Sleeping Beauty sees Bourne return to the music of Tchaikovsky to complete the trio of ballet masterworks that started with Nutcracker! and the international smash hit, Swan Lake.

This timeless fairy tale, about a young girl cursed to sleep for 100 years, was turned into a legendary ballet in 1890. We meet our heroine, Aurora, at her Christening, when fairies and vampires fed the gothic imagination, before the story moves forward a century to the modern day.

Matthew Bourne’s haunting new production is a gothic romance; a supernatural love story that even the passage of time cannot hinder.

Follow the link for the full production details:

Dominic North as Leo and Hannah Vassallo as Aurora in Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty.
© Simon Annand
Photo credit:

Raks's Reaction

As I have said before, I am no dance expert. However, I do see a fair amount of dance over the year, everything ranging from classical ballet, to cuban salsa, to contemporary street dance.

I LOVE Matthew Bourne. I adored his Nutcracker!, his Swan Lake, his Edward Scissorhands, and his Cinderella, to name just a few of my most beloved dance pieces.

For that reason, I have been looking forward to seeing this piece for some time and it did not disappoint one iota. I simply LOVED this new take on Sleeping Beauty and the production blew me away.

The puppet baby in the production is a work of sheer genius. She is more than capable of completely stealing the show. She looks and feels real - all credit to the puppeteers. She was just adorable! (and I am someone with zero mothering instinct!).

Kate Lyons as Hibernia, Fairy of Rebirth, in Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty
Photo: Dance Europe
Photo credit:

As with all Matthew Bourne Ballets, what I liked about this one, was the very powerful story-telling in the piece. You could follow the story-line very easily.

Also, as with all Matthew Bourne Ballets, the choreography and the costumes were breath-taking, stunning and beautiful. They were both to die for!

In summary, a magical and enchanting production - a real Christmas Box of Delights that would appeal to adults and children alike. Truly exceptional. A must-see. I can't recommend it highly enough!

Photo credit:

Ben Bunce as Caradoc and Hannah Vassallo as Aurora in Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty
Photo: Dance Europe
Photo credit:

The trailer is excellent and gives you a real flavour of the entirety of the show:

The show is now pretty much sold out for its run at Sadler's Wells but will be touring in 2013. Details here:
Me with Red Ribbon

Band Aid: Do They Know It's Christmas?

Lest we forget ...

Cut and pasted from Wikipedia:

"Do They Know It's Christmas?" is a song written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure in 1984 to raise money for relief of the 1983–1985 famine in Ethiopia. The original version was produced by Midge Ure and released by Band Aid on 29 November 1984.

In October 1984, a BBC report by Michael Buerk was aired in the UK, which highlighted the famine that had hit the people of Ethiopia. Irish singer Bob Geldof saw the report and wanted to raise money. He called Midge Ure from Ultravox and together they quickly co-wrote the song, "Do They Know It's Christmas?".

Geldof kept a November appointment with BBC Radio 1 DJ Richard Skinner to appear on his show, but instead of discussing his new album (the original reason for his booking), he used his airtime to publicise the idea for the charity single, so by the time the musicians were recruited there was intense media interest in the subject. Geldof put together a group called Band Aid, consisting of leading British and Irish musicians who were among the most popular of the era. On 25 November 1984, the song was recorded at Sarm West Studios in Notting Hill, London, and was released four days later.

The 1984 original became the biggest selling single in UK Singles Chart history, selling a million copies in the first week alone. It stayed at Number 1 for five weeks, becoming Christmas number one, and has sold 3.69 million copies domestically. Worldwide, the single had sold 11.8 million copies by 1989.

Following the release of "Do They Know It's Christmas?" in December 1984 and record sales in aid of famine relief, Geldof then set his sights on staging a huge concert, 1985's Live Aid, to raise further funds.