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4.7 out of 5 stars16
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 19 January 2014
Having seen literally dozens of performances of this classic and having been delighted with the new production at the Mariinski, I awaited this production with interest. It is typical of Matthew Bourne to never fail to give an exciting new interpretation of a ballet which can almost be rather a bore when done by a small company and yet here were a mere seventeen dancers keeping us on the edges of our seats. Magnificent.
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on 29 January 2014
This is a superb and interesting telling of Tchaikovsky's ballet. Having seen this production on stage,I was very keen to buy this DVD
This is a Gothic telling of the story,and very enjoyable.As in Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake,he uses a great deal of Tchaikovsky's score.(In Swan Lake,he used more of the score than the Royal Ballet and,in Act 4 the Royal Ballet cuts part of the finale, which annoyed me and many others.) I strongly recommend this new DVD.
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We all have our likes and dislikes. For instance, I've always preferred action woman Rapunzel to passive damsel Sleeping Beauty. Whilst the former uses one of her outstanding attributes to fool her captor and solve her problem, the other passively accepts every inconvenience inflicted upon her, first passively allowing herself to be induced into a long sleep and then depending on someone else to get her out of her difficulty. Although the Bolshoi Ballet dances to a high standard, what is that beside the inspiration of creative innovation? Most of us have been through the experience of seeing something or other performed immaculately to the very letter of perfection but still came away unsatisfied. We are told endlessly such things as: Bolshoi is the best; they interpret Tchaikovsky better than any other ballet company. But do they? Is it not a question of: if you get a reputation for early rising, you can lie in bed till noon? 'Oh, it must be the right way to do it because the Bolshoi is doing it that way.' So parrot the pantless* victims coming away from yet another 'danced to the rulebook' performance.

Whether or not this Matthew Bourne production of Sleeping Beauty is in Gothic style is irrelevant simply because it's a brilliant, imaginatively choreographed masterpiece of the highest order that runs circles round the so called 'traditional', Bolshoi or otherwise, productions. For once the Sleeping Beauty takes on the character of a strong willed, Rapunzel type lady, here brilliantly danced by Hannah Vassallo, with a will of her own as we see when she persistently continues to reject other suitors, such as Lord Rupert (Daniel Collins), in favour of Leo, the royal gamekeeper, here attractively danced by Dominic North. Everyone involved in this production deserves the highest praise for a job well done.

Something else that impresses me with this performance is the definitive way in which the various fairy folk are portrayed as strong, focussed personalities devoid of 'soppy fairy' attributes. Then we have the delight of Sleeping Beauty, when she was a baby, crawling all over the place and up the curtains, all of it carefully choreographed. This is Matthew Bourne's style. 'Give me any movement and I'll choreograph it,' he seems to say. 'I'll even choreograph one of Rossini's laundry lists it there are still any of them left lying around.' We have here a delightfully innovative choreographer of the highest order who will attract more and more people to watch and enjoy ballet.

In a way it's the Swan Lake syndrome all over again. I used to get so fed up with people saying: 'O yes, you mean Swan Lake and The Nutcracker', when I mentioned the word 'ballet', that I vowed never to watch performances of these two works ever again. The very mention of 'sugar plum fairy' would send me running. Now we have Matthew Bourne, the man who can change all this. A man such as him who can choreograph the Sleeping Beauty character into being on a par with the Rapuntzel one has to be a genius and he has done just that. This is a truly wonderful performance, which I'm perfectly sure most ballet lovers will thoroughly enjoy. It's so inspiringly innovative as it re-interprets Tchaikovsky's score in scintillating fashion all along the line in this excellent Blu-Ray, no problems, recording.. Brilliant.

* pantless. They've been bored off them.
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on 5 July 2014
Mr. Bourne's version of the last of the Tchaikovsky ballets does not disappoint. The royal family dances in the first half are terrific. Some longueurs in the second part (or bits which I don't get), but the 'wedding' and finale (Apotheosis) are superb.
There is also a documentary about the composition of the show which is worthwhile.
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on 30 January 2014
Matthew Bourne gave a lot of thought in deciding to bring the ballet up to the present day. I think you are either a Bourne lover but you can admire his interpretation. He has a wonderful sense of humour and I thought the opening scene of the ballet was brilliant. But I have to acknowledge being a tradtionalist and thought the final act lost out. The music was there but not all those wonderful characters.
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on 27 May 2014
Forget the classically accepted story and accept it as a story in its own right. The dancing is first rate, the sense of period and setting is refreshingly different. I loved its modern contemporary feel. May not please those with closed minds. Give it a chance though, and admire the verve the young company bring to their performance.
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on 20 March 2014
I love Matthew Bourne. This did not disappoint. Beautiful and funny in places, yet a brilliant piece of dance.
A true gothic fairy tale.
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on 26 March 2014
Very interesting and sincere adaptation of the ballet remaining true to the original beautifully filmed and staged Very much recommended
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on 8 December 2014
Same as Swan lLake , magnificent sets , costumes and choreograhpy and performances with great sound and image !!!!!!
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on 20 August 2014
Stunning and worth watching more than once. Beautifully imagined and perfectly realised.
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