Re-imagining ‘Sleeping Beauty’

After collecting rave reviews “across the pond,” Matthew Bourne’s “Sleeping Beauty” stages its lavish North American debut Sept. 27–28 at the Des Moines Civic Center. Dance theater fans in New York, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles will have to wait to experience the modernized gothic romance that reviewers for major newspapers called “beguiling and true,” “strikingly fresh” and “the hottest ticket in town” after its world premiere in London last December.

Bourne’s re-imagined version of the classic fairy tale begins in 1890—the year composer Tchaikovsky and choreographer Marius Petipa created their legendary “Sleeping Beauty” ballet, conjuring a time of decadent opulence, fairies and vampires. The story travels to the tight-laced Edwardian era and, finally, into a mysterious modern world. New characters include Leo the royal gamekeeper, who replaces the prince as the love interest.

Bourne has received more than 50 choreography awards and is the only Brit to win Tony Awards for best choreographer and best director. With “Sleeping Beauty,” he completes the trio of Tchaikovsky’s ballet masterworks that include 1992’s “Nutcracker!” and 1995’s international hit “Swan Lake.”

Tickets are available at the Civic Center ticket office, Ticketmaster locations, by phone at 800745-3000 and online here. Groups of 15 or more should call 246-2340.

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