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Cinema screening for acclaimed romantic modern ballet
Matthew Bourne's acclaimed theatre show of The Red Shoes is to appear in cinemas across the UK and Ireland from September 30. Here's what you can expect.
The Red Shoes is an unmissable dance production from Matthew Bourne
The Red Shoes was recorded live at Sadler's Wells in London, where I saw this new production and caught up with Matthew Bourne about his passion for the tragic story.
Not only is the dancing set to mesmerise, but the soundtrack stirs up emotions with work by Hollywood composer Bernard Herrmann. Based on the 1948 film of the same name, it follows a tragic romance between a conductor and an aspiring dancer.
Award-winning choreographer Bourne created The Red Shoes in 2016, when it first toured and later picked up two Olivier Awards for Best Entertainment of the year and Best Theatre Choreographer for Bourne.
This refreshed version has some fine tuning from Bourne, which makes the show have even more impact. You will be able to see it at selected cinemas across the UK from September 30 and you can find your nearest cinema here.
This refreshed version of The Red Shoes has a more dramatic start to the performance and the ballet seems even more moving and visually breathtaking than the first time around.
Based on the famous classic Powell and Pressburger film of the same name, which was described as the "greatest dance movie of all time", it's a tragic tale about talented ballet dancer Vicky Page, who is caught between her career and the man she loves.
The story takes us from when Vicky catches the eye of strict ballet impresario Boris Lermontov and lands top billing in The Red Shoes ballet to the fallout after she falls in love with composer Julian Craster and has to choose between him and her ambition.
Torn between demanding Lermontov, who believes Vicky can't be a great dancer if distracted by love, and her feelings for Julian, the dancer faces tough compromises.
Atmospheric scenes with vivid costumes and dancing in The Red Shoes
For those who have seen The Red Shoes before this year, Bourne has added visual extras to the show, including a new entrance for Lermantov at the beginning of the ballet. It's poignant and perfectly fits in with this uncompromising character that demands everyone's full attention.
As the story is set after World War II in the 1940's, the stage is overflowing with rich decadent scenery and costumes recreating Covent Garden and Monte Carlo.
It's the colourful wider characters that, as usual in Bourne's work, create a fuller, richer experience. There's the prima donna ballerina rehearsing in a fur coat and vibrant young men bouncing around at the riviera seafront with nothing but long shorts and a beach ball.
Central to the action is an incredible frame for the stage, or proscenium arch, that constantly moves and turns, helping the audience differentiate between the drama unfolding both on stage and behind the scenes.
It's all accompanied to stirring music by Bernard Herrmann, who wrote scores for many of the Hitchcock films like Vertigo along with Citizen Kane.
Choreographer Matthew Bourne told me how he was a teenager when he first saw The Red Shoes film and remembers it as his "introduction" to both classical ballet and a world which was very intriguing and eccentric.
The Red Shoes is a memorable production that has been refreshed
His obvious fondness and connection to The Red Shoes is reflected in this detailed adaptation that masterfully manages to recreate the storyline, while also modernising it for today's audiences. Vicky is a much more modern woman with a stronger character than in the film, to keep up with current times.
This is another exquisite modern ballet from Bourne, who is behind renowned dance productions from Edward Scissorhands to the all-male Swan Lake.
The good news is that despite the closure of theatres due to Coronavirus, wider audiences will still be able to see The Red Shoes through cinemas from September. Make sure you don't miss out.