Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty

Photos of a Sleeping Beauty Like No Other

British choreographer Matthew Bourne has created a Sleeping Beauty fairy tale that drips with candle wax and vampire blood and opens its eyes to modern times. Learn more about his bold re-imagining of the Tchaikovsky ballet and enjoy this photo gallery that captures the drama of the production, premiering Friday, April 25 at 9 pm on PBS (check local listings).

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Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty

Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty

Photo: Leopard Films
The fairies in Bourne’s ballet are wild, gothic supernatural creatures. As godparents, Ardor, Hiberna, Autumnus, Feral and Tantrum present gifts to Aurora, followed by Count Lilac, the King of the Fairies, and leave a protective ring of candles around the baby’s bassinet.

Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty

The fairies in Bourne’s ballet are wild, gothic supernatural creatures. As godparents, Ardor, Hiberna, Autumnus, Feral and Tantrum present gifts to Aurora, followed by Count Lilac, the King of the Fairies, and leave a protective ring of candles around the baby’s bassinet.
Photo by Simon Annand
A fairy performs for baby Aurora in Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty.

Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty

A fairy performs for baby Aurora in Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty.
Photo by Simon Annand
Dancer Adam Maskell performs two roles: the sinister fairy Carabosse and her avenging vampire son, Caradoc. Carabosse casts a death curse upon Aurora, but Count Lilac, (Christopher Marney) transforms it to a spell of endless sleep that be broken by a kiss of true love.

Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty

Dancer Adam Maskell performs two roles: the sinister fairy Carabosse and her avenging vampire son, Caradoc. Carabosse casts a death curse upon Aurora, but Count Lilac, (Christopher Marney) transforms it to a spell of endless sleep that be broken by a kiss of true love.
Photo by Simon Annand
Act II takes us to 1911 and an Edwardian summer garden party, where aristocrats and a charming but sinister Caradoc compete for Aurora's attention.

Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty

Act II takes us to 1911 and an Edwardian summer garden party, where aristocrats and a
charming but sinister Caradoc compete for Aurora’s attention.
Photo by Mikah Smillie
Hannah Vassallo as Aurora and Dominic North as Leo in Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty.

Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty

Hannah Vassallo as Aurora and Dominic North as Leo in Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty.
Photo by Simon Annand
When Aurora pricks her finger on the cursed dark rose, she joins the world of the Sleepwalkers. Her love, Leo, is accused of carelessly letting her hurt herself on one of his roses.

Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty

When Aurora pricks her finger on the cursed dark rose, she joins the world of the Sleepwalkers. Her love, Leo, is accused of carelessly letting her hurt herself on one of his roses.
Photo by Mikah Smillie
Caradoc and Aurora in Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty.

Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty

Caradoc and Aurora in Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty.
Photo by Simon Annand
Bourne has cited True Blood, the vampire-themed television show, as his inspiration for this ballet, which spans from 1890 to contemporary times. Count Lilac, a vampire fairy, takes pity on Leo and sets his fangs on him to grant him the gift of eternal life, so that he can be reunited with Aurora in 100 years. A vampire bites the gardener Leo, which enables Leo to wait 100 years for Aurora to awaken in Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty.

Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty

Bourne has cited True Blood, the vampire-themed television show, as his inspiration for this ballet, which spans from 1890 to contemporary times. Count Lilac, a vampire fairy, takes pity on Leo and sets his fangs on him to grant him the gift of eternal life, so that he can be reunited with Aurora in 100 years. A vampire bites the gardener Leo, which enables Leo to wait 100 years for Aurora to awaken in Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty.
Photo by Mikah Smillie
Aurora (Hannah Vassallo) sleepwalks in Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty.

Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty

Aurora (Hannah Vassallo) sleepwalks in Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty.
Photo by Mikah Smillie
Aurora awakens from her spell to reunite with Leo, who also is still alive after 100 years, in Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty.

Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty

Aurora awakens from her spell to reunite with Leo, who also is still alive after 100 years, in Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty.
Photo by Mikah Smillie
In Act III, set in 2011, Leo is able to awaken Aurora with a kiss, but she is swept away and forced to prepare for a wedding with Caradoc, who is still plotting her death. Guests arrive for the wedding wearing gothic fairy costumes and fake wings.

Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty

In Act III, set in 2011, Leo is able to awaken Aurora with a kiss, but she is swept away and forced to prepare for a wedding with Caradoc, who is still plotting her death. Guests arrive for the wedding wearing gothic fairy costumes and fake wings.
Photo by Simon Annand
As the wedding party builds to a climax, a cloaked figure with giant black wings enters. When the cloak is removed, Caradoc is revealed showing his true nature and carrying a sacrificial knife. Aurora lies down in front of him, as if in a trance.

Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty

As the wedding party builds to a climax, a cloaked figure with giant black wings enters. When the cloak is removed, Caradoc is revealed showing his true nature and carrying a sacrificial knife. Aurora lies down in front of him, as if in a trance.
Photo by Mikah Smillie
As Caradoc raises the knife, Count Lilac and the Fairies attack him.

Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty

As Caradoc raises the knife, Count Lilac and the Fairies attack him.
Photo by Mikah Smillie
Leo at last fully revives Aurora with another kiss on the lips. She wakes, in the arms of the man she has loved for 100 years.

Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty

Leo at last fully revives Aurora with another kiss on the lips. She wakes, in the arms of the man she has loved for 100 years.
Photo by Mikah Smillie