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Episode of Great Performances

Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty

Season 39, Episode 8 of 14
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Choreographer Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty marks the choreographer's return to the music of Tchaikovsky to complete his acclaimed reinterpretations of the composer's trio of masterworks that began in 1992 with Nutcracker! and, most famously, in 1995 with the international success, Swan Lake, featuring a cast of all-male swans. This timeless fairy tale about a princess cursed to sleep for 100 years was adapted into a beloved ballet by Tchaikovsky and choreographer Marius Petipa in 1890. In a highly theatrical production that is not your grandfather's Sleeping Beauty, Bourne takes this date as his starting point, setting the story at the height of the fin de siecle epoch when fairies, vampires and a decadent opulence fed the gothic imagination. As the heroine Aurora matures into a young woman, the period shifts to the rigid confines of the Edwardian era. Decades later, awakening from her century-long slumber, Aurora finds herself in the modern day -- a world she finds more mysterious and wonderful than any fairy tale. Bourne's haunting new scenario is a romance for all ages; the traditional tale of good vs. evil and rebirth is turned upside-down, resulting in a supernatural love story across the decades, one that even the passage of time cannot erase.

Previously Aired

day time channel
4/27/2014 2 p.m. PBS HD
5/3/2014 8 p.m. Ready TV

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