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Ashley Shaw and Matthew Bourne launch The Red Shoes (Photo: Dan Wooller)

Ashley Shaw and Matthew Bourne launch The Red Shoes (Photo: Dan Wooller)

Matthew Bourne to stage The Red Shoes

Published 5 April 2016

Matthew Bourne’s next new ballet will bring cinematic tale of dance, obsession and passion The Red Shoes to the stage. The new ballet will tour the UK and play an eight week Christmas season at Sadler’s Wells.

Based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale and the Powell and Pressburger film, The Red Shoes will, fittingly enough, use dance to tell the story of a girl who dreams of being the world’s greatest dancer. But her ambitions become a battleground for the two men who inspire her passion.

The Red Shoes will reunite Bourne’s regular team of collaborators – designer Lez Brotherston, lighting designer Paule Constable and sound designer Paul Groothuis – and see Ashley Shaw, Principal with Bourne’s New Adventures company, take the role of Page.

The score for the new full length ballet will be arranged by Terry Davies, using the music of Bernard Herrmann, who wrote scores for Hollywood films including Citizen Kane, Vertigo, Psycho, Cape Fear and Taxi Driver.

Speaking about the new project, Bourne said: “It has been a long held ambition of mine to bring The Red Shoes to the stage as a dance/drama. It is set in the theatrical world of a touring dance company. It is actually about dance and dancers, a world that we all understand so well. However, the film’s genius is to make that theatrical world at times surreal, larger than life and highly cinematic. My challenge will be to capture some of that surreal, sensuous quality within the more natural theatre setting.”

The Red Shoes begins its UK tour at the Theatre Royal Plymouth in November before running in London from 6 December to 29 January.

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