, 2022-12-08 16:55:36,
The 21st century has ushered in a wave of choreographic reimaginings of 18th- and 19th-century classical ballet stories. These new works reinterpret well-known narratives by infusing contemporary themes and choreographic styles while updating stories for today’s audiences. This year alone saw two major, revitalized productions of Marius Petipa’s 1898 Raymonda: Tamara Rojo’s, for English National Ballet, and Rachel Beaujean’s, for Dutch National Ballet. Both versions updated the story to avoid the original narrative’s cultural and racial stereotypes.
Choreographers Matthew Bourne and Daniel Proietto have both reconceptualized classical themes for years, from Bourne’s groundbreaking Swan Lake to Proietto’s Blanc, a contemporary interpretation of Les Sylphides. Each spoke with Pointe about how they approached one of their recent works and what they find so compelling about reimagining the classics for today’s world, which craves evolution more than ever.
Matthew Bourne’s Romeo and Juliet (2019)
Matthew Bourne’s 1995 Swan Lake, featuring an all-male corps, became a cornerstone of contemporary story ballets. When approaching Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet 24 years later, the British choreographer says he wasn’t initially “raring” to dive into the iconic romantic tragedy. He felt it was an overdone story, and one that was expected of him after his prior works.
However, Bourne became excited about the prospect when his company, New Adventures,…
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