Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake

Matthew Bourne's Swan LakeFirmly crowned as a modern day classic, Matthew Bourne’s powerful, provocative interpretation of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake turned tradition upside down and took the dance world by storm, dazzling audiences in the West End and Broadway, and across Europe and Asia, is now returning to Australia for limited seasons in Melbourne and Sydney.

Since its 9th November 1995 world premiere at Sadler’s Wells, Matthew Bourne’s breathtaking and sexy version of Swan Lake has become the longest running ballet in the London’s West End and on Broadway. It has enjoyed four successful tours in the UK and continues to thrill audiences throughout the world.

It has been acclaimed as a landmark achievement on the international stage, collecting over thirty international theatre awards including three Tonys for the Broadway production and widely acclaimed on both sides of the Atlantic as a landmark production on the international stage.

As the director and choreographer for Swan Lake, Matthew Bourne is the only British director to have won the Tony Award for Best Director and Best Choreographer of a Musical in the same year (1999). Boldly shattering the traditional concept of swans in tutus, and blending dance, humour and spectacle with extravagant award winning designs by Lez Brotherston and lighting by Rick Fisher, Bourne has created a passionate and contemporary Swan Lake for our times.

“I could see an opportunity to create a human story, with the potential for great dramatic power and range, indulge my satirical and humorous leanings as well as create whole suites of abstract movement to some of the best dance music ever written,” says Matthew.

This witty and surprising production has been designed to speak to a modern audience, to excite them, to move them. The most talked about innovation in this production is the casting of a male dancer in the coveted role of Odette/Odile known as “the Swan”.

“The idea of a male swan makes complete sense to me” says Matthew, “the strength, the beauty, the enormous wingspan of these creatures suggests to me the musculature of a male dancer more readily than a ballerina in her white tutu.”

Written by Tchaikovsky in the late 19th century, Swan Lake was originally staged at Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre in 1877. It wasn’t until 18 years later – and after the death of its composer, that it was finally staged in St Petersburg, becoming a universally loved classic.

Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake
Regent Theatre, 191 Collins Street, Melbourne
Season: 16 – 25 October 2014
Bookings: 1300 111 011 or online at:

Theatre Royal, 108 King Street, Sydney
Season: 28 October – 2 November 2014
Bookings: 1300 723 038 or online at:

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake (supplied)