Metro Weekly

The Kennedy Center streams Matthew Bourne’s production of “The Red Shoes”

The Kennedy Center offers a filmed performance from London's West End

the red shoes, matthew bourne, kennedy center
Matthew Bourne’s production of The Red Shoes — Photo: Johan Persson

In 1948, filmmakers Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger released what the British Film Institute has ranked “the 9th greatest British film of all time.” A few years ago, acclaimed British choreographer Matthew Bourne won two Olivier Awards for his ballet adaptation of the Oscar-winning, Technicolor-rich cinematic spectacle, centered on a young woman’s pursuit of becoming a star ballerina.

Set to familiar romantic music of golden-age Hollywood composer Bernard Herrmann (Citizen Kane, Psycho), Bourne’s tragic ballet proved to be a hit on tour across the U.K. and the U.S., including a run in 2017 at the Kennedy Center.

This weekend, the Center, in partnership with Los Angeles’ Center Theatre Group, is offering a performance filmed live during the 2019 London revival available as an on-demand stream.

Billed as “an intoxicating drama where life imitates art with fateful consequences [that] will dazzle your senses and break your heart,” Bourne’s production of The Red Shoes was ultimately conceived, in part, as “a personal love letter to a life in theater and dance, made all the more poignant by [the past year’s] unexpected events,” the director/choreographer states in the digital program.

The production from Matthew Bourne/New Adventures features Ashley Shaw as Victoria, the aspiring ballerina who is ultimately forced to choose between love with composer Julian Craster (Dominic North), or a career under ballet impresario Boris Lermontov, played by Adam Cooper, who created the iconic role of The Swan in Bourne’s famous all-male version of Swan Lake.

Liam Mower, the original Billy Elliot on London’s West End, also stars along with Michela Meazza and Glenn Graham. The design team includes Lez Brotherston on sets and costumes, Paule Constable on lighting, and Duncan McLean on projections.

Available for streaming from Friday, March 19, at 8 p.m., to Sunday, March 21, at midnight. Tickets are $10. Visit www.kennedy-center.org.

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Doug Rule covers the arts, theater, music, food, nightlife and culture as contributing editor for Metro Weekly. Follow him on Twitter @ruleonwriting.

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