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Five Reasons To See ... Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake

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Dancer Jack Jones is about to perform at the Lowry in Matthew Bourne's iconic version of Swan Lake. Having previously starred in Edward Scissorhands, Jack not only dances for the acclaimed New Adventures, he is also a big fan which helps him convey meaning to the text. Here he gives us his five reasons to see the show.

1. Swans Re-bourne. (pardon the pun!)
The daring risk of using only men for the role of the swans has given the show a completely different dynamic to any version of Swan Lake in the world today. With his show Matthew Bourne has destroyed the clichéd view of swans in ballet as a creature akin to a fairy, and brought to life swans that are beautiful yet intimidating, delicate yet dangerous.

2. 15 fit, well toned, topless men glistening with sweat.
I think the title says it all really. And no, unfortunately we will not be holding an auction for winning a swan for the night. Unless of course if the recession hits us especially hard.

3. Fantastic cast.
I will admit no bias on this reason, I am not yet that so big headed anyway, it still fits through most doorways. My reason is based on a number of smaller and yet not less significant reasons. Bourne himself has admitted that the quality of the dancing has improved throughout the shows history, with the current cast taking it further still. With Dominic North who was recently nominated best male dancer of the year are playing the Prince, long term principles with the company have returned to play the parts of the Queen and Girlfriend, Nina Goldman, Maddie Brennan and Kerry Biggin are joined by Charlie Broom who has been a Principle at Northern Ballet Theatre - how could we go wrong?

4. Characters and storyline redefined for our times.
Every story eventually has to be retold. People and audiences change, references are lost and what was once relatable becomes dated and estranged from everyday life. Keeping the heart of the original Swan Lake tale, this version casts it into the present day. In doing so it brings out depth and meaning in the characters that had not been found before. Whilst classics will always retain a revered place among us, it is relatable stories like these which have the power to truly move us. Infact, in contrast to many “Classic” versions of this story around now, this version faithfully tells the story as it originally was, as a tragedy.  

5. Hard to only give five reasons to come and watch it.
Yes, this counts as a reason. I have a number of other reasons that I have been unable to go into as I was only asked for five. If you are curious as to what they are, here goes: from award winning Choreographer Matthew Bourne, contains no point shoes or tutus (well, only a little), award winning sets and design by Lez Brotherston, a dog on wheels (no I’m not making it up), great balance between comedy and tragedy, a huge sell out seasons across the globe and finally, it’s good study for GCSE dance. Phew!

Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake is at the Lowry from 1 - 6 March.

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