Matthew Bourne's The Red Shoes

English choreographer Matthew Bourne is widely beloved for his adaptations of classic stories - Swan Lake, The Nutcracker. And now, he's done it again, tackling the iconic story of "The Red Shoes."

The work is an adaptation of the 1948 dance film that's based on a Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale. The story is a fanciful tale about a ballerina who joins a company and becomes the lead in a ballet called "The Red Shoes" (tbh, it's kind of like ballet-ception). She becomes caught up in whirlwind romances and the emotionally destructive power of the red shoes. I won't spoil the ending, but let's just say, it's a little less than happy.

Ashley Shaw in Matthew Bourne's The Red Shoes.© Dave Morgan.
Ashley Shaw in Matthew Bourne's The Red Shoes.© Dave Morgan.

Bourne's version, which premiered in England in the fall of 2016, earned two Olivier awards in London (equivalent to a Tony Award) and was widely acclaimed by critics. Now, the show is preparing for a North American tour, which will make stops in Los Angeles, New York City, Washington DC, and North Carolina.

The North American touring cast features some names you might recognize. New York City Ballet principal Sara Mearns will perform the lead role of Victoria Page while the show is in NYC, and American Ballet Theater principal Marcelo Gomes will play lead male character Julian Craster for the entire tour.

About the author

Anne Luben has performed works by notable choreographers such as Donald McKayle, Bill T. Jones, Jiri Kylian, Idan Cohen, Alex Ketley, and Summer Lee Rhatigan, among others.