Friday 18th September 2009 by C. Freeman
Performing arts students got the chance to see the latest production from one of the most highly-regarded contemporary dance companies. Dorian Gray, a modern interpretation of Oscar Wilde's book, was choreographed by Matthew Bourne and performed by New Adventures at The Curve in Leicester.
The Year 10 GCSE dance students were enthralled by the minimalist production. The revolving set provided modern backdrops of an art gallery, bedroom and living room while the overall look was stark and monochromatic. The students had front row seats and so could really appreciate the physical demands placed on the performers.
Dance teacher Miss Bailey said: 'It was amazing to see the breathing, sweat and facial expressions and the sheer effort the dancers put into the two-hour performance. The story itself is quite difficult to understand and has been heavily adapted for this production. Characters have been changed and the role of Dorian is portrayed by two dancers to show the different sides of his personality. You could see that one that was going out and being reckless and the one that was damaged and feeling the effects of what he was actually doing. The students did really well to understand because it is quite a difficult story, especially when you put it into dance and modernise it with beautiful men and women dancing around in minimal clothing.'
Bourne usually adapts and modernises traditional ballet pieces however Miss Bailey thinks this is one of his most powerful productions: 'Matthew Bourne wants to challenge the norm. It's the best work he's done. I've seen Nutcracker, Swan Lake and Edward Scissorhands but by far this was the best because it was so modern and because it was pure contemporary dance. Because we hadn't had a dance piece to compare it to and the film has only come out quite recently it's not so well known and that's what made it so special.'