Behind the scenes: Matthew Bourne’s Lord of the Flies

Those of you that know me will probably know I am a huge fan of dance.  Out of all the art forms, it is without doubt my favourite.  Since a young age I competed regularly; from the most mortifying memories of freestyle (aka disco) dance to me performing in Sweeney Todd attire and then, eventually, the more (arguably) sane world of contemporary dance.  I studied it throughout school and college, taught it and generally just loved it.

And although I no longer find the time to dance myself, I love nothing more than taking to the theatre for a show.  Luckily Cardiff’s professional dance scene is rich; Northern Ballet regularly visit, Cedar Lake and Clod Ensemble have graced our stages and National Dance Company Wales continue to produce awe-inspiring work on a regular basis.

But, I’m afraid, none compare to the mesmerizing work of Matthew Bourne.  For as long as I can remember, he has always been the pinnacle of perfection for me.  Not only is his choreography mind-blowing, but he always manages to challenge perceptions and expectations through his intricately crafted work.

So it’s no surprise I was absolutely over the moon when I heard he would be returning to Cardiff with his latest production, Lord of the Flies.  The cherry on top of the already delicious cake?  I would be going behind the scenes to sit in on rehearsals with the production’s local cast.

The local cast is made up of 21 boys from South Wales (and the surrounding area); these boys have had no formal training… a lot have never even stepped foot in a theatre before.

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Credit: Magenta Photography
Credit: Magenta Photography
Credit: Magenta Photography

It’s part of an exciting initiative from New Adventures to introduce a new wave of males passionate about movement into the world of the arts, with the aim to transform perceptions towards dance.  This fresh talent will play an integral role in the production, seamlessly intertwined with the professional cast members.  It’s risky and it’s daring.  But most of all, it’s exciting.

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Credit: Magenta Photography

Sitting in on one of the first rehearsals run by Welsh Re:Bourne dance ambassadors Sian Rowlands and James Morgan, it soon became clear that just because these boys were amateur didn’t mean they were going to be let off lightly.  The training was intense.  Coming from a dance background, I can safely say it was not for the faint hearted.  After a few exercises to build tension and characterization in the room, the dancers were subjected to a grueling evening of non stop sequences.  Watching the dance picked apart bit by bit was a stark reminder that this was the real deal; these boys would soon be performing on the Donald Gordon stage to near on 2,000 people as part of arguably one of the most renowned dance companies in the world.  Heck, I was jealous!

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Credit: Magenta Photography

The boys now have just over two weeks until opening night.  On the 23rd October, Ralph, Piggy, Jack et al will be brought to life with the explosive energy that Bourne prides himself on.  Anarchy will be unleashed on the Wales Millennium Centre; and I for one can’t wait.

You can still grab tickets on the WMC website.  Lord of the Flies runs from October 22 – 25.

To find out more about the production, check out the Buzz TV promotional video below.

Big love,

BB x

*Please note: this is a sponsored article*

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