Matthew Bourne

(13 January 1960 – )

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Matthew Bourne is an English choreographer. His work includes contemporary dance and dance theatre. 

He started training to be a dancer at the comparatively late age of 22. He studied Dance Theatre and Choreography at The Laban Centre graduating in 1985 but spending a further year with the college’s performance company Transitions. Matthew danced professionally for 14 years creating many roles in his own work. In 1999 he gave his final performance playing The Private Secretary in the Broadway production of Swan Lake.

Matthew Bourne was the Artistic Director of his first company, Adventures in Motion Pictures (AMP), from 1987 until 2002. During those 15 years AMP became the UK’s most innovative and popular dance/theatre company creating an enormous new audience for dance with its groundbreaking work both at home and internationally. 

In 2002 Matthew, along with Co-Director, Robert Noble, launched his current company, New Adventures, with two highly successful productions. Play Without Words premiered as part of the National Theatre’s Transformation Season and went on to win Best Entertainment at that year’s Olivier Awards. It then embarked on a world tour and premiered in New York, Los Angeles and Moscow in 2005. Matthew Bourne’s new production of Nutcracker! also premiered at Sadler’s Wells in 2002 and became an instant popular hit with audiences and critics, returning the following year for a second sell-out season. It became the first ballet to be screened by BBC1 in over 20 years and then also embarked on a world tour.

Matthews now legendary production of Swan Lake also continues to tour, with performances throughout the World and record breaking seasons in the UK. Matthew Bourne is a Resident Artist at Sadlers Wells Theatre. His company, New Adventures, has enjoyed a special relationship with the theatre and its audiences for nearly 20 years and was invited to be Resident Company in 2006Matthew has also created choreography for several major revivals of classic musicals including Cameron Mackintosh’s productions of “Oliver!” (1994 and 2009 Olivier nomination) and “My Fair Lady” (2002- Olivier Award).  In 2004 Matthew co-directed (with Richard Eyre) and choreographed (with Stephen Mear) the hit West End musical “Mary Poppins” for which he won an Olivier Award for Best Theatre Choreographer. It went on to premiere on Broadway at the New Amsterdam Theatre in 2006 earning Bourne another two Tony nominations. Matthew Bourne is the only British director to have won the Best Direction of a Musical and Best Choreography. He has been said to be the most audience-conscious artist. He does not go into detail about his works because he wants the audience to have their own interpretations.

Matthew Bourne has twice been nominated as Best Director at the Olivier Awards and his achievements in choreography have been recognized with over 30 international awards including The Evening Standard Award, South Bank Show Award, Time Out Award and the Astaire Award for Dance on Broadway. In the 2001 New Years Honours, Matthew was awarded an OBE for Services to Dance and in 2003 he was the recipient of the prestigious Hamburg Shakespeare Prize for the Arts (only the second dance recipient after Dame Margot Fonteyn!) In 2010 he was the first recipient of The British Inspiration Award (in the Arts Category).