New Adventures

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New Adventures
New Adventures Re-Bourne Red.png
Formation 2002
Purpose Dance Company
Region served
UK and Internationally
Artistic Director
Matthew Bourne
Affiliations Sadler's Wells Theatre
Website Official website
For the spin-off novels based on Doctor Who, see Virgin New Adventures.

New Adventures is a British dance company, specialising in contemporary dance. Founded by the choreographer Matthew Bourne in 2002, the company developed from an earlier company Adventures in Motion Pictures, which was later dissolved.

Adventures in Motion Pictures[edit]

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 (works include: Spitfire, The Infernal Galop, Town and Country, Deadly Serious, Nutcracker!, Highland Fling, Edward Scissorhands, Swan Lake, Cinderella and The Car Man).

New Adventures[edit]

In 2002, Bourne launched his latest company, New Adventures, with two highly successful productions. Play Without Words premiered as part of the National Theatre's Transformations Season and went on to win Best Entertainment and Choreography at that year's Olivier Awards. It then embarked on a World Tour and premiered in New York, Los Angeles and Moscow in 2005. Bourne's revised 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.

Bourne's Highland Fling and 10th Anniversary production of Swan Lake have also reached new audiences through extensive International touring, including seasons in Asia, Australia, Russia, Europe and the USA. New Adventures has continued to revive Bourne's work, including The Car Man in 2007 and Nutcracker! in 2008.

In 2005, New Adventures presented Matthew Bourne's production of Edward Scissorhands, based on Tim Burton's classic film, received its world premiere at Sadlers Wells Theatre. After breaking box office records over an 11-week season, the production toured the UK, before international debuts in Asia and a 6-month tour of the USA. The success of New Adventures relationship with Sadler's Wells Theatre was recognised in 2006 by the invitation to become Resident Company. Matthew Bourne is also a Resident Artist at Sadlers Wells.

Bourne has also created choreography for several major revivals of classic musicals including Cameron Mackintosh's productions of Oliver! (1994) and My Fair Lady (Olivier Award 2002) as well as the National Theatre's revival of South Pacific (2001). In 2004, Bourne co-directed (with Richard Eyre) and choreographed (with Stephen Mear) the West End and Broadway hit musical Mary Poppins, for which he won an Olivier Award for Best Theatre Choreographer.

He has collaborated on projects with leading directors: Trevor Nunn, Richard Eyre, Sam Mendes, Yukio Ninagawa and John Caird, and has created dances and roles for such wide-ranging performers as: Jonathan Pryce, Lynn Seymour, Dawn French, Adam Cooper, Julie Walters, Rowan Atkinson and Michael Sheen.

His film work includes television productions of his stage work including Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake (Emmy nomination), The Car Man and Nutcracker!, alongside original work such as the John Betjamin-inspired Late Flowering Lust with Sir Nigel Hawthorne and his own AMP Company in 1993.

Bourne was the subject of a South Bank Show in 1997 and, in 1999, he presented Channel 4's Dance 4 series. The channel 4 documentary Bourne To Dance, which he also presented, was broadcast on Christmas Day 2001. His production of Swan Lake is featured in Stephen Daldry's hit film Billy Elliot.

In 2007, Bourne was contemplating a gay version of Romeo and Juliet. Despite the success of his Swan Lake, in which he altered the traditional story to be about a human male falling in love with a male swan, Bourne acknowledged the challenge of a gay Romeo and Juliet. "It's more to do with dancing than with sexuality," he said "A male dancer, whether gay or straight, fits into a relationship with a female partner very happily. It's something you're taught, and it fits, it feels right, the lifting and all that stuff. Getting away from that, making a convincing love duet, a romantic, sexual duet, for two men that is comfortable to do and comfortable to watch–I don't know if you can. I've never seen it done."[1]

Dorian Gray, based on Oscar Wilde’s gothic masterpiece, premiered at the 2008 Edinburgh Festival, and became the most successful dance production in the Festival’s 62-year history. Later in 2008, he co-directed and choreographed Cameron Mackintosh's latest revival of Oliver! with Rowan Atkinson, which is currently playing at London's Drury Lane Theatre. In 2010, New Adventures performed an adaptation of William Golding's Lord of the Flies, put together in 3 weeks of rehearsing, and staged at The Theatre Royal in Glasgow.

In 2016, Bourne is creating his 11th full-length production, The Red Shoes, based on the classic Powell and Pressburger film, with music by Bernard Herrmann. It has since been performed to sell out audiences across the UK and won two Olivier Awards in 2017 for Best Entertainment and Matthew Bourne for Best Theatre Choreographer.


Investing in the future of dance and theatre, Re:Bourne, the charitable arm of New Adventures, was formed in 2008. Every year Re:Bourne engages in inclusive projects with thousands of people of all ages and ability, as well as emerging artists across the UK. Projects have also been delivered in China, Singapore, Japan, South Korea and across the USA.

In 2014, the national tour of Lord of the Flies visited 13 cities, engaging over 8,000 young people in dance activity, many for the first time, delivering 80 performances and reaching some 75,000 people as audiences. Following the success of the show in the UK the production had its first international season at Arts Centre Melbourne, Australia in 2017.

As part of Re:Bourne’s work with emerging talent the New Adventures Choreographer Award was launched in 2010 to support and encourage the next generation of dance-makers. It has become one of the most prestigious and sought-after choreography awards for new artists and biennially showcases the work of a young choreographer. Re:Bourne continues to work with universities and conservatoires to support the next generation of artists as well as, Overture, an exceptional professional development opportunity for dance practitioners working in communities across England.

Re:Bourne delivers a range of diverse projects to support health and wellbeing. In partnership with Dementia Pathfinders, Re:Bourne works in care homes to lead dance workshops for people living with dementia.

Employing over 1,500 dancers, musicians and theatre professionals over the last decade, New Adventures supports the artistic and professional development of artists at all stages of their careers.


Associate Artists[edit]


  • 1996: Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake - Winner of Best New Dance Production (Olivier Awards)
  • 2011: Matthew Bourne's Cinderella - Winner of Outstanding Achievement in Dance - THEATRE AWARDS UK 2011 (formally The TMA Awards)
  • 2016: Critics' Circle National Dance Award : Stef Stefanou Award for outstanding company[2]
  • 2017: Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty - Winner of the International Award for The Stage Awards 2017
  • 2017: Matthew Bourne's production of The Red Shoes - Winner of the Best Entertainment Award (Olivier Awards)


  1. ^ "Swans' Way; Why Matthew Bourne's dances are different." The New Yorker (12 March 2007): 40–46.
  2. ^