Matthew Bourne's Lord of the Flies heralds success of Re:Bourne youth dance project
Young dancers with no prior experience have crafted an edgy adaptation of William Golding’s novel
To credit a choreographer with changing lives sounds like hyperbole. But in the case of Matthew Bourne, it’s unquestionably true. Not only has Bourne’s accessible work (Swan Lake et al) created a legion of dance fans, but his Re:Bourne project has provided boys with life-altering experiences.
In 2011, workshops held in schools across West Dunbartonshire led to an edgy and entertaining dance adaptation of William Golding’s uncompromising novel, Lord of the Flies. Three years’ later, the production has grown legs.
‘The original Glasgow project succeeded way beyond our expectations,’ says choreographer, and Bourne’s right-hand man, Scott Ambler. ‘It was a risky and ambitious venture but the boys’ commitment, focus and desire to do something memorable was astonishing. Other cities wanted their local boys to have the same opportunity to shine, so we’ve spent two years scheduling the workshops, auditions and performances for 13 venues.’
Bourne’s team is working with boys across the UK, to stage unique productions in each area – including returning to Glasgow, where it all began. They know from experience, that those involved (most of whom had no prior dance experience) have their lives changed for the better.
‘From the original Glasgow company, several have formed their own dance group,’ says Ambler. ‘Some have decided to train full-time and hope to be professional dancers. Even the ones who didn't go on to dance afterwards are still proud to have been involved, and if the only thing some of them take away is a sense of achievement and self-worth, we'll consider that a job well done.’
Theatre Royal, Glasgow, Wed 11–Sat 14 Jun.