About Us

Our Story

New Adventures is an iconic and ground-breaking British dance-theatre company, famous for telling stories with a unique theatrical twist. Since 1986, Matthew Bourne and New Adventures have delighted, inspired and nurtured people of all ages and backgrounds: audiences, artists and the next generation. We create world class productions and engaging projects, reaching thousands worldwide every year.

Under Matthew Bourne’s inspired leadership, knighted in the 2016 New Years’ Honours List for services to Dance, the Company has won the Manchester Evening News Dance Award four times and been given a Special Theatre Managers Association (TMA) award for its commitment to national touring and audience development. In 2015 Matthew Bourne received a special UK Theatre Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Theatre and in 2015 the Company also won the Stef Stefanou Outstanding Company Award at the National Dance Awards. In 2017 New Adventures won The Stage International Award in recognition of taking Sleeping Beauty to audiences across Asia in 2016, accompanied by an extensive workshop and masterclass programme.

New Adventures has received numerous international awards and 12 Olivier Award nominations, including six wins.

Since 1986 Matthew Bourne has created 13 full-length productions and a triple bill of short works. In 2016 Bourne created his award-winning production of The Red Shoes, based on the film by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger and the Hans Christian Andersen fairytale, with music by Bernard Hermann. It quickly became the company’s fastest selling tour in history and won two Olivier Awards as well as five international award nominations for its USA tour.

This award-winning repertoire has inspired and thrilled millions worldwide. Perhaps best-known for its now legendary Swan Lake with its corps de ballet of menacing male swans, New Adventures’ intriguing twists on the ballet classics also include Nutcracker!, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, The Car Man based on the opera Carmen and Highland Fling based on La Sylphide set in contemporary Glasgow. Bourne has also been inspired by film and literature in his innovative productions of Edward Scissorhands, Dorian Gray, Play Without Words and Lord of the Flies, which united professional dancers and young men with no previous dance experience. Early Adventures re-visited some of Bourne’s early works for Adventures in Motion Pictures and toured to mid-scale theatres across the UK as part of the Company’s 25th Anniversary celebrations and returned in 2017, as part of the Company’s 30th Anniversary celebrations.

In an era when dance companies are supposed to fight for funding and justify their existence, New Adventures can make an outstanding case for itself.

The Times

New Adventures tours to more UK and international venues and gives more performances each year than any other UK dance company. The Company is the British dance’s biggest export, performing seasons at the world’s most iconic venues including the Royal Albert Hall, Sydney Opera House, New York City Center, The Kennedy Center and the most prestigious Festivals such as Edinburgh, Ravenna and Chekhov International Festivals. It regularly tours to Asia and the USA.

A pioneer in taking dance to wider audiences through the medium of film, most of New Adventures’ productions have been filmed for television broadcast or cinema screenings. The recording of Swan Lake by Sky Arts 3D became the first ballet to be shot in 3D for cinema and DVD release.

Britain’s most popular and most unclassifiable dance company.

San Francisco Chronicle

New Adventures supports the artistic and professional development of artists at all stages of their careers. Investing in the future of dance and theatre, every year New Adventures 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.

We are committed to finding and developing diverse young talent from across the UK and our last annual auditions were attended by over 400 dancers. Since our production of Lord of the Flies we have been continually supporting them on their journey into training and professional work. The company have delivered various initiatives, including Swan School, two week-long intensives designed to prepare graduate level dancers for the audition process. The 2018/19 revival of Swan Lake was the first New Adventures production to feature dancers from the young cast of Lord of the Flies. New Adventures 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.

As part of our projects and workshop offering, in 2018/19 we led 510 workshop sessions with 14,893 attendances. We aim to bring thrilling and ambitious opportunities to children, young people and communities. Highlights from the past year include a Dancers in Residence performance project that involved a whole primary school perform at Waltham Forest Assembly Hall; Cinderella: A Museum Adventure in collaboration with Imperial War Museum whereby intergenerational companies performed a new dance piece at three venues in England and the formation of an over 55s performance group in the South East at our base in Farnham Maltings.

The work of New Adventures would not be possible without the generous support of our principal funder Arts Council England and supporters from the UK regions we visit and around the world.

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All New Adventures' Shows