Watch our Year in Review
Where we've been
TV broadcasts: UK
Cinema Screenings: Australia, Canada, China, Finland, Germany, India, Italy, Russia, Sweden, UK, USA
Digital Streaming Events: Brasil, Hong Kong, South Korea, UK, USA
Workshops: Russia, UK
REEL Adventures was launched in March 2020 to connect with our audiences across the UK and worldwide, providing a platform for the company to showcase our filmed and digital work.
As part of REEL Adventures, we released four Matthew Bourne productions as digital versions for our audiences to be able to enjoy our shows from home. The titles included Swan Lake, Cinderella, The Car Man, and Romeo and Juliet.
The Red Shoes also saw its broadcast premiere in the UK on Christmas Day. This was followed by it premiering in the US and Asia through streaming events with our partner venues.
Our main programme consisted of 16-weeks of content (during lockdown) focused on a different show in the repertoire each week. One of the highlights was open Company Class every weds morning on Instagram Live. Each class attracted between 200-650 participants on the live feed with further views on IGTV (Instagram TV) totalling 41,839 views. The live class was followed each week by a Q&A attended by an average of 262 viewers.
16 weeks, 13 shows and 132,909 new followers
16 classes with over 6,000 dancers for #ProWednesday
The Red Shoes, Swan Lake and Romeo and Juliet dancers completed 17 weeks of class every morning with 28 teachers
128,635 views on our #WorkshopWeekend and #DanceVenturers Films (physical phonics for KS1)
2,489 #MondayMotivation Quiz Entries
Over 200,000 views for #TuneInTuesday BTS films
33 years of history covered with #VintageAdventures
11 playlists, 227 songs and over 13 hours of blissful music curated on our #SundaySessions Spotify Playlists
Center Theater Group LA patron
A Christmas Wish is a short, stirring and poignant film devised and directed by Matthew Bourne. The film includes some of the most memorable duets from our classic shows including Edward Scissorhands, Cinderella and Nutcracker! performed by Cordelia Braithwaite, Paris Fitzpatrick, Glenn Graham, Andrew Monaghan, Liam Mower, Dominic North and Ashley Shaw on the stage at Sadler’s Wells.
As the dancers take a bow to an empty auditorium, with it comes a sense of hope for 2021 when we will return on stage, in front of our much missed loyal audiences.
The individual duets in this film were also produced in to their own films, which are available on our REEL Adventures page.
Adventures in Film was an exciting new project providing a unique opportunity for three carefully selected and talented female choreographers to work with TEA films to create bold and innovative dance films based on the New Adventures love of Storytelling.
Evolving from the New Adventures Choreographer Award (NACA), originally established by colleagues and friends in celebration of Matthew Bourne’s 50th birthday in 2010, Adventures in Film aims to bring about career developing opportunities to women from a multitude of backgrounds, experiences and collective world views; providing them with a platform to exercise and hone their skills as artists, producers and creative storytellers.
The three choreographers were selected from the phenomenal pool of talent within the New Adventures dance company. Having performed in Romeo and Juliet, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella, they were chosen for their work ethic, determination and courageous outlook on inclusive female representation in the world of performing arts, not to mention for their exceptional talent as dancers and choreographers in their own right.
During this year, we also brought to life some of our vintage shows through interviews with original casts, never before seen archival recordings, press interviews from and behind the scenes moments.
Swan Lake at 25
In 2020 Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake turned 25.
We launched a limited edition anniversary pin, raising funds for Swan Lake’s legacy Talent Development programme, Swan School, which supports and nurtures diverse, emerging artists from all backgrounds.
We also produced a range of video content around the anniversary, including a Swan make up tutorial, and interviews from some of the previous cast members from over the years including Adam Cooper, Emily Piercy, Ben Wright, Heather Habens and Will Kemp.
New Adventures fan Julie Edgars on Facebook
Freelancers Make Theatre Work
We employed our dancers to deliver a range of online classes and workshops through out the pandemic, we employed both dancers and technical teams to make dance films happen and offered bursaries for company members to pursue creative projects and continued professional development.
The Red Shoes from Home
When the pandemic hit, we were touring The Red Shoes. The last performance took place at Wimbledon New Theatre on the 14th of March 2020, after touring to 10 venues. We were due to perform at 11 further UK theatres and take the production on an International tour to Asia including Japan, China and South Korea, all of which were cancelled.
In the confines of lockdown, we created a short film together with TEAfilms Ltd, that allowed our Red Shoes company to say one final farewell, with a flourish!
Dancer Fitness and Rehab
Company Class was delivered via Zoom 4 days a week during the first lockdown to members of the Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet and The Red Shoes companies. Dance mats were provided to all dancers enabling them to safely train and exercise from home. Following this we ran rehab programmes in the Autumn and Winter which included Pilates, yoga, Strong Dance UK and strength and conditioning sessions in addition to company class. All sessions were delivered by New Adventures freelance dance artists.
Through the COVID-19 pandemic, as performing, touring and teaching dance were restricted, we launched Spring Forward, a new programme to support our company dancers and freelancers.
Through professional guidance and bursaries, Spring Forward supports company members to learn a new skill, access training, personal development or spend time in research and development for choreographic projects.
Through Spring Forward we offered a total of 59 bursaries, each up to a maximum of £2000.
Training has been undertaken in a variety of different areas of the sector including Performance/Motion Capture, Pilates, Art Therapy, Make up, Film studies, Photography, Stage Combat, Yoga for Children and Environmental Management, amongst others.
See below for the Make Up Tutorial created by Spring Forward supported freelancer Jack Parry.
We launched our first Open Company Class on Instagram in April 2020, taught by our company of Dancers and Dance Artists over 15 weeks.
After a resounding success we brought the classes back in February 2021, but this time on YouTube, ensuring our audiences could take part anytime, anywhere.
The classes are aimed at professional dancers and dancers in training, however anyone can try them out and experience our company dance classes.
We celebrated the sixth year of Overture, our professional development opportunity for emerging dance artists and teachers working in communities across England.
This year the programme took place online over six weekends. Overture is curated and led by our Resident Artist Kerry Biggin and dance practitioner Tom Hobden. 16 dancers participated in the 20-21 programme.
For the first time we ran a version of the Overture programme specifically for New Adventures dance artists.
A selected group of 10 dance artists, all at different stages of their artistic and teaching journeys took part in a paid development programme of 6 sessions over three weeks which focused on different areas of the New Adventures methodology along with opportunities to hear about other artists approaches and a chance to interrogate their own practice.
New Adventures Dance Artist
To continue our commitment to developing emerging dance talent and creating legacy from our projects, Resident Artists Kerry Biggin and Paul Smethurst have worked with eight of the Romeo and Juliet Local Cast dancers to create a unique film.
The piece has been inspired by fairies, that appear both in Sleeping Beauty and Highland Fling. Using these ethereal and mystical creatures as a starting point, the group began by exploring individual emotional states that, once asleep, manifest into fairy creatures that personify this feeling.
Over the course of 3 evenings, working remotely via the digital realm, the group created their own story; weaving together pieces of choreography from the two New Adventures productions with their own creative work, which was then filmed using the medium of zoom and edited together into this film.
This annual intensive is an opportunity for dancers in vocational training or recent graduates to spend a few days in the studio with lead New Adventures artists. 92 dancers applied from whom 21 were selected to participate, and we particularly focused on those from Black, Asian and ethnically diverse backgrounds.
The residency was an opportunity for the young dancers in training and recent graduates to learn more about the company and our artistic process along with developing new skills, supporting transition into the profession and offering individual feedback.
We continued to maintain connections with conservatoires where possible. Workshops, mock auditions and masterclasses were delivered to LIPA, Performers College, the School of Ballet Theatre and Trinity Laban.
Centre for Advanced Training (CAT)
We delivered two workshops for 80 graduating CAT students from across the different centres around the country. The dancers learnt a section from Swan Lake and experienced some of the process to create their own phrases. The workshops culminated in a sharing and Q&A with Matthew Bourne. We also delivered a workshop for 16 of the Dance East CAT alumni, working on choreography and creative tasks from Town and Country.
Online Workshops & Masterclasses
As part of our REEL Adventures programmes, we ran Pro Class through Instagram Live every Wednesday for 16 weeks. Each class reached between 200-650 participants.
In addition, we ran Re:Fuel, a 6-week online professional level intensive programme for professional dancers and those in full time vocational training. 98 participants were split into 3 different online groups who worked simultaneously using The Car Man as a stimulus to learn choreography and delve into the creative processes of the production. The intensives were led by 3 of our Principal dancers, Glenn Graham, Michela Meazza and Sam Archer.
Furthermore, 25 dancers from the local cast of our production of Romeo and Juliet in 2019 took part in an online Swan School in September 2020. This was an opportunity to deepen the dancers’ knowledge of the company and widen their understanding of the industry.
Every year, New Adventures create a curtain raiser project which responds to the themes of Matthew Bourne's shows.
Due to the pandemic, participants from Mayflower Theatre Southampton and New Hull Theatre were not able to perform, therefore they filmed themselves dancing at home and we've created a montage with the Sadler's Wells Curtain Raiser called 'What's Your Shoe?'
In September 2020, we worked in partnership with Farnham Maltings to host our first live performance event since lockdown began.
During Outdoor Adventures we were able to deliver workshops to the community, perform live duets, connect with our audiences, and preview an exclusive cinema screening of The Red Shoes.
In a spirit of connectedness, creativity and the collective joy of dancing, we created 'Play Within Film', a very special short film created in response to Matthew Bourne’s Play Without Words.
It is a product of a joyous creative project with participants who have either performed as part of Next Adventures, our over 55s company based at Farnham Maltings, appeared in our Cinderella: A Museum Adventure project at Imperial War Museum London and Imperial War Museum North, are members of Encore East, DanceEast's resident over-50s performance company or are other dancers we have connected with over the years
We created a workshop series aimed at Primary School aged children in lockdown, called DanceVenturers.
The episodes were a mix of show repertoire and general movement. When following along with our show-inspired workshops, participants learn movement from the shows, adapted for all levels. The more general movement episodes are called Physical Phonics. During each mission, the participants (or DanceVenturers) discover a new sound, and hunt down special words that contain that sound.
This year we ran workshops to a range of groups online via Zoom. The series included Re:Connect (two Nutcracker! themed workshops for approximately 100 over 55s) andRe:Kindle (five Nutcracker! schools workshops to 300 GCSE, A-level and BTEC students).
Bounce Back was a unique online weekend intensive in March 2021. 40 boys aged 14-19 took part and worked intensively with dancers Dominic North and Danny Reubens exploring repertoire from our shows
International Digital Stage
We worked with 5 partner venues in 4 countries to bring our productions to audiences worldwide through Digital Stage Streaming Events. These included:
- Center Theatre Group Los Angeles, USA (The Red Shoes, Cinderella, The Car Man, Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake)
- New York City Center, USA (Cinderella, The Car Man, Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake)
- HK Arts Festival, Hong Kong (The Red Shoes, Cinderella, Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake)
- LG Arts Center, South Korea (The Red Shoes, Cinderella, The Car Man and Romeo and Juliet)
- Dellarte Soluções Culturais (Romeo and Juliet)
Production streaming was often accompanied by a bespoke set of additional resources, including Q&As and schools workshops.
The Red Shoes, Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake and Cinderella were shown in cinemas internationally through our partnership with More2Screen (now Trafalgar Releasing). Our work was seen on the big screen in Australia, Canada, China, Finland, Germany, India, Italy, Russia, Sweden and the US, with international cinema admissions totalling 6,765.
We are committed to ensuring that New Adventures is a welcoming and inclusive organisation, and we are working towards achieving equality and diversity across all areas of our work. This is driven from the very top of the organisation by Matthew Bourne, our Leadership Team and Trustees, and extends through all members of staff, dancers and dance artists. The last 12 months have been a period of reflection and acknowledgement that there is more that we could and should be doing to help make serious and impactful change.
We received a Creative Case for Diversity rating from Arts Council England of ‘Strong’ in recognition of the company’s work to increase and celebrate diversity and representation. We are committed to doing more by listening, learning and delivering on making the changes we want to see in the world we live and work in. We carried out a company survey in the summer of 2020 to collate the experiences of inclusion and belonging at New Adventures, we are using these survey results to further inform and strengthen our work in these areas.
Training was provided to the company on Unconscious Bias and Allyship, alongside training in Inclusive and anti-racist leadership that was undertaken as part of the National Dance Coordinating Committee work. All staff and the majority of trustees attended the Inc Arts Anti-racism conference days.
The Creative Case for Diversity is a standing item on the agendas of all Board and Leadership Team meetings. The Board during 20-21 was made up of 4 females (one of whom is Chair) and 2 males and 3 of the 6 trustees are from ethnically diverse backgrounds.
Subsidised or free places are offered on all of our talent development projects and we continue to review the level at which these are offered. Our Overture programme is fully subsidised for participants with additional support offered as required to support caring or access needs.
We actively seek out and develop those who are currently underrepresented on and offstage but acknowledge that there is a lot more work to be done in this area by us. We understand the need to be proactive, not reactive, to effect change in this area. We have established partnerships with organisations who specialise in areas of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion to help us improve and strengthen our work in these areas including Tonic, Inc Arts and Creative Access. We are a PIPA (Parents and Carers in the Performing Arts) charter partner.
Registered Charity No. 1125342 Registered Company No. 06548321
KaasamCreative Content Producer
EsterAudience and Communications Manager
EmanInclusion, Access and Development Coordinator
KerryTake Part Creative Director
SuzanneAssistant to Matthew Bourne
LeahTalent Development Producer (Sabbatical)
CharlotteFinance & Operations Manager
SarahHead of Development
AlexTake Part Producer
Scott Ambler,Founder Artistic Associate
1960 - 2018
LezSet & Costume Designer, Associate Artist
PauleAssociate Artist, Lighting Designer
TerryComposer, Associate Artist
PaulSound Designer, Associate Artist
BrettMusic Director & Principal Conductor, Associate Artist
Jeanette Siddall CBE, Chair
Brenda Emmanus OBE, Vice Chair
Dr Kaneez Shaid MBE
Kenneth Tharp CBE
For Great Leap Forward Ltd
Marketing, Advertising & Press
Elaine McGowan, EMG
Martin Gray, EMG
Rebecca White, EMG
Simon Raw, RAW PR
Amy Barder, RAW PR
Over 2020/21, we were grateful to receive:
- 854 donations from 19 countries
- Almost £60,000 in support of New Adventures’ freelance artists
- Over £5,000 raised from our Swan Lake 25thAnniversary Pin Campaign supporting our Swan School talent programme
Our sincere thanks to our principal funder Arts Council England, individual donors, trusts and foundations and corporate partners for supporting our work over 2020/21
Roger de Frietas