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Summer arts: Bourne supremacy

Matthew Bourne’s new show is a cubist dance masterpiece

By David Benedict   July 2012

Play Without Words Leicester Curve, 29th June-7th July; Sadler’s Wells, London, 12th July-5th Aug; Norwich Theatre Royal, 7th-11th Aug

Popular though competitive dance may be—more than 10m people regularly tune in to the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing—the art form as a whole is rarely regarded as intellectually demanding. That view, however, doesn’t take into account the choreographer Matthew Bourne’s extraordinary Play Without Words, touring across Britain this summer. A smouldering confection of class politics, power and sex, with a vibraphone’n’sax-drenched jazz score, it won the 2003 Olivier award for Best Entertainment. Not bad for a work, created in just five…

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