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Review: Matthew Bourne's 'Cinderella' dances into WWII with a profound beauty

Review: Matthew Bourne's 'Cinderella' dances into WWII with a profound beauty
Liam Mower dances the part of the Angel, a sort of fairy godfather who takes the place of the traditional fairy godmother. Choreographer Matthew Bourne brings his company, New Adventures, back to L.A. for a long run of his take on the "Cinderella" story at the Ahmanson Theatre. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

In the dance world, nobody makes a case for damaged heroes as brilliantly as Matthew Bourne. In his reworkings of classic stories and scores, the British director and choreographer invariably makes the search for love reveal bedrock human imperfections — sad truths about our needs and limitations that he defines through an alternately satiric and compassionate character-dance style. Return to story.

 
Cinderella (Ashley Shaw) puts on her long white gloves as she waits backstage during the performance. Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times
A view from backstage of dancer in "Cinderella." Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times
Cinderella (Ashley Shaw) The pilot (Edwin Ray) wait backstage. Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles, CA FEBRAURY 6, 2019: Andrew Monaghan, left, dancing the role of Harry, The Pilot and
The pilot (Andrew Monaghan) dancing with Cinderella (Ashley Shaw). Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles, CA FEBRAURY 6, 2019: Ashley Shaw, left, dancing the part of Cinderella, Liam Mower,
Cinderella (Ashley Shaw), left, with the Angel (Liam Mower), center, and Harry, (Andrew Monaghan). Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles, CA FEBRAURY 6, 2019: Choreographer Matthew Bourne brings his company, New Adventures
Choreographer Matthew Bourne brings his company, New Adventures, back to L.A. for a long run of his take on the "Cinderella" story at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles, CA FEBRAURY 6, 2019: Ashley Shaw dancing the part of Cinderella comes down the stair
Cinderella (Ashley Shaw) descends the stairs at the ball in Matthew Bourne's reimagining of "Cinderella," now at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles through March 10. Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles, CA FEBRAURY 6, 2019: Alan Vincent, left, in the role of Robert, The Father and Ashle
Ballet amid the Blitz: Alan Vincent is the father, Ashley Shaw is Cinderella. Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles, CA FEBRAURY 6, 2019: Liam Mower dances the part of the Angel, left, a sort of fairy
A potent darkness in Bourne's retelling of the classic fairy tale. Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles, CA FEBRAURY 6, 2019: Andrew Monaghan, left, dancing the role of Harry, The Pilot and
The pilot (Andrew Monaghan) dancing with Cinderella (Ashley Shaw). Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles, CA FEBRAURY 6, 2019: Holding her slippers Ashley Shaw dancing the part of Cinderella
Cinderella (Ashley Shaw) and her slippers. Spoiler alert: She loses one. Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles, CA FEBRAURY 6, 2019: Choreographer Matthew Bourne brings his company, New Adventures
Bourne's tireless company, New Adventures, dancing in costumes and sets designed by Lez Brotherston. Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times
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