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New Adventures Spitfire – an advertisement divertissement

Sadler’s Wells & BBC Arts present Dancing Nation
A group of athletic male dancers posed on stage

Spitfire – an advertisement divertissement

New Adventures

Choreography: Matthew Bourne


Before his legendary Swan Lake, Nutcracker! and Cinderella, Matthew Bourne created his first hit, Spitfire (1988). This hilarious work places the most famous nineteenth-century ballet showstopper ‘Pas De Quatre’ in the world of men’s underwear advertising.

Both a celebration of male vanity and an affectionate comment on the preening grandeur of the danseur noble, Spitfire was last performed in 2012. The piece featured in a triple bill celebrating New Adventures’ 25th anniversary celebrations. Here it is seen in the expanded 6-man version performed by New Adventures principal dancers, with slightly adapted choreography to suit these socially distanced times. Spitfire is a signature piece.

Watch other dance works from Sadler’s Wells and BBC Arts’ acclaimed Dancing Nation series here.

Matthew Bourne’s Spitfire, a wonderful spoof that lifts lockdown gloom with its pure, inventive joy



Director & Choreographer – Matthew Bourne
Costume Designer – Lez Brotherston
Associate Artistic Director – Etta Murfitt
Dancers – Will Bozier, Harrison Dowzell, Glenn Graham, Andrew Monaghan, Liam Mower, Dominic North


Winter [The Seasons, Op.67], performed by L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Ernest Ansermet Composed by Aleksandr Konstaninovich Glazunov, courtesy of Phillips Classics, under license from Universal Music Operations Ltd.
Pas de deux [Don Quixote], performed by London Symphony Orchestra, Richard Bonynge Composed by Ludwig Minkus, courtesy of Phillips Classics, under license from Universal Music Operations Ltd.
La Bayadère, performed by London Symphony Orchestra, Erich Gruenberg, Richard Bonynge composed by Lud

BBC Arts and Arts Council England