The audience at the opening night of Sir Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake at the Alhambra were given an extra treat, as the acclaimed choreographer answered questions after the spectacular performance ended.

Bourne took to the stage shortly after a lengthy standing ovation for the cast, who had enchanted the theatre with an incredible take on the classic ballet.

And he said Bradford always provides some of the best audiences of their tours.

His version of the Tchaikovsky classic mixes romance, comedy, and even a hint of horror, and has received rave reviews since it was first performed in 1995. And the New Adventures production's ability to wow crowds seems to only get stronger, as 23 years later it produced one of the most enthusiastic crowd reactions I have ever seen at the theatre.

Using the ballet's original music, the production keeps many of the original themes and imagery, but adds modern twists, such as making the swans, and the famous Black Swan, male and including scenes in nightclubs and featuring paparazzi.

Although embracing what has made ballet popular over the centuries, Bourne's version also takes the time to include some more lighthearted moments. A scene featuring a "ballet within a ballet" is a particular comic highlight, poking fun at modern audiences, stuck up elitism and ballet itself all at the same time.

An animatronic dog also brought plenty of laughs.

But what makes this version of the ballet a true classic is how the mix of incredible dancing, choreography and the original score comes together to produce powerful and hugely moving moments. Scenes featuring lengthy dances by dozens of supremely talented performers left many in the audience gobsmacked. And although Swan Lake is an often bizarre story, Bourne's production never fails to convey the emotions and feelings that the ballet is meant to bring out in its audience.

It all builds to a hugely powerful and moving final scene that really showcases the best of what live theatre can offer.

The standing ovation on the first night lasted for several minutes, and was totally deserved.

Bourne, who was knighted in 2016 for services to dance, took a seat on the stage after to answer questions from the crowd.

He revealed that the cast that had just been on the stage had only been performing together for around five weeks before the performance. And he also pointed out that most of them had not been born when his version of the ballet had first been performed, meaning that they had grown up on this version of the classic.

He told the crowd that his ballets received different reactions in different countries, and even in different parts of the UK. He pointed out that Bradford was a particularly good for crowds, with audiences willing to laugh and cheer at the right places.

New Adventures will be returning to Bradford in Spring, with a new production of Romeo and Juliet.

Swan Lake runs at the Alhambra until Saturday. For more information visit