The Red Shoes is one of the first movies which brought the world of dance to the big screen and it left a big impression on the young Matthew Bourne.

Watching it as a boy, it was a story the multi award-winning choreographer always wanted to bring to life. He first brought his version of The Red Shoes to the stage in 2016, it was a sell-out even before the premiere and went on to win two Olivier Awards, dazzling audiences both sides of the Atlantic. Now Sir Matthew and his New Adventures company are taking the show on tour again.

Set to the romantic music of golden-age Hollywood composer Bernard Herrmann, The Red Shoes is a tale of obsession, possession and one girl’s dream to be the world’s greatest dancer. Victoria Page lives to dance, but her fierce ambition turns into an emotional tug-of-war between the two men who inspire her passion.

Matthew says the 1948 Powell and Pressburger film introduced him to a “glamorous, eccentric world”.

“The Red Shoes captured dance on film for many people for the first time,” he says. “It is very influential. I saw it when I was very young, I didn’t really know anything about that world as I was more into musical theatre and film musicals.

“It was an introduction to an extraordinary world, glamorous, eccentric.”

For internationally-renowned choreographer and theatre director Matthew, The Red Shoes is about more than dance. Featuring a showpiece ballet sequence, it captures Victoria’s complex professional and personal life without words. “It was a challenge to tell the story of the characters and the central love story and conflict. All those things have to be told through dance,” says Matthew. “The larger-than-life emotions in The Red Shoes are good for dance - you’re already onto a winner with obsessive relationships, passion and conflict.”

Matthew says the story tackles meaty themes, looking at how ambition, hard work and talent isn’t enough to be at the top of your profession: “It’s also not just about being famous. It’s about the passion for the work,” he says. “For these characters, the work is more important than anything else in their lives.

“There’s also the conflict between having that sort of passion and work ethic against a relationship of some kind. That became a very universal thing about this story for our audiences - and a story that resonated beyond the dance world.

“A lot of people have that conflict in their lives between work and relationships, whether it’s their partners or other family members or their friends. I think that is where people relate to this story.”

Matthew’s production pays homage to the iconic film while creating something quite different. “We didn’t just want to ape something that came before,” he says. “We want to capture the essence and spirit of this film. It’s a spellbinding piece, it tells the story in a uniquely theatrical way.”

Matthew’s work is rooted in cinematic influences - The Car Man set Bizet’s opera Carmen in 1950s America, West Side Story-style; Play Without Words is an adaptation of Dirk Bogarde film The Servant; and Cinderella is a sweeping wartime romance set in Blitz-hit London. His groundbreaking production of Swan Lake, with an all-male swan ensemble, is featured in the film Billy Elliot, and in the West End he has directed stage adaptations of My Fair Lady and Mary Poppins.

With The Red Shoes, he ensures that each cast member gets the mood, character and feel of the period exactly right.

“They really have to do their research as it can be quite difficult for young people of today to capture that era,” he says. “The manners, the way the people are, their eccentricities and concerns are all very different.”

* The Red Shoes runs at the Alhambra from March 17-21. Call (01274) 432000.