|LIFE IN PROGRESS PROGRAMME INFORMATION
Cast / Creative Team / Producer credits
A Sadler’s Wells London Production
Life in Progress
Mats Ek / William Forsythe / Akram Khan / Russell Maliphant
Co-produced with Les Nuits de Fourvière, China Shanghai International Arts Festival and Sylvie Guillem
Choreographer Akram Khan
Composer Alies Sluiter published by Mushroom Music Publishing/BMG Chrysalis. In collaboration with Prathap Ramachandra & Grace Savage
Lighting Designers Adam Carrée and Lucy Carter
Costume Designer Kimie Nakano
Rehearsal Director Jose Agudo
Dancer Sylvie Guillem
Musicians Prathap Ramachandra (percussion), Grace Savage (beatbox), Alies Sluiter* (violin, voice, laptop)
World premiere: 31 March 2015, Teatro Comunale Luciano Pavarotti, Modena, Italy
*Emma Smith will replace Alies Sluiter in some venues. Please check with Sadler’s Wells
“My work grows out of the questions I don't know how to answer. I ask questions and tell stories through the body. And with this opportunity to create on Sylvie's body, which I find to be in its most poetic, transparent state, I wanted to ask something about art and time. The dancer’s body carries the memory of all the lives it has described. It gives itself away in the moment of performance, so that as soon as each image is created, it is shed, and exists only in memory. So is art then the memory of movement, and of being moved? I’m interested in the moment at which performance becomes memory, and the combination of craft, discipline, desire and letting go that underlies art and life.” Akram Khan
(The title technê is from Greek τέχνη, knowledge based in practice; the human ability to make and perform)
Choreographer William Forsythe
Composer Thom Willems
Lighting Tanja Rühl
Staging Brigel Gjoka, Riley Watts
Dancers Brigel Gjoka, Riley Watts*
World premiere 20 January 1996, Ballett Frankfurt, Städtische Bühnen Frankfurt, Germany
Version 2015 Premiere: 31 March 2015, Teatro Comunale Luciano Pavarotti, Modena
*Casting may change in some venues. Please check with Sadler’s Wells.
In the small space just in front of the curtain, just at the edge of the stage, is «Duo», a clock composed of two dancers. The dancers register time in a spiraling way, make it visible, thinking about how it fits into space. They pull time into an intricate, naked pattern and the pattern grows and unfolds as they tumble, shear, strike, reverse. Their bodies brilliant in a shimmer of skin, the dancers delicately construct a faceted puzzle of accuracy, as their breath sings of the spaces in time. Distant music appears and vanishes as the dancers follow each other through the whirling, etched quiet. Finally, they become a clock that regards the limitless by returning to where it began.
Here & After
Director & Choreographer Russell Maliphant
Lighting Designer Michael Hulls
Composer Andy Cowton
Costume Designer Stevie Stewart
Dancers Sylvie Guillem & Emanuela Montanari
World premiere: 31 March 2015, Teatro Comunale Luciano Pavarotti, Modena, Italy
“For this creation I wanted to acknowledge the past works and experiences with Sylvie, whilst moving on and exploring a vocabulary that shows contrast, working on a female duet partnership.” Russell Maliphant
Choreographer Mats Ek
Composer Ludwig van Beethoven (Piano Sonata Op.111, Arietta; Recording played by Ivo Pogorelich)
Set & Costume Designer Katrin Brännström
Lighting Designer Erik Berglund
Filmographer Elias Benxon
Dancer Sylvie Guillem
Co-producer Dansens Hus Stockholm
World premiere 5 July 2011, Sadler’s Wells, London, UK
“A woman enters a room. After a while she is ready to leave it. Ready to join others” Mats Ek
For Sadler’s Wells & Life in Progress
Artistic Director & Chief Executive Alistair Spalding
Executive Producer Suzanne Walker
Head of Touring Dawn Prentice
Producer Bia Oliveira
Producing & Touring Assistant Georgia Kersh
Marketing Manager Lucy White
Press Manager Caroline Ansdell
Production Manager Adam Carrée
Touring Production Manager Andy Downie
Company Manager Zeynep Kepekli
Sound and Video Technician Nick Rundall
With Thanks To
Fanny Bannet, Philip Bond, Farooq Chaudry, Adrian Cornes, English National Ballet, Carl Fox, Lydia Hardiman, Ian James, Jonzi D, Ruth Little, Manjunath BC, Massimo Murru, Mashitah Omar, PMB, Alexander Pereira, Tobias Round, Loesje Sanders, Alexandra Scott, Gilles Tapie.
Introduction by Sylvie Guillem
It was with a totally uncontrolled skid that I ‘performed’ my first bow 39 years ago...
At Paris Opera Ballet School, all students (nicknamed ‘little rats’) were made to bow to all professional dancers and teachers as a mark of respect.
The dancers always seemed so solemn and aloof and whenever we were in a hurry, they always seemed to appear out of nowhere, causing us to come to a skidding halt to take our bows. The very old floor, waxed and made slippery by skids from previous generations, made this task relatively dangerous.
At full speed, we tried to hold, for at least half a second, the ‘bow’: a genuflexion with arms stretched downwards in V shape, palms down, back foot pointed behind the supporting leg. And this done, off we went, ‘trotting’ to the next class...
These wobbling marks of respect were far from gracious, but for us it was a ‘Mission accomplished’!
After 39 years of practice, I have decided to take my final bow.
Next year, 2015, will be my last world tour as a dancer, with a brand new production to say goodbye with gratitude and a great deal of emotion. I will present new works by Akram Khan and Russell Maliphant, and existing pieces by Mats Ek and William Forsythe.
I have loved every moment of the last 39 years, and today, I am still loving it in the same way. So why stop? Very simply, because I want to end while I am still happy doing what I do with pride and passion.
Also... I have a friend, a sleeper agent, to whom I gave a ‘licence to kill’ in case I tried to continue longer than I should! And frankly, I’d like to spare him this task.
I started by skidding to a halt, I have been on an exhilarating journey, and now I’m about to change direction.
This is a Life in Progress. My Life.
Akram Khan is one of the most celebrated and respected dance artists today. In just over a decade he has created a body of work that has contributed significantly to the arts in the UK and abroad. His reputation has been built on the success of imaginative, highly accessible and relevant productions such as DESH, iTMOi, Vertical Road, Gnosis and zero degrees.
An instinctive and natural collaborator, Khan has been a magnet to world-class artists from other cultures and disciplines. His previous collaborators include the National Ballet of China, actress Juliette Binoche, ballerina Sylvie Guillem, choreographer/dancer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, singer Kylie Minogue, visual artists Anish Kapoor, Antony Gormley and Tim Yip, writer Hanif Kureishi and composers Steve Reich, Nitin Sawhney, Jocelyn Pook and Ben Frost.
Khan’s work is recognised as being profoundly moving, in which his intelligently crafted storytelling is effortlessly intimate and epic. Described by the Financial Times as an artist "who speaks tremendously of tremendous things", a recent highlight of his career was the creation of a section of the London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony that was received with unanimous acclaim.
Khan has been the recipient of numerous awards throughout his career including the Laurence Olivier Award, the Bessie Award (New York Dance and Performance Award), the prestigious ISPA (International Society for the Performing Arts) Distinguished Artist Award, the Herald Archangel Award at the Edinburgh International Festival, the South Bank Sky Arts Award and six Critics' Circle National Dance Awards. Khan was awarded an MBE for services to dance in 2005. He is also an Honorary Graduate of Roehampton and De Montfort Universities, and an Honorary Fellow of Trinity Laban.
Khan is an Associate Artist of Sadler’s Wells, London.
Raised in New York and initially trained in Florida with Nolan Dingman and Christa Long, Forsythe danced with the Joffrey Ballet and later the Stuttgart Ballet, where he was appointed Resident Choreographer in 1976. Over the next seven years, he created new works for the Stuttgart ensemble and other ballet companies worldwide. In 1984, he began a 20-year tenure as director of the Ballet Frankfurt, where he created works such as Artifact (1984), Impressing the Czar (1988), Kammer/Kammer (2000), and Decreation (2003).
After the closure of the Ballet Frankfurt in 2004, Forsythe established a new, more independent ensemble, The Forsythe Company. Works produced by the new ensemble include Three Atmospheric Studies (2005), Human Writes (2005), Heterotopia (2006) and Sider (2011). Forsythe’s most recent works are developed and performed exclusively by The Forsythe Company, while his earlier pieces are prominently featured in the repertoire of virtually every major ballet company in the world.
Awards received by Forsythe and his ensembles include the New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award (1988, 1998, 2004, 2007) and London’s Laurence Olivier Award (1992, 1999, 2009). Forsythe has been conveyed the title of Commandeur des Arts et Lettres (1999) by the government of France and has received the German Distinguished Service Cross (1997), the Wexner Prize (2002) and the Golden Lion of the Venice Biennale (2010).
As an educator, Forsythe is regularly invited to lecture and give workshops at universities and cultural institutions. In 2002, Forsythe was chosen as the founding Dance Mentor for The Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. Forsythe is a current A.D. White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University (2009-2015) and as of fall 2015 Professor of Dance and Artistic Advisor for the Choreographic Institute at the University of Southern California Glorya Kaufman School of Dance.
Mr. Forsythe has been appointed Associate Choreographer with the Paris Opera Ballet as of fall 2015.
Choreographer, Here & After
Russell Maliphant trained at The Royal Ballet School and graduated into Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet before leaving to pursue a career in independent dance. He danced with DV8, Michael Clark, Rosemary Butcher and Laurie Booth – with whom he was awarded a Time Out Live Award for ‘raising improvisational dance to new heights’. From 1991–1994 Maliphant studied anatomy, physiology and biomechanics, and qualified as a practitioner of the Rolf Method of Structural Integration (or Rolfing) in 1994. These studies inform both his teaching and choreographic work, along with a diverse range of body practices and techniques including classical ballet, contact improvisation, yoga, capoeira and tai chi. Since 1994 he has collaborated closely with lighting designer Michael Hulls, evolving a language where movement and light are intimately connected and the meeting point becomes a new language in itself. In 2010 he began to collaborate with the animator Jan Urbanowski. He formed Russell Maliphant Company in 1996 and has also worked with renowned companies and artists including Sylvie Guillem, Robert Lepage, Isaac Julian, BalletBoyz and Lyon Opera Ballet. In 2002 he received the Time Out Live Award for outstanding collaboration for his work Sheer and in 2003 received a South Bank Show Dance Award for the piece Choice. At the end of that year he created Broken Fall for Sylvie Guillem and Balletboyz which premiered at the Royal Opera House and received an Olivier Award for best new dance production.
Broken Fall was restaged in 2004 as part of the programme Rise and Fall, an evening comprising of three of Maliphant’s works. This received the Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for best modern choreography and toured for two years. In 2005 Sylvie Guillem invited Maliphant to create an evening of work for them both, culminating in the duet PUSH, which premiered at Sadler’s Wells and received a South Bank Show Award and an Olivier award in 2006. PUSH has since toured throughout the world. Its creation was followed by two artistically diverse collaborations: Cast No Shadow with visual artist Isaac Julien, and Eonnagata, which was created and performed with theatre director Robert Lepage and Sylvie Guillem.
In 2009 Maliphant created part one of Afterlight for In the Spirit of Diaghilev, Sadler’s Wells’ celebration of Les Ballets Russes. This received the Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for best modern choreography in 2010 and was also nominated for an Olivier Award. Parts two and three of Afterlight followed and toured as a full evening together with part one. His next company work, The Rodin Project, opened at Theatre National de Chaillot in Paris at the end of January 2012 before touring the UK, Europe and the USA and was adapted for film, in collaboration with the directors Warren Du Preez and Nick Thornton Jones, re-titled Erebus.
In 2013 Maliphant created Fallen for the BalletBoyz, which was awarded the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards for best modern choreography, and three pieces for his own company in the new Still Current evening. Also in 2013 he choreographed commercials for Lexus, Audi and Spotify. In 2014 Maliphant choreographed Spiral Pass for Bayerisches Staatsballett and Second Breath for English National Ballet, which was part of their Lest We Forget evening, presented to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the start of the First World War.
Russell Maliphant became an Associate Artist of Sadler’s Wells in 2005 and was awarded an honorary doctorate of arts from Plymouth University in 2011.
Mats Ek is the son of Anders Ek, one of Sweden’s most celebrated actors, and Birgit Cullberg, choreographer and artistic director for the Cullberg Ballet. He was born in Malmö in 1945 and began a short period of dance studies in 1962 with Donya Feuer in Stockholm. In addition, he later took theatre studies in Norrköping. From 1966–1973 he worked as stage director and assistant at the Royal Dramatic Theater of Sweden and the Marionette Theatre in Stockholm. In 1972 he re-established his contact with dance, and in 1973 began dancing with the Cullberg Ballet.
In 1974/75, he was a member of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Düsseldorf, then made his choreographic debut in 1976 with The Officer’s Servant for the Cullberg Ballet, the first of many of his works formed on them. Through such early pieces as Soweto (1977) and The House of Bernarda (1978), he began to gain an international profile, one that was strengthened in Sleeping Beauty (1996) for the Hamburg Ballet. After leaving the Cullberg Ballet in 1993 he continued to be prolific in his choreography, producing such works as She was Black (1995), and the TV ballet Smoke (1995), which he reworked as Solo for Two the following year. He has also become a guest choreographer for the leading companies of the world, working with – among many others – the Royal Swedish Opera, the Norwegian Opera, Stuttgart Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, La Scala, Metropolitan Opera, New York, and Paris Opera Ballet. In 2008 he created Place, a pas de deux for Ana Laguna and Mikhail Baryshnikov, and Black Radish for the Royal Swedish Ballet.
Ek’s style has become distinctive for its imaginative interpretations of storylines, in combination with a lyrical approach which conveys through movement the underlying emotions and feelings rather than just the narrative detail. He has retained his interest in other forms of theatre, staging productions of plays including Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta (Orion Theatre, Stockholm, 1998) and Molière’s Don Juan (1999); Racine’s Andromaque (2002) and Strindberg’s A Dream Play (2006) for the Royal Dramatic Theatre, Stockholm. In 2007 he staged Gluck’s Orphée for the Royal Swedish Opera and in 2010 he staged a production of The Cherry Orchard for the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm, and premiered in Moscow. In 2013, he created Juliet and Romeo for Royal Opera Ballet in Stockholm.
Updated March 2015 (original by John Percival)
Pure physical prowess was the beginning of Sylvie Guillem’s career, but it was theatre that seduced her and made her the great star of her generation. Born in Paris, she began as a gymnast with Olympic hopes, but at 11 when she and her group attended the Paris Opera’s ballet school for polishing, she switched ambitions. The teachers accepted her with delight, bowled over by her extraordinary physique, amazing feet, tremendous jump, and equally by her intelligence and determination. Already as a student she attracted attention in the school performances of ballets by David Lichine, Albert Aveline and Attilio Labis. Joining the Paris Company at 16, she raced right up the hierarchy, winning promotion every year in the annual competitions.
Rudolf Nureyev, appointed artistic director of the company as she began her third year, gave her a small role in his debut production, Raymonda, quickly followed by others as he continued diversifying the repertoire. Her swift, light technique proved radiant in the “Shades” solos of his Bayadère vision scene, her dancing in Balanchine’s Divertimento No 15 showed style. Even more notably, she danced everyone else off stage in Rudi van Dantzig’s No Man’s Land, her powerful dramatic sense creating a convincing portrait of tension and tenderness, anxiety and determined self-sufficiency. In December 1984, aged 19 (and only five days after she had won promotion to première danseuse ranking), Nureyev appointed her étoile, star dancer, coming on stage at the end of her first Swan Lake to make the announcement publicly.
Over the next few years many visiting choreographers put her into their creations. William Forsythe led the way with France Danse and later gave her the central role of In the middle, somewhat elevated. Maurice Béjart made Mouvements Rythmes Etudes and Arépo featuring her; she stood out in Carole Armitage’s GV10 and John Neumeier made a brilliant solo for her in Magnificat. Especially influential was the experience of creating Robert Wilson’s minimalist Le Martyre de St Sébastian. Jerome Robbins chose to mount his In Memory of… specially for her, and she was prominent in the company’s Antony Tudor programme and in MacMillan’s Song of the Earth, also in other works by Balanchine, Béjart and Lifar. Naturally she danced the big classics too: Nureyev particularly liked her in his Don Quixote (“like champagne”, he said), and in 1986 he made the title part in his Hollywood-based Cinderella for her.
However, because the Opéra’s administration would not change her contract to make it easier for her to accept invitations abroad, in 1988 she resigned and made London her main base, with a guest contract at The Royal Ballet. Her roles there have included, besides the classics, Ashton’s Birthday Offering, Cinderella, Marguerite and Armand (Fonteyn’s first replacement) and Month in the Country, MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet, Manon, Prince of the Pagodas and Winter Dreams, and Robbins’s The Concert. Her wish for a wider range inspired Royal Ballet productions of Mats Ek’s Carmen and Forsythe’s Herman Schmerman, Steptext and the new Firsttext, and several showpiece dances were given only for her: Robbins’s Other Dances, Béjart’s La Luna, also Victor Gsovsky’s virtuosic Grand Pas Classique, to which she added an unexpected touch of humour.
Travelling worldwide to perform with many companies (including guest appearances at the Opéra), she took further opportunities to enlarge her repertoire, including Rostislav Zakharov’s Fountain of Bakhchisarai for the Kirov Ballet (choosing to play the tough wife Zarema, not Ulanova’s romantic Polish princess) and Agnes de Mille’s Fall River Legend with American Ballet Theatre. Béjart created three further ballets for her (including SissiImpératrice, about the eccentricities of the Austro-Hungarian Empress Elisabeth) and cast her in two of his most famous works, Bolero and The Rite of Spring. Mats Ek made two filmed ballets for her with special effects, Wet Woman and Smoke. Collaborations with the film maker Francoise Va Han have documented parts of her career and included her own improvisations, also a strange walking around solo for her, Blue Yellow, commissioned from the independent British choreographer Jonathan Burrows.
Guillem’s interest in modern-dance choreography led her to the experiment of putting on versions of two solos by the German expressionist pioneer Mary Wigman, Summer Dance and The Witch’s Dance, which she showed in an experimental programme at The Hague in 1998. In contrast, that same year she was persuaded by Jorma Uotinen, then director of the Finnish National Ballet, to stage her own new production of one of the oldest classical ballets, Giselle. Her purpose, she said, was to restore the logic of the narrative and set it in a more plausible village context. The interesting result was performed by the Finnish company in Helsinki and Paris, then reworked for the Ballet of La Scala, Milan, who showed it also at the New York Met, Covent Garden, Los Angeles and on Spanish and Italian tours.
Maybe this could indicate a possible future for her activities, but for the present Guillem seems largely to have given up traditional classical ballet, in favour of modern choreography. Her current activities effectively began in December 2003 when, at her own urging, she collaborated with the dancers Michael Nunn and William Trevitt and the choreographer Russell Maliphant on a creation, Broken Fall, premiered at Covent Garden Opera House on a joint programme with The Royal Ballet. This led, again with Nunn and Trevitt, to an all-Maliphant programme including a reworked solo for her, given in two seasons at Sadler’s Wells, also in France, Japan, Italy, Switzerland and Germany. And in turn that has led to the present second Maliphant evening, PUSH with two further premieres, another solo for her and the duet for Guillem and Maliphant, Push. PUSH was followed in 2006 by Sacred Monsters, a new collaboration with Akram Khan, which premiered at Sadler’s Wells. In 2009 Guillem collaborated with Russell Maliphant and Robert Lepage for Eonnagata. Those productions have toured extensively across Europe, America, Asia and Australia. In 2011, Guillem designed a programme to pay tribute to three of today’s greatest choreographers: Mats Ek, William Forsythe and Jiři Kylián – the first time their work has been on the same bill. The title of the evening, 6000 miles away, was an homage to the people of Japan, where she has danced every year for the last 30 years, who suffered the devastating effects of the Tsunami when she was rehearsing in London.
In 2012, Guillem was awarded a Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement by the Venice Biennale. In the dance world, only the choreographers William Forsythe and Caroline Carson have been awarded such an accolade before her. And in 2015, she received a special award at the Olivier Awards, celebrating her achievements over the course of her career.
After that, who can tell – but it is impossible to believe that the dance world will lack a strong input of whatever sort from the unique (and much decorated — Officer de la Légion d’Honneur, Commandeur dans l’Ordre National du Mérite, Officier des Arts et Lettres, and in Britain an honorary CBE) Sylvie Guillem.
Dancer, Here & After
Emanuela Montanari joined the corps de ballet of the Teatro alla Scala in Milan in 1994 and is currently a soloist with the company. Having worked with choreographers such as Mauro Bigonzetti, William Forsythe and Roland Petit, it was the encounter with Sylvie Guillem that gave her the chance to further develop her skills. In June 2001, Guillem chose her to perform in the role of Myrtha in a new production of Giselle at La Scala and on tour in New York, Los Angeles and London. Guillem later left her to perform the leading role next to etoile Massimo Murru, in performances at La Scala in 2001 and on the Company’s tour in Spain. In 2003, Guillem gave her the opportunity to dance the role of Irina in Winter Dreams by Kenneth MacMillan on tour in Japan. At La Scala, she danced the roles of Maria in Annonciation and the female lead in Le Parc, both by choreographer Angelin Preljocaj. She performed as Bianca in The Taming of the Shrew by John Cranko, as Bella in La Chauve-souris by Roland Petit and as Tatiana in Cranko’s Onegin. Again with Massimo Murru, she danced John Neumeier’s Daphnis and Chloe (Chloe) and Lady of the Camellias (Marguerite Gautier), as well as MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet and Petit’s L'Arlésienne in the evenings devoted to his work at La Scala in September 2008. In 2009, she danced one of the main pas de deux of Petit’s Pink Floyd Ballet at La Scala and in the following tour. In autumn that year, she debuted in Yvette Chauviré’s version of Giselle next to Massimo Murru at La Scala. In Serata Béjart, an evening dedicated to the French choreographer’s work opening La Scala’s 2009-10 season, she danced the role of the Chosen One in The Rite of Spring. In Serata Forsythe, presenting the work of the American choreographer, she performed one of the leading roles in Artifact Suite. She debuted in Frederick Ashton’s Marguerite and Armand next to Massimo Murru and danced Juliet’s role in Sasha Waltz’s version of Romeo and Juliet, both at La Scala and abroad. In Serata Ratmansky, devoted to the Russian choreographer, she danced one of the leading roles in the work Opera.
Brigel Gjoka is a versatile artist based in Germany. He was born in Albania and trained in Tirana Ballet School, and at Rosella Hightower in Cannes (from 2004 – 2006) where he was member of Cannes Jeune Ballet.
In 2006 he became part of the Ballet De L’Opera National Du Rhin, where he had the opportunity to perform different roles and work with choreographers from the international dance scene. Wanting to expand his vision, he joined Staatstheater Mainz in 2009 for one season, and Nederlands Dans Theater in 2010.
2011 was the year where he became a member of the prestigious The Forsythe Company where he participated on new creations and also performed a wide range of William Forsythe’s repertory, until the closure of the company in August 2015.
As a young upcoming choreographer, Gjoka’s work has been shown in Malaysia, Pakistan under the auspices of the Goethe Institute, Albania and Italy where he received in 2013 Giornale della Danza Award for Best Upcoming Choreographer for his creation SwTH with Maggio Danza.
Since 2014 he directed the platform Dance’s Starts Up for professional dancers based in Bologna, Italy.
Riley Watts is a dancer, teacher and researcher from Maine, USA. He studied dance at the Walnut Hill School for the Arts and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from The Juilliard School in NYC. He has worked professionally with the Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Bern Ballet, Netherlands Dance Theater 2, and most recently The Forsythe Company in Frankfurt, Germany. In addition to performing internationally, he frequently gives dance improvisation workshops for people of all ranges of age and experience. He is an Associate Researcher with Motion Bank's Dance Engaging Science workgroup through which he develops interdisciplinary research between neuroscience and dance. He has recently co-authored an article entitled ''Doing Duo -- a case study of entrainment in William Forsythe's choreography, Duo'' in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience.
Musician, (Percussion) technê
Prathap Ramachandra is an internationally acclaimed South Indian percussionist.
Prathap specialises in playing Mridangam, Ghatam, Khanjira and also rendering Konnakool (rendering percussion syllables orally).
In his journey as a professional musician, Prathap has provided accompaniment to some of the most world-renowned Indian artists and Western dance and music performers. His cross-cultural collaborations in music and dance have allowed him to craft an interesting approach to Indian rhythms.
His unique approach to percussion has led to him creating his own band, 'Rhythm Yatra' (Journey Of Rhythms) which showcases the flamboyant side of Indian classical music. Prathap also heads the percussion team as Percussion Conductor for Britain’s only Indian youth orchestra SAMYO.
Born and bought up in India, Prathap is deeply rooted in Indian Classical Music. He had his initial training under his brother Prakash Ramachandra and advance training under K N Krishnamurthy.
Prathap has taken his sounds to some of the biggest stages in the world and has performed in some of the biggest festivals around the globe.
Musician, (Beatbox) technê
Grace Savage has twice been crowned an official UK Beatbox Champion and is quickly establishing a name for herself in the music industry as a distinctive solo artist. Since being spotted by producer/songwriter Dee Adam she has been working hard in the studio to create the unique sound of her debut album.
Fronting a live band, beatboxing and singing, she has shared the main stage at ‘As One’ festival with the likes of Rita Ora and Katy B, supported Labrinth at Kent Uni Summer Ball, as well as performing a solo set at the Rumshack at Glastonbury festival last summer and supporting Newton Faulkner on his UK tour, culminating in two nights at the Shepherds Bush Empire, London.
Grace recently made her SBTV debut with her loop station cover of BANKS 'waiting game' which caught the eye of SBTV founder Jamal Edwards on twitter and her track 'Diamonds on your Skin' was recently crowned the favourite of the show by the panel on BBC INTRODUCING Devon.
Grace has recently been listed as one of ELLE UK's 'Top 100 inspiring women' alongside the likes of Angelina Jolie and Oprah Winfrey. For her acting work, she was selected as one of the Guardian's 'Top Ten Standout Theatrical Performances' of 2014 for her role as ‘Jade’ in Home at The National Theatre. The Guardian also recently ran a feature on Grace as a champion beatboxer 'Raising her Voice for Women' in her solo theatre show Blind.
2015 will see Grace releasing and promoting her debut EP of original music and performing her solo theatre show 'BLIND' at Soho Theatre for a two week run.
Musician (Violin) technê
Emma is a member of the Elysian Quartet, an experimental string quartet who exclusively play contemporary and improvised music. They have performed all over the world in a multitude of diverse scenarios: concert halls, theatres, sweaty clubs, a volcano, helicopters, wild meadows, beaches, fire sculptures, forests and once in a barn being dive bombed by bats.They have worked with Meredith Monk, Keith Tippett, Lau and Kate Tempest to name a few. Emma also plays violin, bass guitar and sings in various bands, including Serafina Steer, James Yorkston and her own band, Geese.
Composer & Musician (Violin, Voice & Laptop), technê
Alies has composed for feature films, documentaries, television (CNN, BBC, ABC, SBS and Foxtel), music, theatre and dance productions. She is also a multi-instrumentalist who has enjoyed guest lecturing in Film Scoring and Dramaturgy at Central St. Martins University of the Arts (London) and the Elder Conservatorium, University of Adelaide.
She has worked with a diverse range of artists including composers Nitin Sawhney and Phillip Sheppard, musicians David Helfgott and Ray Chen, singers Faheem Mazhar, Netsayi Chigwendere, Hugh Jackman and Natalie Imbruglia, choreographers Akram Khan, Lin Hwai-min and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, ballerina Sylvie Guillem, sculptor Antony Gormley and The Shaolin Monks of China.
Alies has been the recipient of many awards, including The 2015 Sir John Monash Scholarship, Australia’s most prestigious postgraduate award, Dame Joan Sutherland Award, selection for Berlinale Talent Campus (Berlin, Germany) with Australian Film Commission and Australian Embassy travel grants and in 2013 she was awarded a mentorship with Fuse Presents to attend the SXSW conference in Austin, Texas, USA.
Other career highlights have included musically directing Netsayi’s European and Asian tours (2007-2009), composing and producing the critically acclaimed Picture Box Orchestra Album (2012), and composer commissions from Restrung Festival (Brisbane Powerhouse), Adelaide Film Festival, Adelaide Festival Centre’s InSpace Program, Southbank Centre (UK) and Cloudgate Dance Company (Taiwan).
Alies is currently recording her second Picture Box Orchestra album after a sell out tour that included performances at festivals such as WOMADelaide, Bellingen Global Carnival and the Nannup Music Festival.
Lighting Designer, technê
Adam Carrée studied lighting design at Rose Bruford College, graduating in 1997. He then went on to work with Central St Martins based at their Cochrane theatre, working annually on the Peter Williams Design for Dance seasons, collaborating with design students from Central St Martins, dancers and choreographers from Royal Academy of Dance, Central School of Ballet, London Studio Centre and Rambert School. Since then he has gone on to work in theatre, dance and opera. Carrée has worked on a number of projects with Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. He collaborated with Antony Gormley and Cherkaoui on Sutra and Babel; other collaborations include Faun, Play, Puz/zle, 4D and recently m¡longa. Lighting designs for other companies include: Epson Downs and Hobson’s Choice for Drama Centre London, A Taste of Mangoes for Tara Arts, Flavio for Early Opera Company, RSVP with Philine Janssens for The Place Prize, Rites/Before Night Falls, Shattered, Second Grace and Gameshow for Company Chameleon, The Cat Who Ran, The Tempest for Unicorn Theatre, For The Best with
Mark Storor and the Unicorn Theatre & Party for Freedom with Oreet Ashrey, for ArtAngel.
He recently did the lighting design for Kate Prince and Tommy Franzen’s Smile as part of The Associates evening at Sadler’s Wells.
Lighting Designer, technê
Knight of Illumination Award for Dance 2008 for Chroma.
Lucy’s many collaborations with Wayne McGregor include: Borderlands (San Francisco Ballet), FAR, Dyad 1909, Entity, Amu, AtaXia, Nemesis, Digito1 (Wayne McGregor | Random Dance); Raven Girl, Live Fire Exercise, Limen, Infra, Chroma, Qualia (Royal Ballet, London); Dido and Aeneas and Acis and
Galatea (Royal Opera/Royal Ballet); Outlier (New York City Ballet); Dyad 1929 (Australian Ballet); Kirikou and Karaba (musical); L’Anatomie de la Sensation, Genus (Paris Opéra Ballet); Skindex and Renature (Netherlands Dance Theatre); 2 Human (ENB); Yantra and Nautilus (Stuttgart Ballet); Chroma (Bolshoi, Canadian National Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet); Infra (Joffrey Ballet, Chicago).
Current and recent opera: Wasp Factory by Ben Frost, text by David Pountney based on the novel by Iain Banks (Bregenz Festival, Linbury at the ROH and Berlin Hebbel Theatre); Grimes on the Beach (Aldeburgh Festival 2013) dir. Tim Albery; Lohengrin (Welsh National Opera and Warsaw); Maria Stuarda (Opera North) dir. Antony McDonald; The Adventures of Mr Broucek (Opera North and Scottish Opera) dir. John Fulljames; Parthenogenis (ROH2) dir Katie Mitchell; SUM (ROH2) with dir. Wayne McGregor.
Costume Designer, technê
Kimie Nakano studied literature at Musashino University in Tokyo, theatre costume at Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts et Techniques du Théâtre in Paris and has a theatre design MA from Wimbledon College of Art in London.
Designs for Akram Khan Company include set and costume for Vertical Road and costume for DUST (English National Ballet’s Lest We Forget), iTMOi, torobaka, Gnosis, Kaash and The Rashomon Effect (National Youth Dance Company).
Other set and costume designs for dance include Carmen for The Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre choreographed by Didy Veldman, The Little Prince for Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal choreographed by Didy Veldman, Eda Megumi 8:15 for Rambert Dance Company, and Sand flower (Maastright Festival Award) with Megumi Nakamura.
Costume designs include Now Is at Edinburgh International Festival and Timeless, WITHIN for Aditi Mangaldas Dance Company, The Mustard Seed choreographed by Miguel Altunaga for Rambert Dance Company, Premieres Plus Carlos and Mural Study for Van Huynh Dance Company and A Thousand Shepherds choreographed by Jose Agudo.
Set and costume design for opera and theatre includes Yabu no Naka, a modern noh/kyogen play (Tokyo Art Festival Award), directed by Mansai Nomura, the Beckett Festival for Theatre National Populaire, The Oslo Experiment at Stratos Oslo, 2 Graves at Arts Theatre, La Nuit du Train de la Voie Lactée directed by Hirata Oriza, Theatre de Sartrouville – CDN, Michael Morpugo’s Kensuke’s Kingdom for Polka Theatre Company.
Costume design for Shadow of Memory the commemoration of the 20 anniversary Kwibuka ceremony in Rwanda.
Directorial credits include Snow (with three blind singers at ENO studio).
Currently working on set and costumes for Tristan und Isolde (Opera) directed by Carmen Jakobi, a new piece for Rambert Dance Company, The Moon Opera by Yabin Wang and for a new feature film.
Rehearsal Director, technê
Jose started his career in Andalusia where he began performing as a Flamenco dancer. Slowly the world of contemporary dance became more visible and he went to study at Centro Andaluz de Danza in Seville and at the Choreographic Center of Valencia. During this time Jose created work for Certamen Coreografico de Madrid and Certamen Coreografico de Andalucia, receiving awards both as a dancer and as a choreographer.
Since his departure from Spain, Jose has performed with Charleroi/Danses, Ballet de Marseille, T.R.A.S.H, Shobana Jeyasingh Dance and Akram Khan Company.
In 2008/9 Jose was artist in residence at Deda, UK where he created the piece 4m2, a duet with Claire Cunningham and composer Scanner. The piece toured internationally and was selected by the National Dance Network (NDN) to tour with Dance3 as one of the ‘next generation of dance makers’ in the UK.
Recent choreographic commissions include; Ki for Phoenix Dance Theatre; Time/Dropper, with the support of Deda and gDA; A Thousand Shepherds for ACE Dance and Music; and Arctic for LCDS. Jose is interested in the collaborative process, working with composers such as Scanner and Vinz “The Artist”, costume designer Kimie Nakano and Elisabeth, and dramaturge Lou Cope.
He will create new work for Zfin Malta Dance Emsemble, English National Ballet School and Intoto Dance Co at London Studio Centre.
Jose has worked for Akram Khan Company for the last 4 years collaborating as a rehearsal director and shadow for DESH; movement assistant and dancer for the 2012 London Olympic Games opening ceremony; assistant choreographer and dancer for iTMOi and rehearsal director for TOROBAKA, Khan’s new duet collaboration with Flamenco pioneer Israel Galvan. During 2015 he will be assistant choreographer for ‘Until the Lions’ and the adaptation of Akram’s award winning solo DESH for young audience ‘Chotto Desh’.
Akram invited Jose to be a rehearsal director for technê.
Thom Willems was born in 1955 in Arnheim in The Netherlands. He studied at the Royal Music Conservatory in The Hague, electronic composition with Jan Boerman and instrumental composition with Louis Andriesssen. When in 1984 William Forsythe became director of the ballet of the Frankfurt Opera, Willems was involved from the beginning, because Forsythe greatly valued his music on account of the images and structures he created. He composed the music for numerous of his works.
In 1987 he achieved international success with the piece In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated that he created together with Forsythe for nine dancers of the Paris Opéra. Into the late eighties Willems used sound recordings for his electronic music and his music collages, manipulated them rhythmically. By now the composer works with the most advanced computer technology. In the beginning Forsythe still explained his conceptions as to construction of scenery, the energy, the number of dancers and the duration of the piece. Based on these concepts Willems set out to compose the music. Today Willems proposes serial tonal sequences which he keeps changing and not only during the time of rehearsals, but also after the premiere and during performances – quite in keeping with Forsythe’s favorite method of “work in progress”.
Credits include: Impressing the Czar (1988), Limb’s Theorem (1990), The Loss of Small Detail (1991), A L I E / N A(C)TION (1992), Eidos: Telos (1995), One Flat Thing, reproduced (2000) and Heterotopia (2006). In 2007 he was involved with Tadao Ando’s research centre for design, 21_21 Design Sight in Tokyo and in 2008 with Matthew Ritchie's installation The Morning Line for Thyssen Bornemisza Art Contemporary.
Lighting Designer, DUO2015
Tanja Rühl was born and resides in Germany. She began her theatrical engineering apprenticeship in 1999 at the Frankfurt Opera House. After completion of the apprenticeship with distinction in 2002, Tanja joined Ballet Frankfurt under the artistic direction of William Forsythe. She was promoted to Lighting Supervisor as the company reformed to The Forsythe Company in 2005.
Upon completing her masters in theatrical engineering (majoring in lighting). Tanja was artistically promoted to lighting designer, mostly in collaboration with her colleague in the company’s lighting department.
As a member of the Forsythe Productions team, Tanja acts as technical and design consultant, for international ballet and dance companies who present Forsythe’s work.
Tanja has left The Forsythe Company in 2014, and is now working as a freelance lighting designer in performing arts, collaborating with international choreographers, companies and artists.
Lighting Designer, Here & After
Michael trained in dance and theatre at Dartington College and in 1992 was awarded a bursary by the Arts Council to attend dance lighting workshops with Jennifer Tipton in New York.
Over the last 20 years Michael has worked exclusively in dance, particularly with choreographer Russell Maliphant, and established a reputation as a “choreographer of light”. Their collaborations have won international critical acclaim and many awards: Sheer won a Time Out Award for Outstanding Collaboration, Choice won a South Bank Show Dance Award, PUSH, with Sylvie Guillem, won four major awards including the Olivier for Best New Dance Production and Afterlight won two Critics Circle awards.
Michael and Russell also collaborated on Broken Fall, commissioned by Ballet Boyz, which also featured Sylvie Guillem and won the 2004 Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production. Fallen, their most recent work for Ballet Boyz, won the 2014 Critics Circle Award for Best Modern Choreography. In 2007, Michael and Russell’s work was the subject of Ballet Boyz’s Channel 4 documentary Light and Dance and The Daily Telegraph hailed their collaboration as “possibly the most important creative partnership in modern British dance”. Eonnagata, Michael’s collaboration with Sylvie Guillem, Robert Lepage and Russell Maliphant, for which Michael won the 2009 Knight of Illumination Award for Dance, opened at Sadler’s Wells and, along with Afterlight, led to Michael being nominated for a second Knight of Illumination Award and for the 2010 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance.
Michael has worked over many years with the choreographer Akram Khan, including on his full length solo DESH, winner of the 2012 Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production, the 2012 TMA Outstanding Achievement in Dance Award and, in 2014, a Bessie award in New York. Most recently, he lit TOROBAKA, Akram’s highly acclaimed duet with flamenco virtuoso Israel Galvan. He has also worked with the dancers and choreographers Laurie Booth, Jonathan Burrows, Liam Scarlett, Jonathan Goddard and Javier de Frutos and with ballet companies in Germany, the Netherlands, France, Norway and the US, as well as in the UK.
In 2009, Michael became an Associate Artist of Sadler’s Wells, the first non-choreographer to do so. In 2010, his contribution to dance was recognised with his entry into the Oxford Dictionary of Dance, where he joins Jean Rosenthal, Jennifer Tipton and John B Read as only the fourth lighting designer to be given an entry. Michael was nominated for the 2012 Theatre Managers Association award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance for his “brilliant contribution to lighting for dance; in particular for DESH, Torsion and The Rodin Project”. In 2014 Michael received the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance.
Composer, Here & After
Originally trained in theatre and dance at Dartington College of Arts, Andy Cowton started composing music in 1990 after studying electro-acoustic music at Morely College. Since then he has collaborated and written numerous scores for film, documentary as well as contemporary dance.
Andy's first collaboration with Russell Maliphant was in 1996 on Unspoken. Since then he has continued to work closely with Russell throughout his career, notably writing the score for PUSH with Sylvie Guillem (Olivier and South Bank Awards) and most recently on Second Breath for the English National Ballet, which premiered at the Barbican Theatre and Still Current for Sadler’s Wells.
His numerous dance scores also include work with Aakash Odedra, Ballet Boyz, Wayne McGregor, Akram Khan, Shobana Jeyasingh, Fyn Walker and Krakeel for which he received a Time Out Award.
He has also written extensively for television documentary and film, from the early days of BBC’s Modern Times, to Isaac Julien's recently exhibited multiscreen film installation Playtime (Metro Pictures NY : Victoria Miro Gallery London) Rosa Rogers' controversial film Casablanca Calling, a portrayal of women imam workers in Morocco is currently touring international film festivals, as is Paul Bush' award winning animation LAY BARE.
Future projects include a sound installation with lighting designer Michael Hulls, commissioned by Sadler’s Wells and Wild Geese, a dance theatre project which is being created for the Taiyuan Dance Company in China.
Costume Designer, Here & After
Formally one half of the innovative and influential fashion design label BodyMap, Stevie now works with top creative names in fashion, music, film and advertising as a costume, set and production designer and fashion stylist.
In the dance world, she began collaborating with Michael Clark in 1984, creating memorable costumes for many of his productions. She has also costumed Rambert Dance Company and Jean Abreau. She has had previous collaborations with Russell Maliphant Company and worked with him on Afterlight and Still Current.
Other theatrical collaborations include: costume design for Jan-Willem van den Bosch’s Mother Courage and her Children (Graeae Theatre Company) and costume designs for The Importance of Being Earnest directed by David Fielding (Bristol Old Vic). Film credits include: production and costume designer for Jan Dunn’s Ruby Blue, costume designer for Baillie Walsh’s Flashbacks of a Fool starring Daniel Craig and costume and production design for Jan Dunn’s The Calling.
Stevie has also designed costumes for several international music tours including Kylie Minogue’s KYLIEX2008, Show Girl and Homecoming international tours, as well as The Circus starring Britney Spears Tour 2009.
Recently she has costumed Kylie Minogue’s Aphrodite tour, Leona Lewis’ tour and Westlife’s tour. Stevie worked on William Baker’s The Hurly Burly Show as costume and set designer.
Set & Costume Designer, Bye
Katrin studied at the Academy of Art in Italy at the beginning of the 1990s and has worked as a set and costume designer for stage, film and exhibitions ever since. She has created designs for over 50 stage productions throughout her career, and her involvement in Bye marks her first project for Mats Ek as a designer. She is currently involved on two theatre productions; one for Folkteatern Gälve in Swenden and another in Vassa, Finland, as well as a big exhibition on Marie Curie at the Nobelmuseum in Stockholm.
Lighting Designer, Bye
Swedish lighting designer Erik Berglund has been working in dance, opera and theatre productions all over the world for over 20 years. His recent designs this year include The Rite of Spring by Johan Inger at The Royal Opera Ballet in Stockholm and Radish by Mats Ek for Oper Am Rhein.
Sadler’s Wells is a world-leading dance house presenting a vibrant, year-round programme of dance of every kind: from tango to hip hop, flamenco, ballet, Bollywood and cutting-edge contemporary dance. It welcomes audiences of over 500,000 to its three London venues each year.
In addition to bringing the best international and UK dance to London, Sadler’s Wells commissions and produces new work for its stages and tours it to major arts venues and festivals around the world, such as the Sydney Opera House, the Lincoln Center in New York, the Hong Kong Festival, the Berliner Festspiele, the Theatre National de Chaillot in Paris, the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City and the National Centre for Performing Arts in Beijing. Since 2005, Sadler’s Wells has helped to bring over 90 productions to the stage, many of which have received international awards. These include PUSH with Sylvie Guillem and Russell Maliphant, Sutra and m¡longa, choreographed by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui.
In the last nine years, Sadler’s Wells’ productions have toured to 233 venues in 164 cities in the UK and overseas. In 2013-14 alone, a total audience of 121,000 saw 13 touring productions in 50 international cities.
Sadler’s Wells’ mission is to promote the public’s enjoyment and understanding of contemporary dance and encourage the development of the art form by supporting artists and the creation of inspiring new work. Sadler’s Wells has 16 Associate Artists, three resident companies and one Associate Company. These artists and companies are at the heart of Sadler’s Wells and represent the most exciting talent working in contemporary dance today.