SACRED MONSTERS will bring together Sylvie Guillem and Akram Khan in an exciting exploration of the boundaries between two great classical dance forms, kathak and ballet, with additional choreography by Lin Hwai-min, Artistic Director of Cloud Gate Dance Theatre, Taiwan and live music specially created for them by Philip Sheppard.
Akram Khan is one of the most gifted choreographers and dancers of his generation. He began dancing at the age of seven, studying under the great Kathak performer Sri Pratap Pawar. He presented solo performances in the 1990s, gradually developing larger scale works, drawing on his experience and training as a kathak dancer and breaking new ground in his collaborations with other artists – first seen in his first full-length work Kaash, a collaboration with Anish Kapoor and Nitin Sawhney. His production Ma was launched at the Edinburgh Festival in 2004. In 2005 he was made an associate artist of Sadler’s Wells and zero degrees, a collaboration with Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Antony Gormley and Nitin Sawhney was premiered at Sadler’s Wells in the same year. In 2004 he received an MBE for his services to Dance.
Sylvie Guillem is perhaps the world’s most celebrated ballerina. She has worked with many of the great choreographers including Maurice Béjart, William Forsythe, and Mats Ek, as well as being acclaimed for her performances of the major classic works of the ballet repertoire. She was Etoile at the Paris Opera Ballet under the direction of Rudolf Nureyev before joining the Royal Ballet in 1990, where she is now Principal Guest Artist. Throughout her extensive career she has received many awards, including the Nijinsky Prize (2000), the Chevalier de Legion d’Honneur (1994), and an honorary CBE (2003).
Philip Sheppard is a virtuoso cellist and a pioneer of the electric cello. He is a professor at The Royal Academy of Music and has composed extensively for film, television and theatre and is a prolific recording artist. Philip has recently composed BBC Television’s Easter production The Manchester Passion as well as compositions for Horizon, Simon Schama’s History of Britain and Theatre de Complicite’s The Elephant Vanishes. He has recently written and recorded with Scott Walker, David Bowie, Damien Hirst, Oasis and Unkle, and appears as improvising soloist on the soundtracks of The Business, The Virgin Queen, Harry Potter: The Goblet of Fire and Hotel Rwanda.
Akram Khan, speaking about this new project, said: “I have spent my life studying and performing kathak. It is the source of my creative process. Working with Sylvie Guillem is an exciting new challenge, giving me the opportunity to explore another classical dance language with one of its greatest exponents, and as a result, creating a situation that will unearth the things that are most often lost between the classical and modern world.”
Tickets: £13 – £40 (on sale from beginning of June) Box Office: 0870 737 7737 or www.sadlerswells.com