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Press Release: 52 Portraits - an online project

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52 Portraits


52 Portraits is an online project created by choreographer Jonathan Burrows, composer Matteo Fargion and video maker Hugo Glendinning, which will release a short gestural portrait of a different dancer each week throughout 2016. 52 Portraits is supported and produced by Sadler’s Wells, and will launch on Monday 4 January 2016.


The subjects of the portraits will be drawn from the vibrant UK dance scene, as well as from international companies visiting Sadler's Wells during the course of the year. Each portrait will be a very personal dance, filmed sitting at a table and accompanied by a song based on their autobiography, inspired by a tune of their choice. Participants will be of all ages, disciplines and cultural backgrounds, including both well-known performers, makers and younger artists. 


52 Portraits builds on the success of the Olivier Award-nominated The Elders Project, made by Burrows and Fargion in 2014 for the Elixir Festival at Sadler's Wells. The portraits aim to capture the profound, funny and surprising power of the subjects, revealing the stories, thoughts and struggles of dancers in an unprecedented way. The creators of 52 Portraits describe the project as an epic love song written to an art form.


Viewers can subscribe to the project at www.52portraits.co.uk.




Links to previews of the films can be found below: 










Jonathan Burrows has worked with composer Matteo Fargion for twenty five years, building an ongoing body of work that continues to tour widely internationally. The two men are co-produced by Kaaitheater Brussels, PACT Zollverein Essen, Sadler's Wells Theatre London and BIT Teatergarasjen Bergen, and are currently in- house artists at the Nightingale Brighton. Burrows is a visiting member of faculty at P.A.R.T.S Brussels and has also been Guest Professor at universities in Berlin, Gent, Giessen, Hamburg and London. ‘A Choreographer's Handbook’ has sold over 8,000 copies since its publication in 2010, and is available from Routledge Publishing.


Matteo Fargion is a composer, performer and teacher. He studied with Kevin Volans and Howard Skempton, and his music has been performed by leading players worldwide. Matteo has worked in dance and theatre for many years, collaborating with choreographers and directors both in the UK and abroad. Including his ongoing work with Jonathan Burrows, he has collaborated several times as composer and performer with Siobhan Davies, and with Thomas Ostermeier at the Schaubühne Berlin. Matteo is currently curating the opening programme for the Dance On company in Berlin, with newly commissioned work from Ivo Dimchev, Tim Etchells, Hetain Patel, Lucy Suggate, Etienne Guilloteau and Beth Gill. 


Hugo Glendinning has been working as a photographer and film maker for twenty nine years, with an output stretching across the cultural industries from art collaborations, through production and performance documentation to portrait work. He has worked with most leading British theatre and dance companies, and has collaborated in particular for many years with Tim Etchells and Forced Entertainment Theatre Company. He has helped many international visual artists to realise projects, including Matthew Barney, Paola Pivi and Yinka Shonibare, and his recordings of performances both for camera and public performances, are in private collections and museums around the world.


Sadler's Wells is a world-leading dance house, committed to producing, commissioning and presenting new works and to bringing the very best international and UK dance to London and worldwide audiences. Under the Artistic Directorship of Alistair Spalding, the theatre’s acclaimed year-round programme spans dance of every kind, from contemporary to flamenco, Bollywood to ballet, salsa to street dance and tango to tap. Since 2005 it has helped to bring over 90 new dance works to the stage and its award-winning commissions and collaborative productions regularly tour internationally. Sadler’s Wells supports 16 Associate Artists, three Resident Companies and an Associate Company and nurtures the next generation of talent through hosting the National Youth Dance Company, its Summer University programme, Wild Card initiative and its New Wave Associates.


Located in Islington, north London, the current theatre is the sixth to have stood on the site since it was first built by Richard Sadler in 1683. The venue has played an illustrious role in the history of theatre ever since, with The Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet and English National Opera all having started at Sadler’s Wells. 


Sadler’s Wells is an Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation and currently receives approximately 10% of its revenue from Arts Council England.

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