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Press Release: Alain Platel, Frank Van Laecke & Steven Prengels - En avant, marche! Sadler's Wells, 16-17 June

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Alain Platel, Frank Van Laecke & Steven Prengels

En avant, marche!
Thursday 16 & Friday 17 June 2016
Performances at 7.30pm
Tickets: £12 - £27
Ticket Office: 020 7863 8000 or www.sadlerswells.com


"A glorious sense of chaos... with a deep sense of fun" (The Guardian)


Alain Platel, the trailblazing founder and director of Belgian contemporary dance collective les ballets C de la B, returns to Sadler’s Wells for the London premiere of a new music theatre work created with stage director Frank Van Laecke and composer Steven Prengels, presented as part of LIFT 2016 Festival. Together they present the world of a community brass band as a ‘miniature society’ in its own right: a civic and collective nucleus comprising very different individuals trying to march in the same direction, while expressing their own internal desires and rich emotional lives. 


This heart-warming and exuberant production takes as its starting point the rehearsal room of an amateur brass band in Flanders. Four actors and seven musicians are joined on stage by a local brass outfit, The Heroes Band, playing music by Gustav Holst, Giuseppe Verdi and Gustav Mahler. Also incorporating elements of opera, clowning and ballet, the production evolves around magnetic Flemish performer Wim Opbrouck, playing as a larger-than-life trombonist given eight months to live and reduced to the ranks of cymbal player. The production was awarded a Herald Angel Award at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2015. 


Founded in Ghent, Belgium in 1984, les ballets C de la B is one of the most influential performing arts companies in Europe, described as ‘cacophonous, many-headed dance-theatre collective whose performances careen between surrealism, social psychology, slapstick and semiotics’ (The Guardian). Travelling the world with an eclectic mix of contemporary dance, text, theatre and music, the company has provided a platform for the artistic development of young artists, such as Sidi Labi Cherakoui and Hans van den Broeck (both now independent choreographers). 

Van Laecke, Platel and Prengels last worked together on Gardenia, their Olivier Award nominated production performed by lip-synching retired drag queens. Other les ballets C de la B productions at Salder’s Wells include Wolf (2004) performed with 14 dogs on stage; Out of Context – For Pina (2010) which explored themes of hysteria and madness through movement; and Lisi Estaras's Primero(2010), inspired by her own attempts to recall her childhood years; and Coup Fatal (2015) performed by Congolese sapeurs. 


Notes to Editors 


LIFT is a festival of international theatre and performance that connects the World with London and London with the World. For LIFT 2016 Artistic Director Mark Ball has travelled the world to curate a very special playlist of performances, politics and pop-culture for London, turning the city into a stage on which artists with radical imaginations conjure visions of other lands, enthralling us with stories born in the worlds from which they come.  For 35 years LIFT has presented extraordinary global stories and intense visual and personal experiences from dynamic new international voices, linking Londoners with artists around the world in events and productions that take place across the breadth of the city. From 1 June to 2 July 2016. www.liftfestival.com #LIFT2016


Sadler's Wells is a world-leading dance house, committed to producing, commissioning and presenting new works and to bringing the 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 100 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, an Associate Company and two International Associate Companies. It also nurtures the next generation of talent through research and development, running the National Youth Dance Company and a range of programmes including Wild Card, New Wave Associates, Open Art Surgery and Summer University.


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. 


The Heroes Band was founded by conductor David Smart in 2013, after he completed 10 years as the Director of Music at Farnborough Concert Band of The Royal British Legion, growing it from a small outfit into a large nationally well respected concert band, raising funds for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal. The objective of the concert band is raise donations for the Royal British Legion through musical performances and to bring entertainment and enjoyment to listeners and band supporters.

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