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Press Release: Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui / Antony Gormley - Sutra celebrates its fifth anniversary returning to Sadler's Wells as part of a UK tour

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Dance Consortium presents

A Sadler’s Wells Production

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui / Antony Gormley

Szymon Brzóska

with monks from the Shaolin Temple



Wednesday 3 - Saturday 6 April 2013

Performances at 7.30pm

Tickets: £12 - £38

Ticket Office: 0844 412 4300 or www.sadlerswells.com


Part of a Dance Consortium Tour. Full UK tour details: www.danceconsortium.com


“This unique, profoundly imagined show takes the concept of cultural exchange to a whole new level” ***** The Guardian

One of Sadler’s Wells’ most successful productions, Sutra returns to Sadler’s Wells from Wednesday 3 - Saturday 6 April on its fifth anniversary after touring around the globe to sell-out audiences - part of a Dance Consortium UK tour.


Seen by over 160,000 people worldwide in 55 cities across 27 countries, Sutra sees the award-winning choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui unite with Turner Prize-winner Antony Gormley, alongside 17 Buddhist monks from the Shaolin Temple in China in the first true collaboration between Western artists and the Shaolin Temple.


For Sutra, Antony Gormley creates a striking design of 21 wooden boxes which shift and evolve into an ever-changing environment for the performers - 17 monks from the original Shaolin Temple, alongside Ali Thabet (in the role originally performed by choreographer and Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui).


One of Europe’s most exciting choreographers, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui has made more than 20 choreographic pieces, including zero degrees (2005) with Akram Khan, Antony Gormley and Nitin Sawhney, Olivier Award winning Babel (2010), Faun (which premiered at Sadler’s Wells as part of In the Spirit of Diaghilev, and returns to Sadler’s Wells as part of Sadler’s Sampled on the 22 & 23 June), Dunas (2009) with award-winning flamenco dancer and choreographer Maria Pagés and TeZukA (2011) based on the iconic work of Osamu Tezuka. He was also choreographer on Joe Wright’s recent film Anna Karenina (2012). This year see’s Larbi’s latest production Puz/zle have its UK premiere at Sadler’s Wells on the 24 & 25 April. He is currently working on a new tango inspired, Sadler’s Wells Production, m¡longa that opens at the Théâtre du Jorat, Lausanne, Switzerland in May.


Antony Gormley’s career has spanned almost 40 years; his works include Another Place, Domain Field, Inside Australia, Clearing, Breaking Room and Blind Light. Increasingly, he has taken his practice beyond the gallery, engaging the public in active participation, as in Clay and the Collection Body and the acclaimed One & Other commission in London's Trafalgar Square. Last year he worked with choreographer Hofesh Shechter on Survivor at the Barbican. In November 2012 an exhibition of major new works, Model, opened to critical acclaim at White Cube. He was awarded the Turner Prize in 1994, the South Bank Prize for Visual Art in 1999 and the Bernhard Heiliger Award for Sculpture in 2007. In 1997 he was made an Officer of the British Empire (OBE). He has been a Royal Academician since 2003 and a British Museum Trustee since 2007.


Ali Thabet trained at the National Centre for Circus Arts in Châlons in France from 1997. In 2002 he appeared in Cyrk 13, a piece choreographed by Philippe Découflé with whom he has since collaborated on several other projects. He first worked with Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui in 2004 when he performed in Tempus Fugit with the les ballets C de la B.


The monks performing in Sutra are from the original Shaolin Temple, situated near Dengfeng City in the Henan Province of China and established in 495AD by monks originating from India. In 1983, the State Council defined the Shaolin Temple as the key national Buddhist Temple. The monks follow a strict Buddhist doctrine, with kung fu and tai chi martial arts forming an integral part of their daily practice. There are many martial arts schools that have also been set up in the region under the name of Shaolin, from which performers for many of the more commercial Shaolin Monk shows are drawn. The performers in Sutra however are all Buddhist Monks from the original temple itself.


Sutra is accompanied by a live, specially commissioned score for five musicians, including piano, percussion and strings by Polish composer Szymon Brzóska, who has since collaborated with Cherkaoui on Dunas (2009), Orbo Novo (2009) performed by Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet and Labyrinth (2011) - his first full length ballet score commissioned by Het Nationale Ballet.

Dance Consortium is made up of 19 large scale UK venues and is supported by Arts Council England.



Sutra is co-produced with Athens Festival, Festival de Barcelona Grec, Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg, La Monnaie Brussels, Festival d’Avignon, Fondazione Musica per Roma and Shaolin Cultural Communications Company.


Sutra UK tour dates:

Cardiff Millennium Centre Fri 29 & Sat 30 March

Box Office: 029 2063 6464 or www.wmc.org.uk

Sadler’s Wells, London Wed 3 – Sat 6 April

Box Office: 0844 871 0090 or www.sadlerswells.com

Theatre Royal, Plymouth Tue 9 & Wed 10 April

Box Office: 01752 267222 or www.theatreroyal.com

Birmingham Hippodrome Tue 7 & Wed 8 May

Box Office: 0844 338 5000 or

Brighton Dome Fri 10 & Sat 11 May

Box Office: 01273 709709 or www.brightondome.org

The Lowry, Salford Tue 14 & Wed 15 May

Box Office: 0843 208 6000 or www.thelowry.com

Festival Theatre, Edinburgh Fri 17 & Sat 18 May

Box Office: 0131 529 6000 or www.edtheatres.com


Further details can be found at www.danceconsortium.com


Dance Consortium

Dance Consortium is a group of 19 large theatres located across the UK which was established in 2000. They all share a passion for engaging people with contemporary dance from different parts of the world that will excite, challenge, entertain and inspire their audiences. A core aim of Dance Consortium is the development of audiences for dance in the UK, demystifying dance to new attendees and promoting the art form as a source of enjoyment and entertainment.

Since its formation it has presented 29 tours in the UK and the performances and education activities have been seen by over 528,000 people.



Belfast Grand Opera House, Birmingham Hippodrome, Bradford Alhambra, Brighton Dome, Canterbury Marlowe, Cardiff Wales Millennium Centre, Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Leicester The Curve, London Sadler’s Wells, Milton Keynes Theatre, Newcastle Theatre Royal, Nottingham Playhouse, Nottingham Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall, Plymouth Theatre Royal, Salford Lowry, Sheffield Danceworks UK & Sheffield Lyceum, Truro Hall for Cornwall, Woking New Victoria Theatre, The Mayflower Southampton.

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