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Press Release: Thomas Adès See the Music, Hear the Dance, Thursday 30 October - Saturday 1 November 2014

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A Sadler’s Wells Production

Thomas Adès

See the Music, Hear the Dance

Karole Armitage / Wayne McGregor / Crystal Pite / Alexander Whitley

with Britten Sinfonia

World Premiere

Sadler’s Wells

Thursday 30 October - Saturday 1 November 2014

Performances at 7.30pm

Tickets: £12 - £45

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


From Thursday 30 October - Saturday 1 November, Sadler’s Wells presents the world premiere of the second in its Composer Series, Thomas Adès: See the Music, Hear the Dance. Featuring some of Adès’ most celebrated works set against four contemporary dance works from Karole Armitage, Sadler’s Wells Associate Artists Wayne McGregor and Crystal Pite and Sadler’s Wells New Wave Associate Alexander Whitley. See the Music, Hear the Dance sees Adès conduct Britten Sinfonia and perform live on stage in his only London appearance in 2014.


The evening includes two world premieres; the first is choreographed by Sadler’s Wells’ newest Associate Artist Canadian-born Crystal Pite, to the spectacular Polaris. Pite brings together six dancers from her company Kidd Pivot with a cast of 60 dance students from the London Contemporary Dance School and Central School of Ballet, accompanied by a 70-strong orchestra. As well as creating work for her own company, Pite has created work for Nederlands Dans Theater 1, National Ballet of Canada and Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet.


The second world premiere is emerging British artist Alexander Whitley’s The Grit in the Oyster, exploring ideas of obsession and transformation, which sets a trio of dancers against Adès playing his Piano Quintet live. Whitley is one of six emerging artists whom Sadler’s Wells currently supports as part of its extensive range of initiatives to nurture the next generation of dance talent. The theatre’s New Wave Associates programme offers artists structured support, through a commitment to commission and show new work by each artist, and by directing them to opportunities that will further develop their careers.


The programme also includes Outlier, choreographed by Associate Artist Wayne McGregor to the violin concerto Concentric Paths. This European premiere is performed by 11 dancers from Belgium’s Royal Ballet Flanders, making a welcome return to Sadler’s Wells, accompanied by Britten Sinfonia’s Associate Leader, violinist Thomas Gould. McGregor CBE is a multi award-winning British choreographer, renowned for his physically testing choreography and highly innovative collaborations across dance, film, music, visual art, technology and science.


Completing the evening, Karole Armitage presents her exquisite duet Life Story, set to Adès’ song cycle based on words by Tennessee Williams. It is performed by two dancers from her New York-based Armitage Gone! Dance Company and sung by British soprano Claire Booth with Adès on piano. Armitage has choreographed for Broadway productions Passing Strange and Hair, which she was nominated for a Tony award for Best Choreography. She has also choreographed for music videos by Madonna and Michael Jackson.


Thomas Adès says, “I am thrilled and honoured that Sadler’s Wells is celebrating some of my favourite compositions with this evening of dance. I am greatly looking forward to seeing McGregor and Armitage’s works again, and excited to witness the world premières of two works by outstanding young choreographer Alexander Whitley and the wonderfully talented Crystal Pite. Excitement at the prospect of these four brilliant and diverse responses to my music has tempted me into the pit for dance for the first time.”


Notes to Editors:


Free post-show talk with Karol Armitage, Crystal Pite, Wayne McGregor & Alexander Whitley (BSL-interpreted): Friday 31 October


The Monument Trust supports co-productions and new commissions at Sadler's Wells


The New Wave Associates programme is supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation


About Sadler’s Wells

Sadler’s Wells is the UK’s leading venue for dance, bringing a diverse range of world-class international and UK dance to the widest possible audiences. Under the Artistic Directorship of Alistair Spalding, the theatre’s acclaimed programme spans cutting edge contemporary works by artists such as William Forsythe, Hofesh Shechter and Wayne McGregor, sell-out runs from Matthew Bourne and his company New Adventures, hugely successful tango, street dance and flamenco shows, and award-winning Sadler’s Wells Productions including Sylvie Guillem and Russell Maliphant’s PUSH, and groundbreaking cross-art form collaborations such as zero degrees and the first in the Composer Series, UNDANCE. Since 2005 Sadler’s Wells has commissioned, co-commissioned, produced and co-produced over 80 new productions.


The theatre is dedicated to working with celebrated artists, performers and companies at the forefront of the arts, many of whom are Associate Artists and resident companies of the theatre including Balletboyz, Matthew Bourne and his company New Adventures, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Jonzi D, Sylvie Guillem, Michael Hulls, Michael Keegan Dolan, Akram Khan, Russell Maliphant, Crystal Pite, Kate Prince and her company ZooNation UK Dance Company, Nitin Sawhney, Hofesh Shechter, Jasmin Vardimon, Christopher Wheeldon, Wayne McGregor and his company Wayne McGregor | Random Dance.


About Sadler’s Wells Productions & Touring

As well as bringing the very best international and UK dance to London audiences, Sadler’s Wells has an impressive portfolio of its own productions that tour throughout the world.  In the last year alone, Sadler’s Wells has presented 140 performances of 12 productions in 51 international cities to audiences of over 130,000 at venues and festivals. Since 2005, Sadler’s Wells has produced 25 new shows, many of which have been nominated for international awards, and has presented shows at some of the most prestigious venues and festivals around the world including Sydney Opera House, Lincoln Center (New York), Hong Kong Festival, Berliner Festspiele, Abu Dhabi Festival, Theatre Chaillot (Paris), Palacio de Bellas Artes (Mexico) and the National Centre for Performing Arts (Beijing).


Sadler’s Wells Artist Support

As a world leader in contemporary dance Sadler’s Wells is committed to both supporting professional dance makers and nurturing new and emerging talent.


Sadler’s Wells hosts the National Youth Dance Company (NYDC), which creates and performs innovative and influential youth dance, drawing together some of the brightest young talent, aged 15-19 from across the country to work with our internationally renowned Associate Artists. NYDC is funded jointly by Arts Council England and the Department for Education, from the National Lottery and Grant in Aid funds.


In its fourth and final year, the Sadler’s Wells Summer University supports a cohort of 15 emerging choreographers aged 25-35 during an annual two week intensive course featuring lectures, discussions, workshops and guest artists, curated and led by award-winning choreographer Jonathan Burrows. The Jerwood Charitable Foundation supports the programme as part of the ongoing Jerwood Studio at Sadler’s Wells which began in 2006, to develop creative opportunities for choreographers and practitioners from other art forms to experiment and take risks.


With Wild Card Sadler’s Wells invites emerging choreographers and producers to curate an evening of work for its Lilian Baylis Studio, with production, technical and marketing support from the theatre. Wild Card is supported by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation and the Garrick Charitable Trust. Sadler’s Wells’ New Wave Associates programme, supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, offers the next generation of artists a structured programme of support, by directing them to opportunities that will further develop their careers and through a commitment to commission and show new work by each of them. The inaugural group, Wilkie Branson, Daniel Linehan, Tao Dance Theatre, Rocío Molina, Hetain Patel and Alexander Whitley were appointed in 2012, and by the end of their associateship, each artist will have presented an original, commissioned work by Sadler’s Wells.


Central to Sadler’s Wells is the continued support of the theatre’s 16 Associate Artists and three Resident Companies who are regularly offered opportunities to work alongside collaborators and dancers, and develop concepts and ideas for large-scale productions which the theatre commissions and co-produces.


Thomas Adès – composer, conductor, performer

Born in London in 1971, Thomas Adès studied piano (Michael Blackmore and Paul Berkowitz), composition (Erika Fox and Robert Saxton) and percussion at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, and read music at King's College, Cambridge. In 1993 he made his recital début as pianist and composer at the Park Lane Group in London. Between 1993 and 1995 he was Composer in Association with the Hallé Orchestra, which resulted in These Premises Are Alarmed for the opening of the Bridgewater Hall in 1996. Asyla (1997) was a Feeney Trust commission for Sir Simon Rattle and the CBSO, who toured it together, and repeated it at Symphony Hall in August 1998 in Rattle's last concert as Music Director. Rattle subsequently programmed Asyla in his opening concert as Music Director of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in September 2002.


Adès’ first opera, Powder Her Face (commissioned by Almeida Opera for the Cheltenham Festival in 1995) was televised by Channel Four, and is available on a DVD as well as an EMI CD. Most of the composer's music to date has been recorded by EMI. Adès’ second opera, The Tempest, was commissioned by London's Royal Opera House and was premièred there in February 2004 and revived in 2007.


In September 2005 a Violin Concerto for Anthony Marwood was premiered at the Berliner Festspiele and the BBC Proms, with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe under his baton. His second orchestral work for Simon Rattle, Tevot (2007), was commissioned by the Berlin Philharmonic and Carnegie Hall. In 2008 Adès collaborated with video artist Tal Rosner on a commission from the Los Angeles Philharmonic and London's Southbank Centre for a piano concerto with moving images ('In Seven Days'). This work was given its world premiere in April 2008 by Nicolas Hodges, the London Sinfonietta and Adès at the Royal Festival Hall, London. Among the festivals at which he has been the featured composer are Helsinki Musica Nova (1999), Salzburg Easter Festival (2004), Radio France's Présences, Paris (2007), the Barbican's 'Traced Overhead', London (2007), New Horizons Festival, St. Petersburg, Russia (2007), Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Festival (2009), Melbourne Festival (2010); in addition Carnegie Hall, New York, appointed him to the R and B Debs Composer Chair and featured him as composer, conductor and pianist throughout the 2007/8 season. Tottentanz, a work for orchestra, bartione and mezzo soprano commissioned by Robin Boyle and had its world premiere at the BBC Proms in 2013.


Adès is also a renowned interpreter of a range of music as conductor and pianist. He has recorded composers including Kurtág, Janácek, Nancarrow, Stanchinsky, Grieg, Busoni, Stravinsky, Schubert, Ruders and Berlioz, and premiered and widely performed several works by Gerald Barry. Orchestras he has conducted include City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Philharmonia, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Hallé Orchestra, BBC, Finnish, Dutch, Danish and North German Radio Symphony Orchestras, Melbourne Symphony, Sydney Symphony and ensembles such as Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, London Sinfonietta, Ensemble Modern and the Athelas Ensemble, Copenhagen.


Adès’ music has attracted numerous awards and prizes, including the Grawemeyer Award (2000) of which he is the youngest-ever recipient. He is the only composer to have won the Royal Philharmonic Prize for Large-scale composition three times.


Karole Armitage - Choreographer

Karole Armitage is the Artistic Director of the New York based Armitage Gone! Dance Company, which was founded in 2004.  She trained in classical ballet and was a member of the Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève and Merce Cunningham Dance Company.


Known as the ‘punk ballerina’ she led her company, The Armitage Ballet, throughout the 1980’s. Commissions from the Paris Opera Ballet and American Ballet Theatre led to choreographic commissions in Europe throughout the 80’s, 90’s and into the early 2000’s. Armitage served as Director of MaggioDanza, the Ballet of Florence, Italy from 1996 – 2000; the Biennale of Contemporary Dance in Venice in 2004; and as resident choreographer for the Ballet de Lorraine in France from 2000 – 2004. After a successful season in 2004 at the Joyce Theater, New York, she focused on creating her company Armitage Gone Dance.


Armitage has choreographed for the Broadway productions Passing Strange and Hair, the latter saw her receive a Tony nomination for Best Choreography. She has choreographed for Cirque du Soleil’s 2012 show Amaluna and also for music videos by Madonna and Michael Jackson. In 2009 she was awarded France’s prestigious award, Commandeur de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.


Wayne McGregor - Choreographer

Wayne McGregor CBE is a multi award-winning British choreographer and one of Sadler’s Wells inaugural Associate Artists, renowned for his physically testing choreography and highly innovative collaborations across dance, film, music, visual art, technology and science. In addition to his role as Artistic Director of Wayne McGregor | Random Dance, he is also Resident Choreographer of The Royal Ballet (appointed 2006). He has an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from Plymouth University and is Professor of Choreography at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.


McGregor has created new works for Paris Opera Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, New York City Ballet, Australian Ballet, English National Ballet, NDT1 and Rambert Dance Company among others. His works are also in the repertories of the leading ballet companies in the world including the Bolshoi, Royal Danish Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, Boston Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Mariinsky Ballet. He has directed movement for theatre and film including Harry Potter And The Goblet of Fire, and has choreographed music videos including the Grammy-nominated Lotus Flower video for Radiohead, and Ingenue for Atoms for Peace.


Most recently he premiered Tetractys – The Art of Fugue for The Royal Ballet, Atomos for Wayne McGregor | Random Dance, and presented Thinking with the Body at Wellcome Collection, an exhibition exploring his collaborative enquiry into choreographic thinking.


McGregor's work has earned him three Critics' Circle Awards, two Time Out Awards, two South Bank Show Awards, two Olivier Awards, a prix Benois de la Danse and a Critics’ Prize at the Golden Mask Awards. In 2011 McGregor was awarded a CBE for Services to Dance.


Crystal Pite - Choreographer

A former dancer with William Forsythe’s Ballett Frankfurt, Sadler’s Wells’ newest Associate Artist Crystal Pite was the youngest person ever to receive the Clifford E. Lee Choreographic Award in 1995. She has since gone on to create work for Nederlands Dans Theater, National Ballet of Canada and Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, and made her company’s debut at Sadler’s Wells in 2009. In 2013 Pite was made the 16th Associate Artist at Sadler’s Wells.


Alexander Whitley - Choreographer

Alexander Whitley trained at the Royal Ballet School and has performed with Birmingham Royal Ballet, Rambert Dance Company, Michael Clark Company, Sydney Dance Company, Wayne McGregor | Random Dance and New Movement Collective, of which he is a founder-member. Throughout his career he has worked with such choreographers as Rafael Bonachela, Christopher Bruce, Michael Clark, Emanuel Gat, Siobhan Davies, Garry Stewart, Karole Armitage, Itsik Galili and Wayne McGregor.


Alexander is a Sadler’s Wells New Wave Associate, an Affiliate Choreographer with the Royal Ballet, and has an Associate Company position at Rambert’s new South Bank building. Over the past three years he has participated in Sadler’s Wells’ Summer University choreographic course led by Jonathan Burrows. He has twice been nominated for the Critics' Circle National Dance awards and was shortlisted for the 2012 Arts Foundation choreographic fellowship.In 2014 Alexander was nominated in The Times' Breakthrough Artist category of the South Bank Sky Arts Awards. Alexander has choreographed for the Royal Ballet, Rambert Dance Company and Wayne McGregor | Random Dance as well as creating work for the Royal Opera House’s Summer Collection and Exposure:Dance programmes.


The Measures Taken, a new full length work premieres in the Linbury Studio at the Royal Opera House this May and marks the inaugural performance of the Alexander Whitley Dance Company.


About Britten Sinfonia

Britten Sinfonia is one of the world’s most celebrated and pioneering ensembles. The orchestra is acclaimed for its virtuoso musicianship, an inspired approach to concert programming which makes bold, intelligent connections across 400 years of repertoire, and a versatility that is second to none. Britten Sinfonia breaks the mould by not having a principal conductor or director, instead choosing to collaborate with a range of the finest international guest artists from across the musical spectrum, resulting in performances of rare insight and energy.


Britten Sinfonia is an Associate Ensemble at the Barbican in London, and has residencies across the east of England in Norwich, Brighton and Cambridge (where it is the University’s orchestra-in-association). The orchestra also performs a chamber music series at Wigmore Hall and appears regularly at major UK festivals including Aldeburgh and the BBC Proms. The orchestra’s growing international profile includes regular touring to Mexico, South America and Europe. In February 2012, Britten Sinfonia made its North American debut at Lincoln Centre, New York.


Founded in 1992, the orchestra is inspired by the ethos of Benjamin Britten through world class performances, illuminating and distinctive programmes where old meets new, and a deep commitment to bringing outstanding music to both the world’s finest concert halls and the local community. Britten Sinfonia is a BBC Radio 3 broadcast partner and regularly records for Harmonia Mundi and Hyperion.www.brittensinfonia.com


Royal Ballet Flanders

Founded in 1969 by the pioneering Jeanne Brabants, Royal Ballet Flanders is the only classically trained ballet company in Belgium.


In the Autumn of 2012, Assis Carreiro was appointed Artistic Director of the Royal Ballet Flanders. She is the fifth Artistic Director in the company’s history following Jeanne Brabants, Valery Panov, Robert Denvers and Kathryn Bennetts.


In the past few years the company has gained international acclaim and toured globally with extraordinary successes in London, Paris, New York, Moscow, Frankfurt, Venice, Edinburgh and Barcelona. The dancers are known throughout the world for their excellent technique in the classical and contemporary repertoire which ranges from Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty or Onegin to iconic works of the 20th century by Jiri Kylian, George Balanchine and new creations and productions by Christian Spuck, Christopher Wheeldon, Wayne McGregor, Ashley Page and Jacopo Godani.


In 2009 the Royal Ballet of Flanders was nominated as “Best Foreign Dance Company” by the Critic’s Circle National Dance Awards for its performances of William Forsythe’s Impressing the Czar at Sadler’s Wells, London and went on to win the Laurence Olivier Award for “Outstanding Achievement in Dance”. In 2013, the Company again gained acclaim in London when it was awarded Outstanding Company by the Critics' Circle National Dance Awards 2012 for performances of Forsythe’s Artifact. That same year Time Out magazine put this production on top of their list of Best Dance 2012.


The company has 45 dancers and four apprentices who represent 17 nationalities. Since the beginning of 2014 Royal Ballet Flanders has merged with the opera company Opera Vlaanderen. It presents its productions in the opera houses of Antwerp and Ghent or in their own Theatre‘t Eilandje.

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