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Indian Festival and Diaghilev celebration in Sadler’s autumn season

Published 12 May 2009

The autumn season at Sadler’s Wells and its West End home the Peacock theatre boasts eight world premieres and five UK premieres in a schedule that includes a new two-week festival of Indian music and dance, and a new production marking the centenary of the creation of Diaghilev’s Les Ballets Russes.

Svapnagata, Sanskrit for ‘dreaming’, runs from 16-28 November and is curated by regular collaborators composer Nitin Sawhney and dancer/choreographer Akram Khan. The pair, whose productions together have included Bahok and Zero Degrees, have brought together Indian and British Asian musicians, dancers and choreographers in a festival featuring over 60 performers including Grammy-nominated sitar player Anoushka Shankar and actor/musician Riz Ahmed, who can currently be seen in the film Shifty.

Speaking about the new festival, Sawhney said: “I am very excited and proud for Akram and I to be presenting such a range of artistic talent at Svapnagata. Although all the artists have a strong base in South Asian Arts and heritage, their work is universal, contemporary, globally relevant and ultimately entrenched in the language of humanity.”

Khan added: “To bring these artists under one umbrella is incredibly exciting. They all come from different places, yet have a common denominator in that they work from a base within the Indian art forms and are able to transcend boundaries of tradition, genre or culture.”

Sawhney is also collaborating on new Sadler’s Wells production In The Spirit Of Diaghilev (13-17 October), which sees Wayne McGregor, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Russell Maliphant and Javier De Frutos working with their own companies to create a response to a challenge once laid down by Diaghilev to Jean Cocteau: “Surprise me!”

Elsewhere, the autumn season sees the return to Sadler’s Wells of flamenco star Paco Pena and Morphoses/the Wheeldon Company with world premieres, and UK premieres from Sadler’s regulars Rosas and Mark Morris Dance Group. Other returning performers include the Akram Khan Company, Scottish Ballet, Rambert Dance Company, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Carlos Acosta and Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures company presenting its iconic Swan Lake. Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite’s Kidd Pivot company makes its Sadler’s Wells debut with the UK premiere of its award-winning Lost Action.

The Peacock theatre also welcomes back old friends this autumn, with the British Youth Orchestra, Insane In The Brain, Jump and The Snowman returning to the West End venue. New to its autumn line-up is Swedish company Cirkus Cirkör, which blends acrobatics with storytelling to tell the tale of a world turned upside down when two characters encounter a bizarre circus company.

MA

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