Sawhney & Khan Appointed To Curate Festival Of Indian Dance 11/16-11/28

Sadler's Wells Artistic Director and CEO Alistair Spalding appoints two pioneering figures to curate a two week festival of Indian music and dance from Monday 16 - Saturday 28 November 2009.

Multi-award winning composer Nitin Sawhney and dancer-choreographer Akram Khan are two of Britain's most exciting artists. Both are long-time collaborators whose previoUs Productions for Sadler's Wells include the critically acclaimed bahok and the universally celebrated zero degrees.Appointed as curators of Svapnagata, a brand new Sadler's Wells initiative, Khan and Sawhney bring together a host of exceptional talent, uniting the best of both Indian and British Asian musicians, dancers and choreographers. Offering a wide range of events across the main house and the Lilian Baylis Studio, this unique festival features over 60 performers and a dazzling array of presentations from some of the finest artists working today.

Meaning ‘dreaming' in Sanskrit, Svapnagata begins and ends with new works commissioned by Sadler's Wells. Sawhney and Khan each open the festival with an evening of work, on Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 November respectively. The festival culminates in the world premiere of Confluence from Thursday 26 to Saturday 28 November, a collaborative Sadler's Wells Production with both artists which celebrates their history and personal journey together from their earliest piece Kaash to the most recent bahok.

Alistair Spalding comments "I'm thrilled that Sadler's Wells is able to produce this landmark festival and to appoint as curators two exceptional artists with a shared British Asian background and creative vision. For Svapnagata they have gathered together classical artists at the highest level who are keen to show their work within a contemporary context. I have no doubt the results will be fascinating."

In the course of the two week festival are performances by a host of internationally acclaimed Asian artists spanning; former child prodigy and electric mandolin player U Shrinivas (Wednesday 18 November), international Sitar star and Grammy nominee Anoushka Shankar (Tuesday 24 November) and British Asian actor Riz Ahmed. Presenting an evening of music in the Lilian Baylis Studio on Friday 27 and Saturday 28 November under his alter ego title Riz MC, Ahmed is perhaps best known for his latest role as Shifty in the eponymous film released in April 2009 "consolidating his position as one of the UK's brightest talents" (The Guardian).

Dance highlights include former Pina Bausch dancer Shantala Shivalingappa, presenting Shiva Ganga, a solo evening of the classical southern Indian dance form kuchipudi on Monday 23 November and emerging British kathak dancer Aakash Odedra performing in the Lilian Baylis Studio on Thursday 19 and Friday 20 November. The festival also includes talks and discussions with the artists. These end with an afternoon debate chaired by award-winning cultural journalist Maya Jaggi,in the Lilian Baylis Studio on Saturday 28 November.

Nitin Sawhney says"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."

Akram Khan says"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."

The Autumn season at Sadler's Wells includes eight world premieres, five UK premieres and two Sadler's Wells Productions. A season of over 40 events, it follows an unprecedented year of audience attendance, with over half a million people visiting the theatre.

Other highlights include a brand new Sadler's Wells Production; In the Spirit of Diaghilev (Tuesday 13 - Saturday 17 October), a world premiere featuring specially created works by four renowned contemporary dance-makers; Wayne McGregor, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Russell Maliphantand Javier De Frutos. Celebrating the centenary of Diaghilev's ground-breaking company Les Ballets Russes, and inspired by his pioneering and collaborative spirit, the choreographers work with a combination of designers, composers and filmmakers of their choice including; Jane and Louise Wilson, Moritz Junge, Nitin Sawhney and Hussein Chalayan.

Sadler's Wells also appoints Venezuelan choreographer Javier De Frutos as an Associate Artist. De Frutos is best known for his Oliver award-winning work on the 2007 West End revival of Cabaret. As well as creating a new work for the Autumn's In the Spirit of Diaghilev, he is also working with the Pet Shop Boys on a new Sadler's Wells Production for 2011. He joins a host of 15 Associate Artists and Resident Companies of the theatre including; Sylvie Guillem, Akram Khan, Christopher Wheeldon and his company Morphoses/The Wheeldon company, Matthew Bourne and his company New Adventures, Wayne McGregor and his company Wayne McGregor | Random Dance, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Russell Maliphant, Jasmin Vardimon, Jonzi D and Hofesh Shechter.

Listings information:
Sadler's Wells Autumn 2009 Season
On sale from Monday 18 May
Ticket Office: 0844 412 4300


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