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Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui
Choreographer

© Rahi Rezvani 2018

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui made his debut as a choreographer in 1999 with Anonymous Society, a stage musical by Andrew Wale. He created his first pieces for the collective Les Ballets C. de la B. and at the same time choreographed D’Avant (2002) with Damien Jalet and the Sasha Waltz & Guests Company as well as Zero Degrees (2005) with Akram Khan. From 2004 to 2009, he was artist in residence at the Toneelhuis in Antwerp where he created the ballets Myth (2007) and Origine (2008). Also in 2008, he choreographed Sutra for nineteen Buddhist monks at Sadler’s Wells in London. After Orbo Novo for the Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet and Faun for Sadler’s Wells, he created the duo Dunas in 2009 with the flamenco dancer María Pagés and launched Eastman, his own company, in residence at the Toneelhuis in Antwerp. In 2010, he brought together the choreographer Damien Jalet and the sculptor Antony Gormley for Babel (words), then created TeZuKa, a work named after, and inspired by the eponymous author of Japanese mangas, and also choreographed Labyrinth for the Dutch National Ballet. In 2012, he created Puz/zle. That same year, he choreographed the Joe Wright film Anna Karenina. Again, with Joe Wright, he presented A Season in the Congo at the Young Vic Theatre—a hybrid project midway between dance and theatre inspired by the Aimé Césaire stage drama. In 2014, after Noetic for the GöteborgsOperans Danskompani and Mercy for the London Coliseum, he directed the opera Shell Shock at La Monnaie in Brussels to a composition by Nicholas Lens. In 2015, he directed the stage play Pluto in Tokyo, a work based on the manga by Naoki Urasawa and Takashi Nagasaki. That same year, he oversaw the premiere of Hamlet at the Barbican Centre in London, created Harbor Me for Benjamin Millepied’s L.A. Dance Project and choreographed a new Firebird for the Stuttgart Ballet. He choreographed and performed in his own ballet Fractus V and he created his first works for the Royal Ballet of Flanders where he has held the post of artistic director since September 2015: Fall (2015), Exhibition (2016) and Requiem (2017). His other choreographies include Qutb (2016, a trio commissioned by Natalia Osipova), Icon (2016, for the GöteborgsOperans Danskompani) and Mosaic (2017, for the Martha Graham Dance Company.) Larbi Cherkaoui also directs operas including Les Indes galantes (2016, for the Bayerische Staatsoper), Satyagraha (2017, for the Theater Basel) and Pelléas et Mélisande (2018, with Damien Jalet and Marina Abramović for the Opera Vlaanderen). He has also been the associate artist at Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London in 2008. He has earned numerous distinctions over the years including the Benois de la Danse in 2011, two Olivier Awards, two Tanz Ballet Awards (Best choreographer in 2008 and 2011), as well as the Kairos Prize (2009). He also has an impressive track record at the Paris Opera having worked on numerous productions including Boléro (with Damien Jalet, 2013); The Nutcracker with Edouard Lock and Arthur Pita in a production of Iolanta/Nutcracker (Dmitri Tcherniakov, 2016), and Faun, which entered the Paris Opera Ballet’s repertoire in 2017.

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