Encouraged by the consistent success he has enjoyed since his very first work, Rien de rien, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui decided to take a break in the early 2000s to spend several months at the Shaolin Temple in China. But he didn’t linger long in the meditation room: his experience among the monks, who are also martial arts experts, inspired him to create Sutra, a journey as personal as it is spectacular. On visual artist Antony Gormley’s versatile set of wooden boxes, to a score by Szymon Brzóska, Larbi stages an acrobatic work marked by precision and spirituality, a display of beautifully tranquil choreography. A journey of discovery guided by a group of young disciples. Under Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s gaze, celestial mountains are transformed into shifting landscapes.
Photo © Tristam Kenton
Born in 1976 to a Belgian mother and Moroccan father, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui makes good use of this mixed identity and dual cultural background. Inquisitive and open-minded, the choreographer melds approaches and traditions, refusing all hierarchies in his modes of expression. What interests him above all are “contact points.” A beloved star of the European stage, he charms spectators the world over with mosaic pieces that are...Read more about Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui
World Premiere May 27 2008, Sadler’s Wells, London.
Production Sadler’s Wells.
Coproduction Athens Epidaurus Festival, Grec Festival de Barcelona, Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg, La Monnaie (Bruxelles), Festival d’Avignon, Fondazione Musica per Roma, Shaolin Cultural Communications Company.
With the blessing of the Abbot of Song-Shan Shaolin Temple, Master Shi Yongxin.
Performers Ali Thabet.
Monks from the Shaolin Temple Chang Mengqiang, Chen Haojie, Chen Xiao, Hu Kunpeng, Hu Zeen, Huang Jiahao, Lu Hongtian, Lu Jun, Qi Zhenzong, Sun Tongxu, Sun Zihao, Wang Chuang, Wang Hao, Wang Zhaohui, Wu Haixiang, Xing Kaishuo, Xu Zhongpeng, Yang Quannian, Zhang Quanlong, Zhang Xueyao.
Percussion Coordt Linke. Violin Alies Sluiter, Olga Wojciechowska. Cello Laura Anstee. Piano Szymon Brzóska.
Direction & Choreography Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui.
Visual Creation & Design Antony Gormley.
Music Szymon Brzóska.
Assistant Choreographer Ali Thabet.
Additional Choreographic Assistants Satoshi Kudo, Damien Fournier, Damien Jalet.
Dramaturgical Advice Lou Cope, An-Marie Lambrechts.
Lighting Consultant Adam Carrée.
Executive Producer Suzanne Walker.
Head of Producing & Touring Bia Oliveira.
Producer Ellie Hartwell.
Tour Producer Aristea Charalampidou.
Technical Production Manager Adam Carrée.
Producing & Touring Coordinator Florent Trioux.
Press Officer Dan Macarthur.
Associate Producer Hisashi Itoh.
Consultant Producer for Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui Karthika Nair.
Abbot Shi Yongxin.
Leader of the warrior monks Shi Yanti.
General Manager Shaolin Intangible Assets Management Co, Ltd.
Sutra Project Coordinator & Interpreter Zhang Lifei.