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July 4th, 2010: SADLER’S WELLS ANNOUNCES NEW PRODUCTION WITH MUSIC BY PET SHOP BOYS
Sadler’s Wells is delighted to announce its next new production, a full-length dance work with music by Pet Shop Boys and choreography by Javier De Frutos, featuring Ivan Putrov.
Based on a Hans Christian Andersen story, the world famous electronic pop duo, Pet Shop Boys, have composed an original score for their first ever full-length dance work and their first collaboration with Sadler’s Wells. Titled The Most Incredible Thing, the production makes its world premiere at Sadler’s Wells in Spring 2011. A team of world-class creative collaborators join choreographer/director Javier De Frutos who brings his unique brand of visceral intensity to this modern fairy tale, which celebrates the power of art in the face of human destruction.
Pet Shop Boys were introduced to Sadler’s Wells over four years ago by The Royal Ballet Principal, Ivan Putrov, who asked them to write a ballet score for him. Lowe and Tennant suggested that The Most Incredible Thing would be the perfect narrative basis for a new ballet.
Andersen’s The Most Incredible Thing was written in 1870 and tells the story of a princess, a kingdom, and of two very different approaches to the task of creating something extraordinary. With its resonant narrative adapted by Matthew Dunster and Pet Shop Boys, design by Katrina Lindsay, and film and animation by BAFTA winner Tal Rosner, this new production is designed on a large scale, featuring a cast of 15, a 26-piece orchestra, and a message of hope that lies at the heart of Andersen’s tale.
Pet Shop Boys comment “This is a very exciting project to be part of. In the past we have written music for the club dancefloor so to write music for the ballet stage seems like a logical development. Also we have always been fascinated by giving our music a theatrical context.”
Javier De Frutos says “The opportunity to stage Hans Christian Andersen with music by Pet Shop Boys - alongside some of my beloved long-term collaborators - is an irresistible cocktail!”
Sadler’s Wells Artistic Director and Chief Executive Alistair Spalding says “New full-length dance works for today’s audiences are surprisingly rare, so I’m particularly excited to be announcing the plans for our next new production - a collaboration with Pet Shop Boys. Sadler’s Wells’ own productions have at their heart a desire to work outside of conventional genres, to introduce artists with a collaborative sensibility and to support the creation of new work that pushes the boundaries of dance. The Most Incredible Thing absolutely embodies those aims.”
Ivan Putrov says “I am so excited that my friendship with Neil and Chris has led to the development of The Most Incredible Thing. I am happy to be working with this great team and very much looking forward to the new creation.”
Pet Shop Boys Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe are the world’s most successful pop duo and have released 10 pop albums. For their live shows over the last 20 years, they have collaborated with directors, designers and artists including Derek Jarman, David Alden and David Fielding, Zaha Hadid, Sam Taylor-Wood and Es Devlin. They have also written the 2001 West End musical Closer to Heaven with playwright Jonathan Harvey. In 2004 they performed their soundtrack to the classic silent film, Battleship Potemkin, with the Dresden Sinfoniker in a free concert in Trafalgar Square presented by
The Most Incredible Thing is the latest Sadler’s Wells Production following previous critical and sell-out successes, such as PUSH, zero degrees, Sutra and Sacred Monsters. It was researched and developed at Sadler’s Wells as part of the Jerwood Studio programme. Funded by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation, Jerwood Studio enables Sadler’s Wells to support artists to develop new ideas through
a variety of means including studio time, professional development courses, networking meals and public talks.
A Sadler’s Wells Production
Pet Shop Boys and
Javier De Frutos
The Most Incredible Thing
22 – 26 March 2011
Tickets not yet on sale
Music and original concept by Pet Shop Boys
Choreography & Direction by Javier De Frutos
Design by Katrina Lindsay
Scenario & Dramaturgy by Matthew Dunster
Film & Animation by Tal Rosner
Sound by Paul Arditti
About Sadler’s Wells
Sadler’s Wells is the leading venue for dance, bringing the widest forms 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 Shoes. Since 2005 Sadler’s Wells has commissioned, co-commissioned, produced and co-produced 48 new productions.
About Jerwood Studio at Sadler’s Wells
The Jerwood Studio at Sadler’s Wells was launched in 2006. Funded by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation Jerwood Studio enables Sadler’s Wells to support artists to develop new avenues of exploration with people or ideas through a variety of means. These include studio time for ideas to be test driven before launching into production, professional development courses, networking meals, and public talks. The vast majority of studio research projects go on to be programmed, produced or commissioned by Sadler’s Wells. Recent works that have come out of the Jerwood Studio include Pictures From An Exhibition a co-production with Young Vic directed by Daniel Kramer, and Electric Hotel, a Fuel production, co-commissioned by Sadler’s Wells and Without Walls.
Pet Shop Boys – Music
Pet Shop Boys (Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe) are the most successful pop duo in the world. Since signing to Parlophone Records in 1985, they have had 42 Top 30 singles and 22 Top 10 hits in the UK, including four number ones.
In 2000, Pet Shop Boys song writing skills won them the Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music. At the 2009 BRIT Awards they were presented with the award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. As writers, producers and re-mixers, Tennant and Lowe have collaborated with artists including Dusty Springfield, Liza Minnelli, David Bowie, Yoko Ono, The Killers and Girls Aloud.
Pet Shop Boys have also written the West End musical Closer to Heaven with playwright Jonathan Harvey, produced in 2001 by the Really Useful Group. In 2004 they performed their soundtrack to the classic silent film, Battleship Potemkin, with the Dresden Sinfoniker in a free concert in Trafalgar Square presented by the ICA; they have since performed it at various spectacular outdoor events in Germany, Spain and the UK.
In their live shows over the last 20 years, Pet Shop Boys have collaborated with directors, designers and artists including Derek Jarman, David Alden and David Fielding, Zaha Hadid, Sam Taylor-Wood and Es Devlin. Their latest arena tour, Pandemonium, was recently described in a five-star review in The Times as “the ravishing pop spectacle of the year”.
Javier De Frutos – Choreography & Direction
Multi award-winning director and choreographer Javier De Frutos was born in Venezuela in 1963. He began his dance training there in 1980, continuing at the London School of Contemporary Dance and at the Merce Cunningham School, New York.
From 1988 to 1992 Javier was a member of Laura Dean Dancers and Musicians in New York. In 1992, he was appointed Choreographer in Residence at Movement Research in New York City. On his return to the UK in 1994 he established the Javier De Frutos Dance Company which toured to great acclaim around the world. In 1999 his achievements were recognised in a South Bank Show special directed by Susan Shaw that follows the creation of his work Grass and the premiere of the Hypochondriac Bird in Lisbon. The programme was nominated for the Royal Television Society Award.
He has directed a dynamic range of theatre productions as well as movement for TV and film. His work is in the repertoire of many ballet and contemporary dance companies including The Rambert Company and The Royal Ballet. In 2007 he received an Olivier Award for his choreography in Cabaret. He is also credited with movement direction for Mika’s video for We Are Golden and more recently the pilot episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones. Javier is currently developing a musical about Cigars set in Cuba, collaborating with filmmaker Julien Temple and directing and choreographing a ballet with music by the Pet Shop Boys.
Matthew Dunster – Scenario & Dramaturgy
Matthew Dunster is an actor, playwright and director. He has directed Love the Sinner for the National Theatre, The Fahrenheit Twins for Told By An Idiot at the Barbican, Troilus and Cressida and The Frontline at The Globe, and Macbeth at the Royal Exchange Theatre. His You Can See The Hills and Love and Money for the Royal Exchange and the Young Vic were nominated for an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement In An Affiliate Theatre. Other directing work in the theatre includes Testing the Echo for Out Of Joint, Some Voices and The Member of the Wedding at the Young Vic, Cruising at the Bush, and Port Authority at the Liverpool Everyman.
A successful writer for the stage, Matthew Dunster has worked on You Used To for Contact, Tell Me for Contact and the Donmar Warehouse, Two Clouds Over Eden at the Royal Exchange and The Band and NYT at the Soho Theatre. He has also written for BBC Radio4: Depth of Field and Poor Echo.
Matthew Dunster has acted on stage, film and TV and has created roles in The Daughter In Law at the Young Vic and Toast, Plasticine, Under the Whaleback and Harvest, all at the Royal Court.
Katrina Lindsay – Design
Katrina Lindsay’s commissions include Morte D’Arthur, Love’s Labour’s Lost (Costumes), Romeo and Juliet, Comedy of Errors, House of Desires (Royal Shakespeare Company); Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Broadway – Tony, Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Henry Hewes Award for Best Costume Design in a play); Cabaret (West End/UK tour); Death and the King’s Horseman, Market Boy (National Theatre); Macbeth (Globe); Eternal Damnation to Sancho and Sanchez (Sadler’s Wells); Private Lives (Hampstead); Cattlecall (Phoenix Dance); Blood Wedding, I.D. (Almeida); Aristo (Chichester); Sleeping Beauty (Young Vic/ Barbican/Broadway); Under the Blue Sky (Royal Court). She was Assistant Director on Festen (Almeida).
Her opera design work includes Turandot (English National Opera – Costumes); La Cenerentola (English Touring Opera); The Magic Flute (Holland Park); Fingerprint (Linbury Studio, ROH/The Shout); Tall Stories (BAC/Vienna Music Festival/ Long Wharf Theatre, USA).
Future work includes costumes for Earthquakes in London (National Theatre), Die Tote Stadt (Finnish National Opera) and The Damnation of Faust (English National Opera).
Her work for television includes Costume Designer on Fugee Girl, and Production Designer on The Power of Genius and Metrosexuality, a six-part series for which her designs were short-listed for a BAFTA. Katrina Lindsay was the recipient of a 2005 Arts Foundation Fellowship Award.
Tal Rosner – Film & Animation
Award-winning artist and filmmaker Tal Rosner's work has been screened across the world and
won him a BAFTA award for his title sequence for Channel 4's series Skins (2008). He made his name
with radical interpretations of musical compositions. His work has been described as ‘hypnotic’ and ‘strikingly different’, with his unique visual eye earning him the label of ‘choreographer of the moving image’.
Tal’s independent experimental films Doppelganger (2005) and Without You (2008) have been screened at prestigious film festivals and venues, including Tribeca (NYC), Onedotzero and Tate Modern in London. Commissioned by Animate Projects for Channel 4 and Arts Council England, Without You has earned him critical acclaim and gained a wide following since its appearance, which include TV broadcasts in the UK and France/Canal +. Tal’s solo exhibition Family Tree, a multi-channel video installation, was launched at Tenderpixel Gallery, London in February 2010.
A retrospective of his work was held at the Forum des Images in Paris as part of the Nemo Festival in April 2009. Tal is currently working on two commissions for the new home of the New World Symphony Orchestra in Miami designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry.
Paul Arditti – Sound
Paul Arditti is an internationally acclaimed theatre sound designer with many credits for plays, musicals, and more recently, opera and dance. He received a Tony Award, an Olivier Award, a Drama Desk Award and a BroadwayWorld.com Fans’ Choice Award for the Sound Design of Billy Elliot The Musical.
Other designs include Mary Stuart at the Donmar Warehouse, in the West End and on Broadway (Tony Award nomination); A Ring, A Lamp, A Thing, a new opera at the Royal Opera House; Blood and Gifts, Love The Sinner, Nation, The Revenger’s Tragedy, Happy Now?, Market Boy and Saint Joan (Olivier Award) at the National Theatre; The Pillowman at the National Theatre (Olivier Award nomination) and on Broadway (Drama Desk Award); The Winter’s Tale and The Cherry Orchard for the Bridge Project at BAM in New York and The Old Vic; The Arabian Nights, As You Like It, and The Crucible at the Royal Shakespeare Company; The House of Bernarda Alba for the National Theatre of Scotland; The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Been So Long, The Member of the Wedding, Vernon God Little, and The Respectable Wedding at the Young Vic Theatre, London; Les Liaisons Dangereuses on Broadway; When The Rain Stops Falling, There Came A Gypsy Riding, Enemies and Festen (Evening Standard Award, Olivier Award nomination) at the Almeida Theatre.
Other awards include a Drama Desk Award for Four Baboons Adoring The Sun at Lincoln Center, New York.
Ivan Putrov - dancer
Ivan Putrov was born in Kiev to a ballet family. Trained at The Kiev State Choreographic Institute and at The Royal Ballet School. After graduation Sir Anthony Dowell invited him to The Royal Ballet where he was promoted to Principal in 2002. His repertory includes all the classics and ballets by MacMillan, Ashton, Balanchine, Tetley, Robbins, Cranko, Forsythe, Kylián, Duato, McGregor, Zamuel and Maliphant.
He has appeared with the national ballet companies of Hungary, Lithuania, Ukraine and Vienna Staatsoper. Awards include First Prize at the Prix de Lausanne, Gold Medal at the Serge Lifar International Ballet Competition, Gold Medal at the Nijinsky Festival, Critics’ Circle National Dance Award and Medal for Work and Achievement from the President of Ukraine.
In 2009 he was made an Honorary Artist of the Ukraine. He has worked with Mario Testino, Johnnie Shand-Kidd, Philip Haas, Nick Knight and Sam Taylor-Wood on photographic and film projects.