Akram Khan’s ‘Giselle’ Takeover at the Whitworth Gallery


Photo credit: Jason Bell

To coincide with the world premiere of Akram Khan’s Giselle at The Palace Theatre, Manchester (27 Sept – 1 Oct), English National Ballet, Manchester International Festival and the Whitworth Art Gallery present Artist Sundays: Akram Khan’s Giselle Takeover, a programme of ambitious free activity, that takes place beyond the stage at the Whitworth Gallery on Sunday 18 September.

Featuring artists from Akram Khan’s Giselle, English National Ballet, English National Ballet Philharmonic, and artists from across the North West of England, the programme for the day includes a pop-up design exhibition, an original dance film, family dance and music workshops, a taster session for English National Ballet’s ground-breaking Dance for Parkinson’s programme, and live dance performances.

English National Ballet’s new production of Giselle, by Akram Khan, sees the classic story of love, betrayal and redemption given a new interpretation, with set and costume design from Academy-Award winning designer Tim Yip, known for his work on the hit film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and a new adaptation of the original Adolphe Adam score performed live by English National Ballet Philharmonic. English National Ballet and Akram Khan previously collaborated together on the award-winning piece Dust, part of the Lest We Forget programme. Giselle is Akram’s first full length ballet.

The full programme of free activity includes:

Dialogues with Giselle (working title)
Choreography and directing team Morgann Runacre-Temple and Jessica Wright have created an original dance for the camera film short inspired by the themes of Akram Khan’s Giselle. Set in Manchester’s spectacular Grade II* listed Victoria Baths, the film features a cast of young, talented dancers from in and around Manchester, working alongside professional artists, dancer Sam Coren and actor Jenny Runacre.

Design Contexts: Fashion & Costume
Earlier this year, Academy-Award winning designer Tim Yip tasked emerging fashion designers from across the North West of England to create designs inspired by the ideas of dislocation and the underworld, central themes of Giselle. The short listed designs are presented in this pop-up exhibition, curated by Tim.

Family Dance & Music Workshop: Ballet Tales and Curious Percussion
Explore Giselle’s journey into other worlds in this music and dance family workshop. Using an intriguing mix of traditional and unusual percussion, professional artists from English National Ballet and English National Ballet Philharmonic guide participants through the new adaptation of Adolphe Adam’s score.

ChoreoSpace: Akram Khan’s Giselle with Mavin Khoo
ChoreoSpace offers professional and vocationally trained dancers a unique opportunity to learn about Akram Khan’s choreographic language and approach in a practical workshop, led by internationally recognised artist Mavin Khoo, rehearsal director for Akram Khan’s Giselle.

Live performances
Inspired by the central themes of Akram Khan’s Giselle, and influences from the winning Design Contexts costume designs, renowned choreographer José Agudo has created two distinct solo works. Professional dancers Simona Marsibilio and Daniela Norman perform in the gallery, with imaginative, cutting-edge costumes designed by Manchester-based emerging artists Cindy To and Lauren Karpowicz.

Dance for Parkinson’s Taster session
English National Ballet brings its ground-breaking Dance for Parkinson’s programme to Manchester. A unique opportunity for people with Parkinson’s, their carers, friends, and family to take part in a taster session inspired by Akram Khan’s reimagining of Giselle, with live music.

For further information about English National Ballet and to book tickets visit http://giselle.ballet.org.uk/. Please note event and performance details are subject to change.

Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

About English National Ballet
English National Ballet has a long and distinguished history. Founded in 1950 as London Festival Ballet by the great English Dancers Alicia Markova and Anton Dolin, it has played a major role in the growth and history of ballet in the UK. Today, English National Ballet is renowned for taking world-class ballet to the widest possible audience through its national and international tour programme, offsite performances at festivals including Glastonbury and Latitude, its distinguished orchestra English National Ballet Philharmonic, and being a UK leader in creative learning and engagement practice and delivery, building innovative partnerships to deliver flagship programmes such as English National Ballet’s Dance for Parkinson’s. Under the artistic directorship of Tamara Rojo, English National Ballet has gained new acclaim as it introduces innovative new works to the Company’s repertoire while continuing to honour and reinvigorate traditional ballet.


About Akram Khan’s Giselle
English National Ballet is proud to announce its new production of Giselle by Akram Khan, one of the most sought after choreographers working today, will be a co-production with Manchester International Festival and Sadler’s Wells.

One of the greatest romantic ballets of all time, Akram Khan’s Giselle will see Academy-Award winning designer Tim Yip, known for his work on the hit film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, create the set and costumes, while composer Ben Frost will create an adaptation of the original score, performed by English National Ballet Philharmonic. Giselle will also see dramaturgy from Ruth Little and lighting design from Mark Henderson. English National Ballet and Akram Khan previously collaborated together on the award-winning piece Dust, part of its Lest We Forget programme

Akram Khan’s Giselle, will have its world premiere at the Palace Theatre, Manchester (27 September – 1 October 2016) followed by a national tour to The Bristol Hippodrome (18 – 22 October 2016), The Mayflower Theatre, Southampton (26 – 29 October 2016), and Sadler’s Wells (15 – 19 November 2016).

Co-produced by Manchester International Festival and Sadler’s Wells.

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