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Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s debut as a choreographer was in 1999 with Andrew Wale’s ‘contemporary musical’, Anonymous Society, with songs by Jaques Brel. Since then he has made more than 20 full-fledged choreographic pieces and picked up a slew of awards. In 2008 Sadler’s Wells named him an Associate Artist and in 2009 the Alfred Toëpfer Stiftung conferred its Kairos prize to him in recognition of his artistic philosophy and his quest for cultural dialogue. In 2008 and 2011 he was declared Choreographer of the Year by the dance magazine Tanz.

While Cherkaoui’s initial pieces were made as a core member of the Belgian collective, Les Ballets C. de la B. – Rien de Rien (2000), Foi (2003) and Tempus Fugit (2004), he also undertook parallel projects. He has worked with a variety of theatres, opera houses and ballet companies, and from 2004–2009 Cherkaoui was based in Antwerp where he was artist in residence at Toneelhuis where was produced Myth (2007) and Origine (2008).

In 2008 Cherkaoui premiered Sutra at Sadler’s Wells. This award-winning collaboration with Antony Gormley and the Shaolin monks continues to tour the world to great critical acclaim. After his first commissioned piece in North America, Orbo Novo and a series of duets such as Faun, and Dunas with flamenco danseuse María Pagés 2009, he launched his new company Eastman.

2010 he reunited with co-choreographer Damien Jalet and Antony Gormley to make Babel(words), which triumphed at the 2011 Laurence Olivier Awards, winning best new dance production and outstanding achievement in dance for Antony Gormley.

2011 saw the creation of TeZukA, a new piece for 15 performers about the works of the master of Japanese manga, Osamu Tezuka. Cherkaoui also created Labyrinth for Dutch National Ballet.

In 2012 he created Puz/zle with 11 dancers and the Corsican men’s choir A Filetta, Lebanese singer Fadia Tomb El-Hage and Japanese musician Kazunari Abe. He also helmed the choreography for Anna Karenina, the film by Joe Wright, featuring Keira Knightley and Jude Law. And, finally, 2013 he created m¡longa for the swiss Théatre Jorat, inspired by tango.

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