Internationally acclaimed choreographer, Alexander Whitley and Messums, Wiltshire join forces this summer for a unique, triple bill programme to be performed in the gallery’s magnificent 13th-Century Monastic Barn in Tisbury on 27th and 28th July 2018. The three contemporary dance works include the Royal Opera House commissioned, Noumena; the world première of Between Two Fires and Ulysses Awakes, originally commissioned by the 12 Ensemble. This one-off summer experience brings together the worlds of visual art and contemporary dance to create a truly unmissable weekend of performances in the breathtaking surroundings of the historic Messums, Wiltshire barn.
“It is a great pleasure to bring this triple bill of contemporary works to Messums Wiltshire. The gallery’s majestic 14th Century Barn space provides a spectacular backdrop to present the new programme and I’m delighted that audiences in Wiltshire will be the first to see the world premiere of my duet, Between Two Fires.”
Messums Wiltshire is a pioneering multi-purpose gallery and arts centre celebrating the creative endeavor and has shown work by artists Grayson Perry, Andy Warhol as well as internationally acclaimed designer Thomas Heatherwick. The collaboration with Alexander Whitley continues the gallery’s commitment to connect with artists across disciplines and follows on from the venue’s 2016 contemporary dance collaboration with choreographer, Russell Maliphant.
Alexander Whitley has choreographed works for many of the UK's première dance companies including The Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Rambert, Balletboyz, Candoco and Gandini Juggling. A Sadler’s Wells New Wave Associate Artist and former Choreographic Affiliate of The Royal Ballet, Alexander has developed a reputation for his bold interdisciplinary approach to dance making, producing technologically innovative and thought-provoking stage productions as well as exploring the creative possibilities being opened up by new digital platforms.
Noumena, commissioned by the Royal Opera House was made in response to Frederick Ashton’s ballet Sylvia. The ballet's mythological themes are reframed through an exploration of the inner feminine drive (Anima) and the human unconscious. This darkly beautiful quartet is illuminated by a dazzling light installation from Amsterdam-based visual artists Children of the Light and set to composer Bryce Dessner’s gorgeous 2014 work, Réponse Lutosławski. Ulysses Awakes is a solo work created in collaboration with the celebrated 12 Ensemble, performed to composer John Woolrich’s piece for strings of the same name. It was created in response to the text of Ulysses’ first aria in Claudio Monteverdi's opera Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria on which Woolrich’s piece was based. A duet, Between Two Fires is set to an atmospheric score by acclaimed electronic composer and producer Rival Consoles, which sets the tone for an exploration of risk, play and tenderness in a relationship between two people.