News: Coming soon - Chris Ofili paints Royal Ballet dancers

Tuesday 19 August 2014 by Carmel Smith

Deloitte Ignite 2014

This year’s Deloitte Ignite arts festival at the Royal Opera House Myth – The Feather And The Flame , which opens this weekend (5 September) – is curated for the first time by The Royal Ballet. In partnership with the National Gallery’s Dr Minna Moore Ede they will present a month-long festival in September which explores the origin of myth and creation in the western world through dance, art, film, music and movement, focussing on the myths of Prometheus, and Leda and the Swan . One of the highlights will be a work by choreographer Aakash Odedra in which artist Chris Ofili paints directly on to the bodies of Royal Ballet dancers.

“Dance and contemporary art are a very natural fit, with myth and story-telling integral elements of the heritage of dance,” says the Royal Ballet’s Director Kevin O’Hare. “ It is an inspiring chance to work with such a wealth of artists across such a broad spectrum, from street-artist Phlegm to a new dance commission with Aakash Odedra, Chris Ofili and Royal Ballet dancers, and Luca Silvestrini taking choreography in to Covent Garden shop-fronts.”

The opening weekend (5 -7 September) includes the world premiere of Aakash Odedra’s, Sampling The Myth, in which Turner Prize-winning artist Chris Ofili paints Royal Ballet dancers for a mixed bill, narrated by the UK’s foremost expert on mythology, Marina Warner. The programme also includes world premieres of three specially commissioned dance films from Kim Brandstrup, Robert Binet and Charlotte Edmonds.

Outside, along Covent Garden Piazza shopfronts will be taken over by a site specific choreographic installation from Luca Silvestrini and his company Protein throughout the weekend; front of house areas will feature contemporary art installations from artists Bill Viola, Mat Collishaw and Tom Hunter and street artist Phlegm will use the Opera House itself as a canvas for his large scale interpretations of classical myth.

On Tuesday 9 September, in Exploring Cassandra in the Linbury Studio Theatre, Royal Ballet First Artist and choreographer, Ludovic Ondiviela will be deconstructing the myth of Cassandra, the subject of his first commission from the Royal Ballet, which has its world premiere at the Royal Opera House at the end of October. Curator Minna Moore Ede and composer Ana Silvera join Ondiviela and the audience in a conversation about ballet and music as they examine the Cassandra myth.

BalletBoyz theTALENT will taking up residence in the Linbury (16 – 27 September) for the first time, with a mixed bill including world premieres from Royal Ballet dancer Kristen McNally and from choreographer Alexander Whitley, as well as a piece by Christopher Wheeldon.

The season ends on 28 September with Deloitte Ignite Family Sunday, featuring creative and practical activities for all the family, as well as space to relax and enjoy live music in an informal setting. Activities running throughout the day will include story-telling, The Firebird costume display, dance demonstrations and work-shops and a Gods and Goddesses Scavenger hunt.

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