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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Fri Sep 16, 2005 8:34 am ]


Russell Maliphant, photo: Hugo Glendinning

A programme including Push, Shift and a World Premiere

Fri 30 September - Mon 3 October, 7.30pm
Sadler’s Wells: 0870 737 7737
Tickets £5 - £40

Jerwood Proms: Stand Up For Dance for only £5 Fri 30

Meet the Artist: Sat 1 with Sylvie Guillem and Russell Maliphant. Free to ticket holders after the performance.

Sylvie Guillem and Russell Maliphant take to the stage together for the very first time with a mixed bill featuring two world premieres made especially for this occasion.

The programme consists of a solo performed by Guillem; Push, a duet combining the abilities of this extraordinary partnership; and Shift, Maliphant's signature work.

Reflecting the flow and energy between movement and light, the three pieces are complemented by lighting designed by Maliphant's long-time collaborator Michael Hulls, with music by Shirley Thompson (Shift) and Andrew Cowton (Push).

‘Guillem gives us emotion in its most direct and harrowing form.’ The Guardian

‘(Maliphant) is supremely present in everything he does, able to draw on resources of movement others can only dream about.’ The Observer

Author:  Audience Response [ Sun Oct 02, 2005 6:37 am ]
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Audience feedback from Saturday Oct. 1st performance of 4 pieces:

Solo - Guillem
Shift - Maliphant
Two - Guillem
Push - Guillem and Maliphant

Tanya (age 13) - "I really liked Two, it was very quick, I also liked the shadows in Shift, I take dance classes so I was thinking about ideas that I could put in my work.
Favourite piece: Two

Sarah - "Wonderful, Guillem's body and her technical ability are fantastic"
Favourite piece: Two

Heather - "I was very impressed with the lighting in Shift"
Favourite piece: Push

Christine, Bernard, and Elise (age 11) - "Fantastic, they pushed into another dimension of space, it was very tight and Guillem has so much strength, their work is very organic. Brilliant, especially Shift, it was very clever and witty.
Favourite piece: Two

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Mon Oct 03, 2005 5:59 am ]
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Guillem and Maliphant
By Debra Craine for The Times

EVEN before the curtain went up, you knew this was going to be a good one. The incomparable ballerina Sylvie Guillem and the acclaimed choreographer Russell Maliphant working together again: it’s a pairing made in heaven.

Guillem, now 40, is reducing her ties to the Royal Ballet at Covent Garden, so if you want to catch her most adventurous performances you will have to find her at venues such as Sadler’s Wells, which produced this extraordinary evening.

click for more

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Mon Oct 03, 2005 6:04 am ]
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I was in the vicinity of Sadler's Wells on Saturday and was asked the way to the theatre by a couple coming from King's Cross station. After giving directions, I pointed out that they were at risk of robbery - I would have done anything for a ticket as the run was sold out two weeks ago. Given its huge success, with luck, we'll see a return season.

It's interesting that Maliphant's choreography fits Guillem like a glove. I remember one of our modern dance reviewers a few years ago commenting that Maliphant's choreography was too smooth and too beautiful. Perhaps these "faults" are part of the reason for the successs of the duo.

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Mon Oct 03, 2005 12:47 pm ]
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by JUDITH MACKRELL for the Guardian

In creating this duet, Maliphant has referenced Guillem's ballerina repertory and there's a classical shape to many of their manoeuvres as they track their slow journey upstage together. Yet there is nothing balletic about the edgy exchange of energy that keeps the movement alive, dangerous and clamorously expressive...

published: October 3, 2005

Author:  kurinuku [ Tue Oct 04, 2005 8:29 am ]
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A spellbinding partnership
by SARAH CROMPTON for the Daily Telegraph

What Push shows is how Maliphant understands not only the precision of Guillem's movement, but also its passion. That's on display again in the deceptively simple new Solo, which he has also created for this bill.

published: October 4, 2005

Author:  kurinuku [ Tue Oct 04, 2005 11:24 am ]
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Push, Sadler's Wells, London
by ZOE ANDERSON for the Independent

Maliphant's own solo, "Shift", is bolder. With Michael Hulls, his regular lighting partner, he has arranged a shadow dance. As he dances, his shadow is cast on to a line of screens - three shadows, now big, now small, but always dark and sharply defined; so clever.

published: October 4, 2005

Author:  Alex R [ Fri Oct 07, 2005 3:49 am ]
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Review for Oct. 1st performance:

As I approached the theatre on Saturday evening I realised that my experience of dance programmes consisting of solos and duets was very limited. Nevertheless, I had seen excerpts of “Torsion”, a work created for the Ballet Boyz by this evening’s choreographer, Russell Maliphant, and this memory along with Sylvie Guillem’s reputation ensured that my expectations were high!

The first piece, “Solo”, created for Guillem, was set to flamenco music, and she immediately made a deep impression with a stage presence the like of which I have not encountered before. Initially, Guillem was bathed in orange light, which brightened or dimmed, following the texture of the guitar music, and although the steps were not flamenco based, Guillem’s seductive movement style and her loose white garments certainly gave an impression of the spirit of Spanish dance. Although not fast-paced, Guillem was able to demonstrate her abilities, one moment kicking high, the next making low swooping movements close to the floor.

”Shift”, billed as Maliphant’s signature solo, starts at a slow pace, to the accompaniment of a cello and with extraordinary lighting from Michael Hulls. Amber lights at the front of the stage shine six columns of light onto a white backdrop, creating silhouettes of Maliphant, so that although this work is billed as a solo, there are up to four ‘Maliphants’ on stage, with the angle of the lights creating subtly different silhouettes. The music gives a suggestion of sadness and at one point Maliphant moves as if searching for something. The choreography and the fluid integration of the silhouettes are breathtaking and at the conclusion of this beautiful piece, each column of light slowly fades out, until there is just one left, which then also dies away. Although without narrative or over-emotional content, I can believe that many were deeply moved by “Shift”.

”Two”, the second solo by Guillem, was my favourite of the night, as it gives the greatest scope for her abilities, as well as demonstrating Maliphant’s choreographic style most clearly. The dancer is trapped in a box of light, which eventually dims in the centre and brightens at the border - Guillem tries to break through but at each contact pulls back. This is another brilliant lighting effect, as for fractions of a second a hand or foot will be brighter than the rest of Guillem’s body. As with all the pieces in the programme, the pace of the music is slow at the start, but after a while a clear, pulsing beat kicks in. Her swooping arm movements and fluid leg movements along with the quick changes between standing tall and crouching were performed with a style and verve that I have not seen equalled. “Two” was the highlight of the evening for me.

The question in my mind before “Push” was - can two performers fill a stage for 32 minutes? Unfortunately, the answer in this case was - no. Perhaps my expectations were too high after the first three works and although “Push” has some merits, with performers of this calibre working together I was disappointed not to see something really special. When the lights come up, Guillem is sitting on Maliphant’s shoulders, gradually working her way down to the floor. Twice during the opening section of the work, the lights go out, and each time they come up, Guillem is back on Maliphant’s shoulders. There are some lovely movements as well as fluid sequences where the two performers bend and turn themselves around each other without touching, with suggestions of capoeira. However, there are also periods when they simply walk around the stage, occasionally adding a movement or two - it seemed that Maliphant just didn’t have enough ideas to fill a 30 minute piece. At first, I wondered if Andy Cowton’s score didn’t give the choreographer much to work on, as it opens slowly and continues in the same way, without any climax. However, in the post-performance talk we heard that at least 50% of the material was created before the music was available. Nevertheless, “Push” was certainly a hit with the audience and the applause kept Guillem and Maliphant on-stage for a good five minutes!

I believe that many choreographers could learn from the use of lighting in this programme. In all four pieces, Michael Hulls, the designer, created some of the most imaginative lighting I have seen; especially memorable were the silhouettes in Shift and the box in “Two”. Hulls was rightly given a round of applause at the post-show talk.

Overall, this was a very enjoyable evening, and it was a great experience to see two dancers of such a high standard perform outstanding choreography. Alistair Spalding, the Chief Executive of Sadler’s, assured us that this programme will return.

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Fri Oct 07, 2005 4:04 am ]
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Thanks a bunch for your interesting comments, Alex - wish I could have been there!

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sat Oct 08, 2005 5:01 am ]
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By Katie Phillips for The stage

How to describe the phenomenon that is Sylvie Guillem? Her body - long, lean and sinuous - is like an elastic band. It is ridiculously flexible, stretching into unbelievable positions, yet tough and quick. She flicks a leg up to her ear before snapping back into shape. Even though the first piece, Solo, in the mixed bill is underhand and throwaway, Guillem is effortlessly graceful, illuminating and utterly brilliant. She can flabbergast her audience by simply pointing her foot, lighting up the stage with her overpowering presence as well as any of Michael Hulls’ slices and pockets of light and shadow.

click for more

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sun Oct 09, 2005 4:49 am ]
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Push: Sylvie Guillem/Russell Maliphant
By Jann Parry for The Observer

In previous pieces, Maliphant has portrayed Guillem as a fearless acrobat. This time, she's feminine, sensual, irresistible. In one solo, she's a matador, her long limbs both cape and sword; in another, she's a blaze of light.

click for more


A match made in heaven
Sylvie Guillem and Russell Maliphant are partners in the sublime, says David Dougill for The Sunday Times.

Couple the names of Sylvie Guillem, starriest of ballerinas, and the choreographer Russell Maliphant, dancing together for the first time, and the result was sold-out performances for Dance Umbrella at Sadler’s Wells. The promenaders in the pit on the opening night were so tightly packed, they might have had difficulty breathing.

click for more

Author:  Guest [ Sun Oct 09, 2005 7:40 am ]
Post subject:  london

Thanks to GUILLEM, She was really great,
each time I have the opportunity to attend a performance, I think it will be the most beautiful ballet we could see in the world

Thanks to Malliphant too,

Thanks to London ,
no words to tell you the emotion they carried out , each of them, and both together

No Ballerina in the world is able to honor Ballet like her ,

All the newspapers all over the world will tell you

Author:  sophie-elise [ Mon Oct 10, 2005 1:01 pm ]
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I wrote the previous note , as a " guest "

Author:  stella [ Tue Jun 13, 2006 4:21 pm ]
Post subject:  guillem & maliphant back for more

A standing ovation, bravos and woop woops in the stalls at Sadlers tonight for the reprise of this programme. Plus HUGE bouquets.

Guillem is fabulous, undoubtedly. Stunning, able to mesmerise with a shoulder blade. Her solos were captivating. In Push she is a remote goddess ice queen of incredible strength, control and agility matching and frankly eclipsing Maliphant's quiet, stocky presence (or is it just in comparison to Guillem, anyone is stocky?). The choreography of the partner work is flawless; it's just a shame that Push now seems too long, with too little going on. This may be controversial, but I actually preferred Push when performed by Maliphant's own dancers earlier this year. There was more emotional connection and intensity between the dancers, more of an emotional journey through the piece, more humanity. This is all about Sylvie and her unattainable glamour. You hardly notice her partner. Sylvie is dance enthusiast fetish material. You can't take your eyes off her. Not that that is a bad thing. I just hope that the Guillem effect doesn't overpower Akram Khan later this year.

Author:  CarolinaM [ Sat May 05, 2007 1:45 pm ]
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This same program was at the Teatro Real in Madrid last month and a report was made by Jesús Vallinas.

If you are interested in you can follow the link and read the report, in English, and see the wonderful shots.

PUSH by Sylvie Guillem and Russell Maliphant at the Teatro Real in Madrid

Hope you like it!

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