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Highly-acclaimed Ballet Preljocaj returns to Sadler's Wells with La Fresque

Ballet Preljocaj: La Fresque

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

AWARD-winning French choreographer Angelin Preljocaj’s Ballet Preljocaj returns to Sadler’s Wells following a seven-year absence with its interpretation of the traditional Chinese tale, La Fresque or The Painting on the Wall.

The piece marks the start of Sadler’s Wells’ French season, in partnership with the Institut français’ FranceDance UK, and receives its UK premiere from September 30 to October 2, 2019.

From August to November, dance from France and francophone countries features across the UK, with 50 performances across nine major cities.

Sadler’s Wells is one of the 16 partners of FranceDance UK and presents four works as part of its Autumn season: Preljocaj’s La Fresque, CROWD by Gisèle Vienne (October 8 and 9), Danse Élargie: Dance Expanded (October 11 and 12) and Emanuel Gat’s WORKS (November 11 and 12).

Continuing his exploration of fairy tales, Preljocaj drew inspiration from Pu Songling’s The Mural, first published in 1740 as part of the Strange Stories collection. La Fresque examines the eponymous medieval Chinese story which explores a place of transcendency as one of the characters falls in love with a woman illustrated on the painting. The work explores the mysterious relationship between representation and reality.

Preljocaj’s evocative reincarnations of fairy tales began with L’Anoure in 1995, Snow White in 2008 and Siggharta in 2010.

La Fresque premiered at Théâtre de Provence (France) in 2016 and features costumes by late Tunisian-born couturier and shoe designer Azzedine Alaïa, whose designs have been worn by a range of high-profile supermodels and celebrities including Former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama, Grace Jones, Naomi Campbell, Lady Gaga and Stephanie Seymour.

Set design comes from regular collaborator and French designer Constance Guisset, who has also designed sets for dance duo Wang Ramirez and exhibitions at Musée des Arts Décoratifs.

Music comes from one half of the indie-electro band Air: Nicholas Godin. Since his time in Air, Godin released his first solo album Contrepoint, inspired and built around a piece of music by Johann Sebastian Bach.

Preljocaj founded Ballet Preljocaj in 1984 and has been invited to create works for numerous other companies including Paris Opera Ballet, Berlin Ballet and New York City Ballet. He is an “Officier des Arts et des Lettres”, a “Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur” and he was appointed an “Officier de l’ordre du Mérite” in May 2006. In 2014, he received the Samuel H. Scripps/American Dance Festival Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Ballet Preljocaj was last at Sadler’s Wells with Snow White in 2012.

Also at Sadler’s Wells: Matthew Bourne’s Romeo and Juliet (until August 31) and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (September 4 to September 14, 2019).

For more information or to book tickets, call the ticket office on 020 7863 8000 or visit