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Russell Maliphant and Vangelis: The Thread - Sadler's Wells

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

MAKING its world premiere at Sadler’s Wells from March 15 to March 17, 2019, The Thread unites the rare talents of Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist Russell Maliphant and Oscar-winning composer Vangelis.

Inspired by Greek mythology and historic Hellenic dances, Maliphant’s choreography explores the changing forms of traditional and contemporary dance. Through Georgia Iliopoulou’s conception, Maliphant and his partners unravel these transformations through dance, movement, music, costumes and light.

Maliphant’s choreography has been inspired by artists such as Auguste Rodin (The Rodin Project), and performers such as Vaslav Nijinsky (Afterlight). His work has been performed by renowned dance artists including Sylvie Guillem, BalletBoyz, and English National Ballet, for whom his piece Second Breath was part of the critically celebrated programme Lest We Forget.

Forming Russell Maliphant Company in 1996, he became an Associate Artist of Sadler’s Wells in 2005 and was awarded an honorary doctorate of arts from Plymouth University in 2011.

The Thread features the explosive electronic music of Greek composer Vangelis, whose famous score for Chariots of Fire won him an Oscar in 1982. Vangelis is also renowned for his compositions for acclaimed films including Blade Runner and Alexander, and his piece Mythodea was chosen by NASA in 2001 as the official music for its mission to Mars. NASA awarded Vangelis its Public Service Medal to honour this contribution.

Joining these exceptional creatives is fellow Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist, “choreographer of light” and Maliphant’s long-time collaborator, Michael Hulls. Prior to its appearance in The Thread, Hulls’ work can be seen at Messums Wiltshire in installation Material Light from December 2018 to February 2019, with an opening talk on Saturday, December 8 at 11am; and as part of Akram Khan Company’s Until the Lions at The Roundhouse in January 2019.

Costumes for The Thread are designed by award-winning London-based Greek fashion designer Mary Katrantzou, whose work is highly appreciated internationally.

Inspired by the ancient Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur or Ariadne’s Thread, Vangelis likens The Thread to “an excavation both into the past and into the future.”

The Thread is produced by LAVRIS Productions, Athens.

Tickets: £15 – £55. To book, call the box office on 020 7863 8000 or visit

Times: Friday to Sunday at 7:30pm.