Rambert wins Venice prize for new MIF show

Published: 2 July 2019
Reporter: Vera Liber

Leo Warner, Lolita Chakrabarti, Benoit Swan Pouffer at the MIF launch in March 2019 Credit: Joel Chester Fildes

Rambert has won the Fedora – Van Cleef & Arpels Prize for Ballet of €100,000 at Fedora’s 2019 Prize Awards Ceremony held in Venice, Italy on Friday 28 June 2019 for Invisible Cities, to première as part of this year's Manchester International Festival.

Rambert’s Chief Executive Helen Shute and Artistic Director Benoit Swan Pouffer attended the ceremony. Shute said she was, "both thrilled and proud," adding, "directed by Leo Warner and conceived by 59 Productions, Invisible Cities will première at Manchester International Festival at the end of the week, bringing dance, theatre, architectural design and projection mapping together in a unique way that pushes the boundaries of what we can achieve on stage.

"It marks the first collaboration between Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Rambert, and brings world class dance to a non-conventional venue."

Loosely based on Italo Calvino's renowned 1972 novel, the production centres on the relationship between Kublai Khan, the volatile head of a vast empire, and explorer Marco Polo, who must transcend the barriers of language to describe it for him. The script was written by Lolita Chakrabarti with choreography by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, a score by Dustin O’Halloran and Adam Wiltzie of the ambient music duo A Winged Victory for the Sullen and soundscapes by award-winning Gareth Fry. It will be directed by Leo Warner of 59 Productions, who spoke to the BTG podcast about the production at the MIF launch in March.

Performed by Rambert, with Danny Sapani as Kublai Khan and Matthew Leonhart as Marco Polo, Invisible Cities will see Manchester’s Mayfield, a former train depot, transformed through a mix of theatre, choreography, music, architectural design and projection mapping for this new site-specific work.