HAMPSHIRE’S Grange Festival has been working with celebrated dance maker Akram Khan. Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist Khan has spent four weeks in rehearsals at The Grange creating his much-anticipated new opus. Called XENOS, a solo inspired by Greek mythology, it will be his last performance as a dancer in a full-length production.
Sadler’s Wells presents the UK premiere of XENOS from 29 May until 9 June in 2018 as part of an international tour. The London performances mark the opening night of the 14-18 NOW commemoration season. As Grange-based rehearsals drew to a close, The Grange Festival organised an Education day involving over 200 students from across seven local state schools and colleges, who attended a short rehearsal, and a Q&A with Akram Khan.
The Grange Festival and Studio Wayne McGregor recently announced a new partnership, with McGregor appointed as Director of Dance, creating exclusive evenings of dance for The Grange Festival each season from 2018. It is the first time that a country house opera festival has appointed a director for dance, and the first time that dance becomes a central pillar of country house programming.
For the inaugural DANCE@THEGRANGE, McGregor has invited Edward Watson, Principal Dancer with The Royal Ballet to co-curate the two performances. It will include excerpts from McGregor’s thrilling work Atomos, created by Company Wayne McGregor alongside classical iconic ballet pieces performed by world class ballet dancers including Edward Watson. The 2018 season of The Grange Festival opens on 7 June with DANCE@THEGRANGE, followed by a new production of Handel’s Agrippina, Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, Mozart’s The Abduction from the Seraglio, and a concert staging of Bernstein’s Candide to celebrate Bernstein 100.