Sutra

A Sadler's Wells London Production

By Sadler's Wells

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Antony Gormley with monks from the Shaolin Temple in China

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui by Koen BroosSadler's Wells

Sutra

Sadler's Wells Associate Artist Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui is a choreographer well known for his curious nature and intriguing collaborations with other art forms. Sutra was inspired by the skill, strength and spirituality of Buddhist Shaolin Monks. It explores the philosophy and faith behind the Shaolin tradition and its relationship with Kung-Fu.

Antony Gormley, Lars Gundersen, From the collection of: Sadler's Wells
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Sutra's iconic set was designed by Turner Prize-winning artist Antony Gormley. It comprises of human-sized wooden boxes which are manipulated, moved, stacked and cascaded by the cast to create a visually stunning production.

Szymon Brzóska, Tristram Kenton, From the collection of: Sadler's Wells
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The music for Sutra was created by Polish composer Szymon Brzóska. It contains trace elements of Chinese traditional music and is both climactic and powerful and at points calming and tranquil.

The music is played on violin, viola, cello, piano and percussian

Monks from the 2010 cast (2010)Sadler's Wells

The cast is mostly made up of monks for the Shaolin Temple in China.

Young Monks, Ian Gavan, Getty Images, From the collection of: Sadler's Wells
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The cast includes one young monk who is supported by two others on tour.

First Sutra rehearsals (2008)Sadler's Wells

The first workshops and rehearsals for Sutra took place at the Shaolin Temple in Dengfeng, China.

A sketch of the Sutra set by Antony Gormley by Antony Gormley and 2008Sadler's Wells

A first sketch of the set by Antony Gormley.

Creating Sutra with Antony Gormley's set, 2008, From the collection of: Sadler's Wells
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Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui experiments with the set, 2008, From the collection of: Sadler's Wells
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Playing with the boxes (2008)Sadler's Wells

Creating Sutra (2008)Sadler's Wells

Rehearsing at the Temple (2008)Sadler's Wells

Rehearsing Sutra (2008) by Thomas DhanensSadler's Wells

A set of miniature boxes was made to help in the creation process. This eventually became part of the set.

Sidi Larbi & Antony Gormley - rehearsals with Shaolin MonksSadler's Wells

In rehearsals in China

Sutra by Hugo GlendinningSadler's Wells

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui also performed in Sutra.

Sutra, Hugo Glendinning, From the collection of: Sadler's Wells
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Sutra, Hugo Glendinning, From the collection of: Sadler's Wells
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Sutra by Hugo GlendinningSadler's Wells

Sutra, Ian Gavan, Getty Images, From the collection of: Sadler's Wells
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Sutra by Andree LanthierSadler's Wells

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui was replaced by Ali Thabet (pictured) and Damien Fournier, both who whom had been assistant choreographers from the start of the project, alongside Satoshi Kudo.

Sutra, Andree Lanthier, From the collection of: Sadler's Wells
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Sutra by Andree LanthierSadler's Wells

Sutra by Andree LanthierSadler's Wells

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui & Antony Gormley with monks from the Shaolin Temple - Sutra by Sadler's WellsSadler's Wells

A clip from the final production of Sutra.

Taking flight on the London Eye (2008) by Andrew LangSadler's Wells

Since 2008, Sutra has toured around the world to as far flung places as France, China, Spain, New Zealand and Taiwan.

Being a tourist in London (2008) by Andrew LangSadler's Wells

Rehearsing in Tivoli (2008) by Kado SatoshiSadler's Wells

Preparing for Sutra in Avignon (2008) by Leila RansleySadler's Wells

Relaxing in the outdoor theatre at El Grec Festival, Barcelona (2008) by Leila RansleySadler's Wells

A press call in Brussels (2008) by Thomas DhanensSadler's Wells

Warming up on stage at La Monnaie in Brussels (2008) by Thomas DhanensSadler's Wells

On tour in Macau (2009) by Li JingSadler's Wells

On tour in Paris (2009)Sadler's Wells

Outside the venue in Lisbon (2010)Sadler's Wells

A press call in Wellington (2010)Sadler's Wells

On tour in Mexico, Sandra Castell-Garcia, 2012, From the collection of: Sadler's Wells
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Visiting the new National Arts Centre in Taiwan (2015) by Sandra Castell-GarciaSadler's Wells

Posing for a photo outside Sadler's Wells in London (2013) by Lucy WhiteSadler's Wells

Credits: Story

A Sadler's Wells London production.
Co-produced with Athens Festival, Festival de Barcelona Grec, Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg, La Monnaie Brussels,Festival d'Avignon, Fondazione Musica per Roma, Shaolin Cultural Communications Company

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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