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September 2019 / Diary / by Sophie Hampton

Dance, La France

An unmissable cultural fix comes in the shape of Ballet Preljocaj’s return to Sadler’s Wells this month. Following a seven-year hiatus, award-winning French choreographer Angelin Preljocaj presents his interpretation of the traditional Chinese tale, La Fresque (the painting on the wall) – a UK premier which neatly marks the start of Sadler’s Wells’ French season, in partnership with the Institut Français’ FranceDance UK.

Sadlers Wells

Preljocaj last brought his talented ensemble to the London home of ballet back in 2012 with Snow White. Now, he continues his exploration of fairy tales and fantastical retellings, drawing inspiration from Pu Songling’s The Mural, first published in 1740 as part of the Strange Stories collection. In La Fresque, a character falls in love with a woman in the painting, and so themes of transcendency arise while the piece explores the mysterious relationship between representation and reality.

Sadlers Wells

There’s a wealth of talent behind the scenes, too. The ballet features costumes by the late couturier Azzedine Alaïa, whose designs have been worn by anyone who’s anyone – think Michelle Obama, Grace Jones, Naomi Campbell, and Lady Gaga; Constance Guisset of Vertigo lamp fame is responsible for set design; and music comes from Nicholas Godin, one half of the indie-electro band, Air.

Prepare to be awed with deft dance moves and otherworldly storytelling.

Monday 30 September to Wednesday 2 October, Rosebery Avenue, EC1R (020 7863 8000; sadlerswells.com

Image: Jean-Claude Carbonne