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Sangeun Lee in David Dawson’s Metamorphosis 1, at Ballet Nights

Date: Friday 27 October - Saturday 28 October 2023
Lanterns Studio Theatre | Unit D | Great Eastern Enterprise | 3 Millharbour | London, E14 9XP | | [Map]

Tickets: from £65 | Buy tickets here
Ballet Nights Bars Open 6.15pm
Show 7.30pm - 9.30pm
Post Show Bars Close 10.30pm
Sangeun Lee and Gareth Haw from the English National Ballet rehearse David Dawson's Metamorphosis 1

BALLET NIGHTS is a uniquely compèred and intimate evening of dance in the Canary Wharf and London Docklands area, attracting the crème de la crème of international talent. After a hugely successful September debut, we are now approaching an exciting new programme for October.

For the closing act of the October programme we have the pleasure of hosting the UK premiere of ‘Metamorphosis 1’, a piece choreographed by the internationally acclaimed choreographer David Dawson. Dancing this piece is the exceptionally talented South Korean Lead Principal of the English National Ballet, Sangeun Lee.

Sangeun’s performances are a true testament to the beauty and depth of Korean artistic talent; an extraordinary and unique sensation popular both in the UK and abroad.

David Dawson describes his piece as follows:

Metamorphosis; Change, growth, learning, understanding. Transformation. A ballet about hope. To hold on to innocence and the purity of wonderment. To believe in dreams. It is a light in the darkness, perhaps a way to pass toward a better time. I had wanted to create to the music of Philip Glass for a very long time, and this piano work had always intrigued me. I had begun creating this piece for Junior Ballet Antwerp with the intention to create a piece to help young dancers grow and develop as artists – to transform. Unfortunately everything was cancelled due to C19, with no clarity for the future. As an unfinished work I decided to complete it with the dancers of HNB as a film, and connect with all my colleagues in Amsterdam during this challenging time. This piece itself is created as a metamorphosis, as it includes fragments from a very early work, re-examined, re-arranged, and transformed new. Creating online is not easy, but this way we had a starting point to move forward from. It felt like the right moment to explore this kind of piece – this kind of creation.

During these times our theatre’s appeared to the outside world to be dark, empty, frozen – and for some time we have had no chance to bring our art form to our audience. But inside these opera houses that we call our home, where we spend most of our lives, we were busy preparing to come back. Everyday. We worked, we kept the light burning, and we tried to find our way. It wasn’t easy, not for any of us. We all have had to learn new ways of how to be, how to keep dancing and not give up. This metamorphosis is a lesson we all learn from, it is a revealing of what works and what doesn’t, and it is a new strength to discover. Always a challenge, but a challenge that we love. With this work I try to create inspiration, to bring unity and focus. To help us to discover that we can continue, that we must continue. That no moment can be wasted.

Full programme

Ballade No. 4 in F Minor, Chopin

Performed by Viktor Erik Emanuel

Depth of Healing

Choreographed & Performed by Musa Motha
Composed by Morena Sefatsa/ Brownlee Dlulane
With thanks to Simone Damberg Würtz

Of Silence

Performed by James Stephens & Winnie Dias
Choreographer Andrew McNicol
Composer Pēteris Vasks

Excerpt from Meta 4

Performed by Luke Ahmet, Pierre Tappon, Abigail Attard Montalto, Jenny Hayes
Choreographer Bella Lewitzky
Composer – Robert Xavier Rodriguez
Costume Bella Lewitzky

Excerpts from Elite Syncopations

“Stoptime Rag” & “Bethena Rag Waltz”
Performed by Constance Devernay-Laurence & Ryoichi Hirano
Choreographer Kenneth Macmillan
Composer Scott Joplin
Costume Ian Spurling
With thanks to the Macmillan Trust, and The Royal Ballet Company

L’isle joyeuse, L. 106, Debussy

Performed by Viktor Erik Emanuel

Heisei 9

Performed by Constance Devernay-Laurence
Choreographer Jordan James Bridge
Pianist Viktor Erik Emanuel
Costume Design by Stevie Stewart
Composer Nobuo Uematsu

UTOPIA (The Way Is Inside)

Choreographed & Performed by Yasser D’Oquendo
Music by Glenn Morrison / Martin Bloch / Joao Del Monte

In The Absence

Choreographed & Performed by Pett | Clausen-Knight
Composers Greg Haines
Design Pett | Clausen-Knight

Metamorphosis 1

Performed by Sangeun Lee & Gareth Haw
Choreographer David Dawson
Composer Phillip Glass
Costume Eddie Grundy & David Dawson
Lighting by Bert Dalhuijsen

Photo: Sangeun Lee and Gareth Haw from the English National Ballet rehearse David Dawson’s Metamorphosis 1. Credit: Viktor Erik Emanuel

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