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Dance Superstar Sylvie Guillem’s Last ever UK Performances will take place at the Birmingham Hippodrome

Sylvie Guillem in the studio rehearsing Mats Ek's <I>Bye</I>.<br />© Lesley Leslie-Spinks. (Click image for larger version)
Sylvie Guillem in the studio rehearsing Mats Ek’s Bye.
© Lesley Leslie-Spinks. (Click image for larger version)

Dance Superstar Sylvie Guillem’s Last ever UK Performances will take place at the Birmingham Hippodrome


‘the most brilliant ballerina of her generation’ (The Guardian),

Birmingham Hippodrome announces the return of dance superstar Sylvie Guillem for her last ever UK performances on Tuesday 8 and Wednesday 9 September 2015.

Sylvie Guillem will be performing in Life in Progress featuring both existing and new works by choreographers who have influenced her contemporary career. Guillem performs two new works including a solo by choreographer and Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist Akram Khan, and a pas de deux with Italian dancer Emanuela Montanari from La Scala. The new duet is choreographed by Russell Maliphant with lighting by Michael Hulls, both of whom collaborated with her on the award-winning PUSH which she performed at Birmingham Hippodrome as part of International Dance Festival Birmingham 2012.

Life in Progress also includes Mats Ek’s touching and poignant solo, Bye, which was made especially for her and has been performed previously as part of the 6000 Miles Away programme, part of International Dance Festival Birmingham 2014. It is completed by William Forsythe’s Duo performed by two male dancers, which premiered in 1996.

Life in Progress receives its world premiere in Modena on 31 March 2015.

Sylvie Guillem is also today announced as the recipient of a special award at this year’s Olivier Awards, celebrating her achievements over the course of her career. The Olivier Awards with MasterCard, run by the Society of London Theatre (SOLT), take place on Sunday 12 April 2015. Highlights from the awards will be broadcast on ITV.

Stuart Griffiths, Chief Executive of Birmingham Hippodrome said Sylvie Guillem’s performances have been major highlights of both the 2012 and 2014 International Dance Festivals so I am honoured that Ms Guillem has chosen Birmingham Hippodrome as the venue for her last ever performances in the UK.

“I am also delighted that dance lovers across the West Midlands and beyond have the unique chance of seeing these final performances here in Birmingham. We expect huge demand for tickets which go on sale on 19 March.”

Sylvie Guillem in the studio rehearsing Mats Ek's Bye.© Lesley Leslie-Spinks. (Click image for larger version)
Sylvie Guillem in the studio rehearsing Mats Ek’s Bye.
© Lesley Leslie-Spinks. (Click image for larger version)

A dancer renowned the world over with an extensive career at the Paris Opera Ballet, The Royal Ballet and Tokyo Ballet, Guillem has played many iconic roles in ballets by Kenneth MacMillan, Maurice Béjart, Frederick Ashton, William Forsythe and Mats Ek. She has also diversified as a dancer into the world of contemporary dance, performing acclaimed works such as PUSH, Sacred Monsters and 6000 Miles Away.

Sylvie Guillem CBE, was born in Paris. As a child, she trained in gymnastics under the instruction of her mother, a gymnastics teacher. In 1977 aged 11, she began training at the Paris Opera Ballet School, and in 1981 joined the company’s corps de ballet. She was promoted to the rank of “Etoile” by Rudolf Nureyev at the age of 19. Since then she has performed all the leading roles of the classical repertoire with the world’s leading companies including The Royal Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, Kirov, Tokyo Ballet, Australian Ballet, American Ballet Theatre and La Scala.

Her awards include the Officier de la Légion d’Honneur, Officier dans l’Ordre National du Mérite, Officier des Arts et Lettres, and, in Britain, an honorary CBE.

Life in Progress is co-produced with Les Nuits de Fourvière and Sylvie Guillem.

Life in Progress will be performed at Birmingham Hippodrome on Tuesday 8 and Wednesday 9 September 2015.  Tickets are priced £15-£75 and can be booked online or by telephone on 0844 338 5000.    Performance times: 7.30pm. 5% transaction charge applies (excl. cash sales in person) postage from £1.  Phone calls from 5p per minute. Prices and discounting subject to change.

Tickets go on sale to Birmingham Hippodrome Friends at 10am on Thursday 19 March with general on sale from 11am. 


18 March 2015

Note to Editors

Birmingham Hippodrome

Birmingham Hippodrome is an independent, not-for-profit, registered charity.  The unsubsidised Hurst Street venue averages over 500,000 visits annually making it the most popular single auditorium in the UK.  It is home to Birmingham Royal Ballet and DanceXchange, presents all of Welsh National Opera’s repertoire, welcomes the best in international dance, West End and Broadway musicals and is home to the world’s biggest Pantomime.

International Dance Festival Birmingham (IDFB) was founded in 2008, co-produced by Birmingham Hippodrome and resident partners DanceXchange.  Sylvie Guillem performed at the Hippodrome in the 2012 and 2014 festivals to great acclaim.  The award-winning Festival, renowned for its high quality international programme as well as its participatory and free outdoor strands, is due to return in the spring of 2016.

Birmingham Hippodrome is currently expanding its Creative Programme, Hippodrome Plus, building on its successful work in schools and in the community, and with free outdoor performances.  With partners including Arts Council England, Birmingham City Council and private funders, the Hippodrome has recently enjoyed co-producing and producing new events including Six Summer Saturdays, The Voyage (for the London 2012 Festival) and Summer in Southside and the 4 Squares Weekender, a weekend of outdoor arts performances in celebration of the opening of the Library of Birmingham on behalf of Birmingham Arts Partnership.

DanceTabs Added…

Sadler’s Wells have just released the Guillem UK Touring news details – before Birmingham there are performance in London and Edinburgh…

“In addition to the previously announced international tour, Sadler’s Wells presents world renowned dancer Sylvie Guillem’s final dance programme, Life in Progress, at the London Coliseum (Tuesday 28 July – Sunday 2 August), Edinburgh International Festival (Festival Theatre, Saturday 8 – Monday 10 August) and Birmingham Hippodrome (Tuesday 8 & Wednesday 9 September 2015).”

They also give the full tour details – very extensive (and remember all things can change)…

31 March 2015
Teatro Communale, Modena, Italy

2 April 2015
Equilibrio Festival, Sala Santa Cecilia, Auditorium Parco della Musica, Rome, Italy

15 & 16 May 2015
Lodz International Ballet Festival, Lodz, Poland

26 – 31 May 2015
Sadler’s Wells, London, UK

3 & 4 June 2015
Athens & Epidauras Festival, Athens, Greece

23 – 26 June 2015
Chekhov Festival, Moscow, Russia

29 June – 2 July 2015
Les Nuits de Fourvière, Lyon, France

5 July 2015
Genova Opera House, Genova, Italy

28 July – 2 August
London Coliseum, London, UK

8 – 10 August 2015
Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh, UK

8 & 9 September 2015
Birmingham Hippodrome, Birmingham, UK

3 & 4 October 2015
National Theatre, Taipei

2 December 2015
Festspielhaus, St Polten, Austria

17 – 20 December 2015
NBS, Tokyo, Japan

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