BABEL (words)

Eastman VZW Belgium

The most fiercely resonant dance theatre of the decade*****.

The Guardian

Click here to download the show's free programme.

An avalanche of surprising images, full of humour, imagination and poetry. - Le Soir

The human soul is common everywhere. - Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui

2011 Olivier Award Winner for Best New Dance Production

Babel (words), an infinitely beautiful dance-theatre masterpiece from Europe's hottest and much-lauded choreographers Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Damien Jalet, will sweep you up and carry you away. Prepare your soul for flight.

Immersive and wonderfully multi-layered, the Olivier award-winning Babel explores the world of language and the languages of the world.  Beneath a towering set of transparent, scaffold-like cubes designed by artist Antony Gormley, multi-cultural and multi-lingual dancers beat out fierce, fragile and deeply delicate rhythms as they transform and reform their bodies into images so transfixing they'll remain with you forever.

Majestically staged and with five musicians playing live on stage, Babel has a score that fuses Hindi beats, Japanese drumming and melancholic medieval flute and harp. It prompts audiences into conversations about culture, community, communication and the borders that separate us. Babel is the climax of Cherkaoui's choreographic exploration of humanity and the myths that shape our beliefs.

Make that giant leap into Babel's magical, terrain and you'll be awestruck by what you find there.


# In a nutshell: Dance as you've never seen it, sensational set, story of our time


Post-show talk: Thu 21 Mar

Choreography : Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Damien Jalet

Visual design : Antony Gormley

Assistant choreographer: Nienke Reehorst

Costume design : Alexandra Gilbert

Light design : Adam Carrée

Dramaturge : Lou Cope

Performed by : Navala Chaudhari, Darryl E. Woods, Damien Fournier, Ben Fury, Valgerdur Rúnarsdóttir (*Paea Leach), Christine Leboutte, Majon van der Schot (*Ulrika Kinn Svensson), Kazutomi Kozuki, Sandra Delgadillo Porcel (*Moya Michael), Helder Seabra, Jon Filip Fahlstrøm, James O'Hara, Damien Jalet (*Francis Ducharme)

Music by : Patrizia Bovi, Mahabub Khan, Sattar Khan, Gabriele Miracle and Kazunari Abe (*Shogo Yoshii)

* original cast, does not perform in Auckland

Traditional Turkish musical counsellor : Fahrettin Yarkin

Dresser : Elisabeth Kinn Svensson

Technicians: Mathias Batsleer, Jens Drieghe, Patrick Liénart, Bart Van Hoydonck

Tour Manager: Esther Michiels

With thanks to : Asano Taiko, Marek Pomocki, Seniz Karaman, Raad van Bestuur Eastman, De Munt, Lise Uytterhoeven, Assaf Hochman, Casey Spooner, Alistair Wilson (Push 4), Antony Gormley studios, Juliette Van Peteghem, Milan 'Mino' Herich, Sven Bahat, Hisashi Itoh, Kodo Ensemble (Melanie Taylor), Rakesh Mps, Karthika Nair, Frederik Verrote

Production : Eastman vzw and Theatre Royal de la Monnaie

Coproducers : Fondation d'entreprise Hermès, Etablissement Public du Parc et de la Grande Halle de la Villette (Paris), Sadler's Wells (London), Theaterfestival Boulevard ('s Hertogenbosch), Festspielhaus (Sankt-Pölten), Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, International Dance festival Switzerland - Migros Culture Percentage, Fondazione Musica per Roma (Rome) and the Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele (Allemagne).

Babel (words) is co-commissioned by Dash Arts 2010 programme on Arabic Arts and is supported by Garrick Charitable Trust.

Eastman vzw is company in residence at deSingel International Art Campus (Antwerp) and is supported by the Flemish authorities, La Fondation BNP-Paribas and Asano Taiko.


Garrick Charitable Trust


Co-commissioned by Dash Arts 2010 programme on Arabic Arts


Musicians: Kazunari Abe (Japanese), Patrizia Bovi & Gabriele Miracle (Italian), Mahabub Khan & Sattar Khan (Indian)
Dancers: Darryl E. Woods (American), Jon Filip Fahlstrøm (Norwegian originating from the Philippines), Damien Fournier (French), Christine Leboutte (Belgian), Kazutomi Kozuki (Japanese), Helder Seabra (Portuguese), Sandra Porcell Delgadillo (Bolivian/Belgian)



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Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra


one step at a time like this and Richard Jordon Productions


Mitch Tawhi Thomas