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Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Antony Gormley
Celebrated Flemish/Moroccan choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui returns with critically acclaimed Sutra which premiered at Sadler's Wells in May 2009. The work is inspired by the skill, strength and spirituality of Buddhist Shaolin monks and he has collaborated closely with Turner Prize-winning artist Antony Gormley, who has created a design consisting of 21 wooden boxes which are repositioned to create a striking, ever changing on-stage environment. Polish composer Szymon Brzóska has created a beautiful brand new score for piano, percussion and strings which is played live.
The 17 monks performing in Sutra are directly from the original Shaolin Temple, situated near Dengfeng City in the Henan Province of China and established in 495AD by monks originating from India. In 1983 the State Council defined the Shaolin Temple as the key national Buddhist Temple. The monks follow a strict Buddhist doctrine, of which Kung Fu & Tai Chi martial arts are an integral part of their daily regime. By visiting the Shaolin Temple in China, and working with the Shaolin Monks over several months, Sidi Larbi follows a life-long interest of exploring the philosophy and faith behind the Shaolin tradition, its relationship with Kung Fu, and its position within a contemporary context.