Friday 6 and Saturday 7 September  Bookings

Following on from their break-out debut at Sadler’s Wells in the summer, Ruby Portus and Anthony Matsena are two genre redefining young choreographers who we have commissioned to create new performances for our annual autumn dance programme. They continue a legacy of Dance at Messums Wiltshire that was started by Russell Maliphant and Alexander Whitley.

Join us for a world première of their two new works in response to the Barn, a unique and breathtaking environment to discover and enjoy art and performance.

Anthony began dancing from a young age, training in hip hop and street dance. He is currently in his third year of training at London Contemporary Dance School. He previously performed at Sadler’s Wells in 2015 as part of Apex Rising with National Youth Dance Wales, and has performed professionally for Joseph Toonga as part of Just Us Dance Theatre. His work has been celebrated as the

Ruby is an NYDC alumni and graduated from London Contemporary Dance School in 2017. She performed in Home Turf and Elixir Festival 2017 at Sadler’s Wells. She is currently completing her MA in Dance Performance at Northern School of Contemporary Dance as a member of Verve.

“making empowering work that tackles big issues” Lyndsey Winship, dance critic at The Guardian, 2018 

We are grateful to our creative circle for their support in making this possible. The Creative Circle is a group of patrons and friends who wish to support up-and-coming choreographers to bring new and dynamic performances to a wider audience.

PREVIEW & ARTISTS SUPPER: Film Première of Martina Amati’s ‘Under’


Friday 25 October, from 7pm  Bookings

Join us for the first screening of Martina Amati’s film installation Under followed by one of our regular artist’s supper with Martina in the Mess Restaurant.

The film is an eleven-minute installation comprised of two separate looped video projections, each film is named after two of the quantitate means of measuring free-diving ability: Distance and Depth. The two films will fill the barn with light and colour, with Depth projected onto a custom built ‘diving platform’ suspended from the roof for a fully immersive and unique dining experience.

With its vivid blue colouration and lens flares nostalgically evoking the primeval sun, Amati’s film tantalisingly visualises the human origin story—Charles Darwin’s initially outrageous idea that all life began in the sea. Amati produced a documentary of the same name, one which explores the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of this extreme sport. She worked with and interviewed masters of free-diving including Enzo Maiorca and Georgina Miller, as well as scientists who research the effects of free-diving on the apparatus of the human body, such as Professor Kevin Fong.

Amati’s practice spans a number of genres including narrative, documentary, experimental, animated and commercial. Her short film A’Mare (2008) won a UNICEF Award at the Zinebi Film Festival and Chalk (2010) was nominated for a BAFTA. Amati lives and works in the UK.

FILM SCREENING: Yuli: The Carlos Acosta Story


Sunday 8 September, 2pm  Bookings

Yuli: The Carlos Acosta Story, 2018
Duration: 1hr 55 mins
Rating: 15

Featuring breathtaking archival and new dance footage, Yuli chronicles the story of Cuban dancer Carlos Acosta based on his memoir No Way Home. Carlos is a legend in the dance world and the first black dancer to perform some of the most famous ballet roles but the film is about more than dance, it captures the pride, frustration and contradictions of living in Castro’s Cuba and the harrowing decisions to be made between freedom and family. Acosta stars not only as himself but as his own father.

Directed by Icíar Bollaín and written by Paul Laverty (I, Daniel Blake), the film won best screenplay at the San Sebastian International Film Festival and received five nominations for the Spanish ‘Goya’ awards including Best New Actor for Carlos Acosta, Best Cinematography and Best Adapted Screenplay.

‘Ballet and film complement each other perfectly in a biopic of the superstar dancer that captures life under Castro’s rule’. Lyndsey Winship, dance critic, The Guardian

‘Acosta’s archival performance footage is breathtaking’. Courtney Escoyne, Dance magazine

Yuli: The Carlos Acosta Story is being shown as part of our Movement weekend.

DANCE PERFORMANCE: Creative Circle Preview

Friday 6 September, from 7pm  Bookings

Join us for the Creative Circle preview on Friday 6 September of two new contemporary dance performances choreographed by Sadler’s Wells Young Associates Ruby Portus and Anthony Matsena following their highly acclaimed London debut last week.

Enjoy a champagne reception followed by an exclusive preview of the two dances in the Barn, a unique and breathtaking environment to discover and enjoy art and performance. There is an option to join us afterwards for a very special three-course supper and wine with the dancers and choreographers.

Your support will secure future performances at the Barn, enabling us to bring established artists to Messums Wiltshire and help those at the beginning of their careers whilst also providing subsidised tickets to bring contemporary, world-class dance to a broader and younger audience.

In praise of past performances at Messums Wiltshire:

[Alexander] Whitley’s intelligent dance-making gets a fabulous showcase…
The Guardian, July 2018

‘Elegant and emotionally probing’
Alison Gunn for the Financial Times, July 2018

‘A particular hooray for Messums Wiltshire, a new space for dance both spectacular and exquisite…. Maliphant’s serene and inward creations lit with the chiaroscuro genius of Michael Hulls in the cathedral emptiness of [a 700 year old barn] make for a hallowed match of art and place.’  Ismene Brown for The Arts Desk, November 2018