PERFORMANCE: Alexander Whitley Dance Company

Friday 27 – Saturday 28 July 2018

Noumena/Ulysses Awakes/Between Two Fires

Furthering our connection with contemporary dance we present a triple bill of works by the Alexander Whitley Dance Company, including the world première of Between Two Fires.  A Sadler’s Wells New Wave Associate and former Choreographic Affiliate of The Royal Ballet, Alexander Whitley has developed a reputation for his bold interdisciplinary approach to dance making, producing technologically innovative and thought-provoking stage productions as well as exploring the creative possibilities being opened up by new digital platforms.

For this special weekend at Messums Wiltshire, Alexander returns to his roots with a triple bill of beautiful, stripped down contemporary dance works.

Come along early and join us in our Long Gallery to view our recently opened landscape exhibition by Simon Carter or a stroll around the sculpture garden. Both gallery bars will be open with outside seating, weather permitting.

‘Whitley has… a fecundity of ideas, the skill to make them theatrical, and he floods the stage with feeling and vivid, stimulating dance’ FINANCIAL TIMES

‘Exceptional for its originality of style and its ability to conjure a world of nuanced emotions through a language of pure dance’  THE GUARDIAN


Friday 27 July, 7:30pm

Saturday 28 July, 2:00pm

Saturday 28 July, 7:30pm

Interval: A glass of Champagne/ Sancerre and beetroot gravadlax on seeded crispbread  £10
Book in advance with your ticket


1. pl. Things as they are in themselves

The quartet Noumena was made in response to Frederick Ashton’s Sylvia, one of the most celebrated and challenging female roles in the Royal Ballet’s repertoire. Drawing on the work of psychoanalyst Carl Jung, the ballet’s mythological themes are reframed through an exploration of the inner feminine drive (Anima) and the human unconscious.

CHOREOGRAPHY – Alexander Whitley
MUSIC – Bryce Dessner’s Reponse Lutoslawski (by arrangement with Chester Music Limited)
COSTUME DESIGNER – Ilaria Martello
LIGHTING INSTALLATION – Children of the Light
DANCERS – Tia Hockey, David Ledger, Leon Poulton, Caitlin Taylor

Commissioned by The Royal Ballet

Duration 25 minutes



Ulysses Awakes was created in response to composer John Woolrich’s piece for strings of the same name and featured in a short film made as part of a residency at Aldeburgh Music. It takes inspiration from the text of Ulysses’ first aria in Claudio Monteverdi’s opera Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria on which Woolrich’s piece was based.


CHOREOGRAPHY – Alexander Whitley
MUSIC – John Woolrich’s Ulysses Awakes, recording by 12 Ensemble
DANCER – David Ledger

Commissioned by 12 Ensemble

Duration 10 minutes



A duet, Between Two Fires is set to a score heaped with tension and atmosphere by acclaimed electronic composer and producer Rival Consoles, which sets the tone for an exploration of risk, play and tenderness in a relationship between two people.


CHOREOGRAPHY – Alexander Whitley
MUSIC – Ryan Lee West (Published by Erased Tapes Music Ltd)
COSTUME DESIGNER – Jean-Marc Puissant
DANCERS – Tia Hockey & TBC

Commissioned by Craig Mullen

Duration 15 minutes


About Alexander Whitley

Alexander is a New Wave Associate artist at Sadler’s Wells theatre, an associate at Rambert and a former choreographic affiliate of the Royal Ballet. He is an Artist Fellow at Queen Mary University of London and a lecturer on the Design for Performance and Interaction Masters programme at The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL.

Alexander trained at the Royal Ballet School and began his career at Birmingham Royal Ballet before moving into contemporary dance. He was twice nominated for Outstanding Performance in the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards. His choreography has won him nominations for the 2012 Arts Foundation fellowship, the 2014 Sky Arts Southbank Awards and the 2015 Critics’ Circle Awards.

Alexander is also a member of New Movement Collective, a group of acclaimed dancers and choreographers who seek to redefine the landscape of contemporary dance through creating site-specific and multi-disciplinary performance work.



The Alexander Whitley Dance Company was established in 2014. Through its innovative stage productions; The Measures Taken, Pattern Recognition and 8 Minutes, and the virtual reality dance experience Celestial Motion made in collaboration with The Guardian’s VR studio, the company has rapidly established a reputation for its ambitious and intellectually engaged work and has developed a wide network of world-class collaborators.


Related Posts