Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s debut as a choreographer was in 1999 with Andrew Wale’s contemporary musical, Anonymous Society. Since then he has made over 30 full-fledged choreographic pieces and picked up a slew of awards, including two Olivier Awards, two Ballet Tanz awards for best choreographer (2008, 2011) and the Kairos Prize (2009) for his artistic vision and his quest for intercultural dialogue.
Cherkaoui’s initial pieces were made at Les Ballets C.de la B. – Rien de Rien (2000), Foi (2003) and Tempus Fugit (2004). He undertook parallel projects that both expanded and consolidated his artistic vision; D’avant (2002) with longstanding artistic partner Damien Jalet at Sasha Waltz & Guests company and zero degrees (2005) with Akram Khan. He has worked with a variety of theatres, opera houses and ballet companies. From 2004–2009 Cherkaoui was based in Antwerp as artist in residence at Toneelhuis, which produced Myth (2007) and Origine (2008).
In 2008 Cherkaoui premiered Sutra at Sadler’s Wells. This award-winning collaboration with artist Antony Gormley and the Shaolin monks continues to tour the world to great critical acclaim. After his first commissioned piece in North America, Orbo Novo (Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet) and a series of duets such as Faun (which premiered at Sadler’s Wells as part of In the Spirit of Diaghilev) and Dunas with flamenco danseuse María Pagés (both 2009), he launched his own company Eastman, resident at deSingel International Arts Campus (Antwerp).
Spring 2010 saw him reunited with choreographer Damien Jalet and Antony Gormley to make Babel(words) which won an Olivier. That same year he created Rein, a duet featuring Guro Nagelhus Schia and Vebjørn Sundby, as well as Play, a duet with Kuchipudi danseuse Shantala Shivalingappa and Bound, a duet for Shanell Winlock and Gregory Maqoma as part of Southern Bound Comfort. In 2011 he created TeZukA and Labyrinth (- for Dutch National Ballet). In 2012 he created Puz/zle, gaining him a second Olivier. That year he also collaborated with Joe Wright on his film Anna Karenina, for which Cherkaoui helmed the choreography.
2013 saw the premiere of 4D and genesis 生长, Boléro (co-created with Damien Jalet and Marina Abramović, for the Paris Opera Ballet), and m¡longa. He reunited with Joe Wright to co-direct A Season in the Congo at The YoungVic. In 2014, he created Noetic for the GöteborgsOperans Danskompani, Mercy (from Solo for Two) for Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev, which they performed at the London Coliseum and he directed his first opera, Shell Shock, for La Monnaie, with music by Nicholas Lens and text by Nick Cave, and Harbor Me, one out of three new works commissioned by the L.A. Dance Project.
In January 2015 Pluto, a newly directed theatre adaptation based on Urasawa’s Manga comic produced by Bunkamura, premiered in Tokyo. From there he went on to Germany and choreographed a ballet piece on Stravinsky’s Firebird for the Stuttgart Ballet, which premiered last March with great reviews. In August Hamlet, directed by Lyndsey Turner and starring Bendict Cumberbatch, premiered in London, for which Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui worked on movement. His latest production Fractus V, a performance about the natural fractures which are necessary to grow and become stronger, premiered in September 2015 in Antwerp and is currently touring on an international scale.
Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui has been recently appointed as new artistic director of the Royal Ballet of Flanders and combines this function with his title as artistic director of Eastman.
-- Quaternaire represents Fractus V, Puz/zle, Play, Babel(words) and Apocrifu in France.