A special, exciting new collaboration between Australian dancer Marc Brew and the world-renowned Flemish-Moroccan choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui leads to the world premiere of An Accident/ a life. In this first joint creation, Brew (performer and co-creator) and Cherkaoui (choreographer and director) unravel moments from our lives, exploring profound events and fraught memories with and without words – using dance, storytelling, film and a car.
The starting point for Brew and Cherkaoui was the sharing of their own life stories and the pivotal moments within them. For Brew, foremost among these was his car accident in 1997, transforming him from a successful ballet dancer into a paralyzed man confined to a wheelchair in a mere split second.
Following previous, acclaimed solos
This experience taught Brew, a performer at our festival in the past, to think out of the box and cultivate a fresh perspective on dance. "Despite being unable to walk, jump, turn, or stretch my foot, I still felt like a dancer. I began exploring how I could move with my altered body, whether in my wheelchair, outside of it, alone, or with others." This exploration resulted not only in remarkable solos such as For Now I am and Remember When, both acclaimed by both press and audiences, but also established Brew as a successful choreographer. Currently serving as an associate artist with British Ballet Cymru, he also is artistic director of inclusive dance companies like Axis Dance Company and his own Marc Brew Company. Festival director Samuel Wuersten notes: "Marc may appear fragile, but he is anything but. He and Larbi are two 'forces of nature' that interact and reinforce each other."
A 'modified sponge'
Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui stands as one of the most sought-after and award-winning contemporary choreographers of his generation. His debut creation, Anonymous Society in 1999, garnered multiple international awards, marking the beginning of an extensive body of work. Cherkaoui uniquely and headstrongly explores and questions diverse cultures and their traditions. Describing himself as a ‘modified sponge’, he absorbs various dance forms, intertwining them and adaptively responding to the qualities of his dancers and partners for each performance. Whether collaborating with a Spanish flamenco dancer, a Swedish contortionist, an Indian kathak dancer, Chinese monks, or Argentine tango dancers, Cherkaoui's versatility shines. Previously the artistic director of Ballet Flanders from 2015 to 2022, he now directs the Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève. Since 2010, he leads his own group, Eastman, and holds the position of associate artist at Sadler's Wells in London and Théâtre National de Bretagne in Rennes. Additionally, Cherkaoui has provided choreography to award-winning films and Beyoncé's performances and music videos.