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Manchester International Festival 2015

Posted on November 19, 2014

mif 15 tree of codes olafur eliasson

mif 15 tree of codes olafur eliassonThe first productions for 2015’s Manchester International Festival (MIF15) have been announced, including a new ballet by Wayne McGregor, starring Paris Opéra étoiles Aurélie Dupont, Marie-Agnès Gillot and Jérémie Bélingard.

Running from July 2 to 19, 2015, the MIF15 programme will include Tree of Codes. This new contemporary ballet will be directed and choreographed by Wayne McGregor, with music by Mercury Prize-winning composer Jamie xx and visual concept by Olafur Eliasson.

The production is inspired by Jonathan Safran Foer’s novel Tree of Codes, which cuts words and phrases from the text of Bruno Schultz’s Street of Crocodiles to create a new story. Over the past two years, McGregor, Eliasson and xx have been working on the new ballet. “Jonathan Safran Foer’s enigmatic novel Tree of Codes is an immersive sculptural work that brilliantly hovers between words and spaces, surfaces and layers, pasts and futures,” said McGregor. “Its post-apocalyptic narrative and reinvention of the process of reading itself catapults your imagination into bracing liminal states. These blurred and disoriented worlds provide a powerful point of departure for our collaboration on stage – where constellations of light, shadows, bodies, objects and sound dance at the edges of darkness.” Olafur Eliasson said: “Clearly Jamie’s music can’t live without movement and dance. Clearly Wayne’s choreography can’t live without sound and space. Clearly my art can’t live without sound and movement. Clearly creativity can change the world.”

The company for Tree of Codes draws on dancers from Wayne McGregor | Random Dance and the Paris Opéra Ballet. It includes Aurélie Dupont – one of her first projects after leaving the Paris Opéra Ballet, where she gives her farewell performance in Manon on May 18, 2015. She will be joined by Marie-Agnès Gillot, Jérémie Bélingard, Eve Grinsztajn, Sébastien Bertaud and Julien Meyzindi of the Paris Opéra Ballet, and Catarina Carvalho, Travis Clausen-Knight, Alvaro Dule, Michael-Jon Harper, Louis McMiller, Daniela Neugebauer, Anna Nowak, James Pett, Fukiko Takase and Jessica Wright of Wayne McGregor | Random Dance. Tree of Codes is produced by Manchester International Festival, Paris Opéra Ballet and Wayne McGregor | Random Dance.

Other productions announced for MIF15 include The Age of Starlight, a history of the universe presented by Professor Brian Cox, and The Tale of Mr Tumble, a new theatre show for young children and families. Tickets for these productions go on sale at 10am on November 20 via or on 0844 871 7654.


Picture: Tree of Codes, slow motion shadow in colour, © Olafur Eliasson






Zoë was born in Edinburgh, and saw her first dance performances at the Festival there. She is the dance critic of The Independent, and has also written for The Independent on Sunday, The Scotsman and Dancing Times. In 2002, she received her doctorate from the University of York for a thesis on “Nationhood and epic romance: Ariosto, Sidney, Spenser”. She is the author of The Royal Ballet: 75 Years and The Ballet Lover’s Companion.

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