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Sylvie Guillem farewell

Posted on November 4, 2014

guillem life in progress credit lesley leslie spinks

guillem-life-in-progress credit-lesley-leslie-spinksSylvie Guillem has announced her final performances at Sadler’s Wells, where she is an associate artist, as part of a world tour in 2015.

Guillem, who had already announced that she would stop dancing in 2015, has now announced details of her farewell programme. Life in Progress, produced by Sadler’s Wells, will include new and existing works from her contemporary career.

In Life in Progress, which Guillem will dance at Sadler’s Wells from May 26 to 31, she will dance a new solo by Akram Khan and a new pas de deux by Russell Maliphant, lit by Michael Hulls. She will dance the duet with Emanuela Montanari from La Scala. The evening will also include Mats Ek’s solo Bye, created for Guillem’s 6000 Miles Away programme, and William Forsythe’s 1996 work Duo, which will be danced by two male dancers.

Life in Progress will have its world premiere in Modena on March 31, and its final performance in Tokyo in December.

“Next year, 2015, will be my last world tour as a dancer,” Guillem said, “with a brand new production to say goodbye with gratitude and a great deal of emotion. I will present new works by Akram Khan and Russell Maliphant, and existing works by Mats Ek and William Forsythe.

“I have loved every moment of the last 39 years, and today, I am still loving it in the same way. So why stop? Very simply, because I want to en while I am still happy doing what I do with pride and passion.

“Also… I have a friend, a sleeper agent, to whom I gave a ‘licence to kill’ in case I tried to continue longer than I should! And frankly, I’d like to spare him this task.

“…I have been on an exhilarating journey, and now I’m about to change direction. This is a Life in Progress. My Life.”


Picture: Sylvie Guillem. Photograph: Leslie Spinks



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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