A Quiet Evening of Dance wins prestigious FEDORA prize

Posted on 2 July 2018

Sadler’s Wells Production A Quiet Evening of Dance wins prestigious FEDORA Prize

A Quiet Evening of Dance, an evening of work by celebrated American choreographer William Forsythe, produced by Sadler’s Wells, has won the prestigious FEDORA - VAN CLEEF & ARPELS Prize for Ballet 2018.

The 100,000 Euro prize was awarded at a ceremony in Munich today, 7 June 2018. The prize aims to encourage innovation and creativity in opera and ballet.

A Quiet Evening of Dance was selected by a jury who chose the production because of the variety of dancers involved with the project, and the intriguing idea of much of the work’s only accompanying sound track being the performers themselves.

A Quiet Evening of Dance receives its world premiere at Sadler’s Wells from 4 - 6 October. For this unusual configuration of new and existing work, Forsythe creates an intimate, pure evening of choreography, stripped down to its essence. The intricate phrasing of the dancers’ breath is the primary accompaniment for a distillation of the geometric origins of classical ballet, which explores themes of space and time.

Including Rauf “RubberLegz” Yasit and his take on contemporary and breakdance, the evening is performed by seven of Forsythe’s most trusted collaborators, exploring new shapes and modes of movement.

Judith Mackrell, member of the jury for the ballet prize and dance critic for The Guardian, said: “The shortlist for the FEDORA dance prize this year was wonderfully, even challengingly diverse, but there was one work that we on the jury unanimously wanted to support and were unanimously excited to see. William Forsythe has been such a fixture on the dance scene, but he’s never been a constant. Tirelessly inquisitive about the human body, his choreography has always carried on evolving - and from his first fiercely inventive deconstructions of ballet to the more spare interior rigour of his later works he’s always been a fantastic creative stimulus to both his dancers and fellow choreographers. Working with Rauf Yasit, Forsythe will be bringing an important new artist onto the mainstream stage.”

Nicholas Payne, member of the jury and Director of Opera Europa, said: “Sadler’s Wells has a matchless record in nurturing innovative dance. The FEDORA jury, which brought together directors of six of the world’s leading ballet companies, was convinced by its commitment both to unerring quality and to ensuring the programme’s wide accessibility.”

The three other finalists in the ballet category were Story Water by Emanuel Gat Dance, Romeo and Juliet by National Theatre Brno, and Ignite by Birmingham Royal Ballet.

Sadler’s Wells Artistic Director and Chief Executive Alistair Spalding said: “I’m delighted and honoured that Sadler’s Wells has won the FEDORA Prize for the William Forsythe evening A Quiet Evening of Dance. I have been a huge supporter of FEDORA in its desire to open up possibilities for collaboration and the encouragement of innovation in dance, and so to win in this way is an added pleasure. Sadler’s Wells and I have had a long standing relationship with the work of Forsythe over the last 20 years and so we are very happy that we can use the support of FEDORA to take this work worldwide.”

In addition to the main prize, the production received crowdfunding of over 2,000 Euros through the FEDORA Platform, which will go towards touring the production and was acknowledged with a diploma at the award ceremony.

Seven Stones, a new opera co-production led by the Aix-en-Provence Festival, won the FEDORA – GENERALI Prize for Opera 2018, while a prize was also awarded to The True Story of King Kong, an interdisciplinary opera co-production lead by Theater Magdeburg, for obtaining the highest number of public votes on the new FEDORA Platform.

A Quiet Evening of Dance is part of Sadler’s Wells’ 20th anniversary celebrations, and is among 20 commissions celebrating 20 years of the current building, which opened in 1998.

Last year's FEDORA Prize winner in the ballet category was L-E-V’s Love Chapter 2 by Sharon Eyal and her co-creator Gai Behar. Eyal became a Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist in 2018, and presents the UK premiere of Love Chapter 2 at Sadler’s Wells on 13 & 14 July

For more information or to arrange interviews please contact Caroline Ansdell on 020 7863 81225 or caroline.ansdell@sadlerswells.com




Sadler's Wells is a world-leading creative organisation dedicated to dance in all its forms. With over three centuries of theatrical heritage and a year-round programme of performances and learning activities, it is the place where artists come together to create dance, and where people of all backgrounds come to experience it – to take part, learn, experiment and be inspired.

Audiences of over half a million come to its London theatres each year, with many more enjoying its touring productions at venues across the UK and around the world, and accessing its content through digital channels.

Sadler's Wells commissions, produces and presents more new dance work than any other theatre in the world, embracing the popular and the unknown. Since 2005, it has helped to bring over 160 new dance works to the stage, many of them involving its 16 Associate Artists, three Resident Companies and four Associate Companies – the most exciting talents working in dance today.

It also nurtures the next generation of talent through research and development, running the National Youth Dance Company and a range of programmes including Wild Card, New Wave Associates, Open Art Surgery and Summer University. Sadler's Wells' learning and engagement activities reach over 25,000 annually through programmes that take dance out into the community and invite communities into the theatre. Projects include community productions and the renowned Company of Elders, its resident over-60s performance group, while events range from pre and post-show talks with dance artists to classes, workshops and assisted performances.

Located in Islington, north London, the current building is the sixth to have stood on site since entrepreneur Richard Sadler first established the theatre in 1683. The venue has played an illustrious role in the history of theatre ever since, with The Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet and English National Opera having all started at Sadler's Wells.




FEDORA - The European Circle of Philanthropists of Opera and Ballet

FEDORA is a non-profit organization, committed to supporting and contributing to the future of opera and ballet. The association was founded in 2014 in Paris, under the presidency of Jérôme-François Zieseniss, as a tribute to Rolf Liebermann. FEDORA’s main goal is to encourage philanthropy in the fields of opera and ballet generally, and in furtherance of that aim, it raises funds to support the creation of new opera and ballet co-productions through the privately funded FEDORA - VAN CLEEF & ARPELS Prize for Ballet and the FEDORA - GENERALI Prize for Opera that encourage artistic co-operation between opera houses, ballet companies, festivals and artists. The projects are pre-selected by Opera Europa, the professional association of opera houses and festivals in Europe, and a jury of experts selects the winners of the FEDORA Prizes. Moreover, FEDORA offers its members special access to opera houses and festivals in Europe and thereby builds a network of philanthropists who share the same values and support opera and ballet on a European level. Clotilde Corsini, based in Florence, is the organization’s Vice-President. Jean-Yves Kaced, the Director of the AROP - The Association of Friends of the Paris National Opera, is the Secretary General, and Peter Espenhahn, who is based in London, is FEDORA’s Treasurer.Dr Léone Noëlle Meyer and Gianmarco Monsellato are Founding Members. Edilia Gänz is the Director of FEDORA. In 2017 FEDORA received the “Philanthropy Award” at the International Opera Awards.



FEDORA successfully applied in 2017 for the Creative Europe funding program of the European Commission, receiving up to € 2 million over a four-year period in order to implement its project proposal of a European FEDORA Platform.

This platform (www.fedora-platform.com), launched in January 2018, acts as a European-wide hub promoting innovative and hybrid opera and ballet co-productions, created by emerging artists from diverse disciplines, appealing to a younger audience. The FEDORA Platform encourages the engagement of existing and new audiences by allowing them to vote for the creation of their choice and to participate in their funding through an online crowdfunding campaign. During the voting phase the 32 projects pre-selected by Opera Europa received more than 15,000 votes online.

Over a four-year period, this European initiative will lead the way in advocating new funding models for the performing arts, by creating a sustainable eco-system between the cultural and economic sector and by setting up the structural, social, and economic conditions necessary to guarantee the future of the cultural heritage of opera and ballet in Europe.

The European Platform builds on the FEDORA association’s current efforts to renew and nurture the art forms of opera and ballet on an artistic and economic level. This involves during the first year 19 Platform Members in 13 countries, with the potential to grow over time (FEDORA’s existing network consists of 80 cultural organizations in 20 countries) and will extend via a major pan-European on- and offline communication and branding campaign to reach approx. 4 million people.



Ted Brandsen (Director Dutch National Ballet, The Netherlands), Aurélie Dupont (Director of Dance Paris Opera Ballet, France), Yuri Fateev (Acting Director of the Mariinsky Ballet, Russia), Nicolas Le Riche (Artistic Director of the Royal Swedish Ballet, Sweden / France), Judith Mackrell (Chief Dance Critic of the Guardian, United Kingdom), Kevin O’Hare (Director of The Royal Ballet, United Kingdom), Nicholas Payne (Director of Opera Europa, Belgium / United Kingdom), Igor Zelensky (Director of the Bavarian State Ballet, Germany).


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