As Mark Morris Dance Group swings into town with Pepperland – a unique tribute to The Beatles’ iconic Sgt. Pepper album – we take a look at the rich smorgasbord of dance works inspired by the music of The Fab Four.
Cirque du Soleil: LOVE
Cirque du Soleil’s Grammy Award-winning circus spectacular has been resident in Las Vegas since 2006, and seen by over eight million people. A cast of world-class aerialists, acrobats and dancers bring to life The Beatles’ classics in this huge feast for the senses – from a slow-motion aquatic ballet to ‘Octopus’s Garden’ to Lucy quite literally in the sky with diamonds. Using master tapes recorded at Abbey Road Studios, the music director is Giles Martin, son of the legendary Beatles producer Sir George Martin.
Trey McIntyre’s A Day in the Life
Washington Ballet’s British Invasion programme (2006) paid tribute to the mid-60s phenomenon which saw British bands break through to the US, with two evocative rock ballets. In Trey McIntyre’s A Day in the Life (originally titled Always, No Sometimes), eight dancers clad in white interpret some of The Fab Four’s later output – from the contemplative ‘Mother Nature’s Son’, to the carefree ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da’, to the psychedelic ‘A Day in the Life’. Christopher Bruce’s Rooster, set to the music of The Rolling Stones, completes the programme.
The Winding Road by Martin Lawrance
Choreographer Martin Lawrance grew up listening to The Beatles and draws on his personal love of their music in his new work for Ballet Manila, The Winding Road, which receives its world premiere this month.
Mark Morris Dance Group: Pepperland
This exuberant new dance work revels in the joyful optimism of The Beatles’ ground-breaking album, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and proved a hit with audiences when it premiered in the band’s hometown of Liverpool in 2017. Choreographer Mark Morris teases out the album’s avant-garde heart and eccentric charm while a bold new score from regular collaborator Ethan Iverson features six quirky and jazzy reinventions of the original songs, including ‘A Day in the Life’, ‘When I’m Sixty-Four’, ‘Penny Lane’ and ‘A Little Help from my Friends’, performed live by a seven-piece band of piano harpsichord, trombone, saxophone, organ, theremin and voice. Expect a production full of joy and colour to transport you to the swinging 60s…
Pepperland comes to Sadler’s Wells on 20-23 March. Tickets are priced from £15. To book, call the Ticket Office on 020 7863 8000 or book online.