26 January 2011, West Yorkshire Playhouse
Switch is the first work for Phoenix by Ballett Basel Artistic Director Richard Wherlock. Critically acclaimed, this fast paced work is packed with complex choreography and backed by a pulsating soundtrack from established European dance composer B.free. Clad in vibrant costumes of intense colour, Switch features six dancers in perpetual motion, weaving their way through a frenetic, passionate and highly charged dance work.
The Stage, January 2011
The Times, January 2011
Sunday Express, January 2011
Dance Europe, March 2011
“a contorting, bewilderingly beautiful work... a compelling piece that was constantly interesting to watch”
Yorkshire Post, January 2011
Yorkshire Evening Post, January 2011
Richard Wherlock has been Artistic Director and Choreographer of Ballett Basel since 2000. He serves on the juries of numerous international dance competitions.
Born in Bristol he studied at Rambert School before going on to perform with the company. In 1981 he joined Tanzforum Cologne as a soloist and later became resident choereographer of the company creating many works for the company repertoire. He was Artistic Director of Ballet Theater Hagen from 1991 to 1996 and was then Artistic Director and Chief Choreographer of Berlin Ballett – Komiische Oper.
Work as a guest choreographer includes Tanzforum Köln, Ballet Rambert Junior Company, Ballet de la Normandie, Scapino Ballet Rotterdam, English Dance Theatre, London City Dancers, Finnish Dance Theatre Helsinki, ch tanztheater Zürich, Ballett Staatstheater Braunschweig, Zürcher Ballett Juniors, Internationale Musikfestwochen Luzern (Monteverdi: Tancredi), Romanian National Ballet, Innsbrucker Ballett am Tiroler Landestheater, The Icelandic Ballet, Ballet National de Nancy et de Lorraine, Ballet National de Marseille, Ballet de l'Opéra de Nice, aalto ballett theater am Theater Essen, "Europa Danse" (Unesco), Ballett der Deutschen Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf, Singapore Dance Theatre, Ballett der Vereinigten Bühnen Graz, Intro Danse in Arnhem and Ballett des Badischen Staatstheaters Karlsruhe.
For Les Etoiles de l'Opéra National de Paris he choreographed a ballet programme as well as a Solo evening for Marie-Claude Pietragalla, Etoile de l'Opéra National de Paris and director of the Ballet National de Marseille, Japan tour 1999. For the Bregenzer Festspiele in June 2003 he choreographed West Side Story.
Works for film and television include Hasards ou Coïncidences, Passengers and One Bullett Left.
Beat Frei, alias B.free, is a self-taught musician born in Basel, Switzerland. Despite the fact that he learned to play the piano, the accordion and the famous Swiss Basler drum when he was a child, he never wanted to study music at an academy. As a teenager, he travelled the world playing all kinds of music in different bands.
With the increased availability of the personal computer in 1989 came new ways to create, arrange and sample music. Beat became totally dedicated to the new medium, putting together sounds in new, different and unusual ways to create new worlds of music. In 1995 Beat started his own record label for minimal house music, which was intended for DJs who created soundscapes for paintings and sound installations. The label is driven by innovation and the commitment to create unusual new music and sounds.
In 1998 he gratuated in sound engineering and started to work for the Theater Basel. During this time, Beat created many different pieces of music for the theatre and television, and also for solo dancers like Sandra Schöll. He has also composed music for DV8 Physical Theatre and released three CDs.
Michael is a partner in the lighting consultancy Eye for Detail. He specialises in designing for dance. He has had numerous commissions throughout Britain, Europe and South Africa, and his work has spanned designs for touring companies, site-specifics and installations. He has created designs for Rambert Dance Company, The Birmingham Royal Ballet, The Royal Ballet, Javier De Frutos, Ashley Page, Athina Vahla, Protein Dance Company, Shobana Jeyasingh, Hofesh Shechter, Rafael Bonachela, Charles Linehan, CandoCo, the re –opening event at the Royal Festival Hall and many others.
Michael also conducts courses in lighting design at Tertiary, BA and MA level, in London, Denmark and South Africa. He has taught lighting master classes for the British Council in Kazakhstan.