Dyad 1909 – Choreography by Wayne McGregor; Music by Olafur Arnalds
For Dyad 1909, I have been inspired by a fascinating example of the period’s rapid evolution, illustrated brilliantly in their pre-occupation with Antarctica: In January 1909, the Anglo-Irish explorer Ernest Shackleton embarked upon his seminal Antarctic expedition the Nimrod, successfully reaching the magnetic South Pole, a first. By 1929, aviator Richard Evelyn Byrd the pioneering American polar explorer was the first to actually fly over the South Pole in a Ford Trimotor. In a mere twenty years the technological revolution had given man the enduring power of flight and with it a renewed energy for expedition. Literally now able to ‘dis-cover’ more of the globe it was a new dawn in possibility. Although Dyad 1909 is not a narrative ‘about’ Antarctica, the dance, design and music, richly contain its traces; traces that have been assimilated in the spirit of the Ballet Russes through collaboration and made visible for our time.
Dyad 1909 is dedicated to the memory of Merce Cunningham (1919-2009), a choreographer whose curiosity, sense of adventure and seamless collaboration knew no bounds.
Premiere: 13 October 2009, Sadler’s Wells, London
Cast: 8 dancers
Commissioned by: Sadler’s Wells