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October 05, 2018

White Light Festival Media Alert

Lincoln Center

White Light Festival

Media Alert


Choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui to perform on opening night in Sutra,

kicking off this year’s White Light Festival

October 16, 2018


The opening engagement of this year’s White Light Festival is the return of Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s Sutra, which had its U.S. premiere in a sold-out run at the inaugural White Light Festival in 2010. The Belgian choreographer – who will take the stage for opening night – mixes contemporary dance with martial arts in this singular piece, which features warrior monks from China’s Shaolin Temple, a Zen Buddhist enclave devoted to kung fu.


This year’s 2018 White Light Festival runs from October 16 through November 18. The ninth annual multidisciplinary festival features events presented in six venues across the city, including world, U.S., and New York premieres exploring transcendence, interior illumination, and the communal impulse as exhibited through artistic expression across continents and centuries.


Tickets for the 2018 White Light Festival are available online at, by calling CenterCharge at 212.721.6500, or at the David Geffen or Alice Tully Hall Box Office (Broadway and 65th Street).


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Bios of artists are available at the Lincoln Center press site, here.

Details on the full White Light Festival lineup may be found at



Tuesday–Thursday, October 1618 at 7:30 pm

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui/Sadler’s Wells London

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, director and choreographer

Antony Gormley, visual design

Szymon Brzóska, music

with monks from the Shaolin Temple


Rose Theater, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall


Belgian choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui returns in the Sadler’s Wells production of his acclaimed dance work Sutra, an East-West collaboration with warrior monks from China’s Shaolin Temple that had its U.S. premiere in three sold-out performances at the inaugural White Light Festival in 2010. To develop the piece, Cherkaoui spent several months at the original Shaolin Temple in China’s Henan Province, exploring the monks’ Zen Buddhist practice and devotion to kung fu. The production blends gravity-defying martial arts with contemporary dance and features 17 Shaolin monks; a striking, ever-changing set of 21 wooden boxes created by British sculptor and Cherkaoui’s frequent collaborator Antony Gormley; and a live score by Polish composer Szymon Brzóska. Since its world premiere at Sadler’s Wells, London, in May 2008, Sutra has toured around the world and played to sell-out audiences in 60 cities across 28 countries.


A Sadler’s Wells London Production. Co-produced with Athens Festival, Festival de Barcelona Grec, Grand Théãtre de Luxembourg, La Monnaie Brussels, Festival d’Avignon, Fondazione Musica per Roma and Shaolin Cultural Communications Company.


Sutra is made possible in part by The Joelson Foundation and The Harkness Foundation for Dance.


Major endowment support for contemporary dance and theater is provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.


Endowment support for the White Light Festival presentation of Sutra is provided by Blavatnik Family Foundation Fund for Dance.



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Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui has made more than 50 choreographic pieces and received numerous awards, including two Olivier Awards, three Ballet Tanz Awards for best choreographer (2008, 2011, 2017), and the Kairos Prize (2009) for his artistic vision and his quest for intercultural dialogue. In 2008 Cherkaoui premiered Sutra at Sadler’s Wells. This award-winning collaboration with artist Antony Gormley and the Shaolin monks, which had its U.S. premiere at the White Light Festival in 2010, continues to tour the world to great critical acclaim. In 2010, with the founding of his company Eastman (in residence at deSingel International Arts Campus) in Antwerp, Cherkaoui began a new phase in his trajectory, marked by the multiple-award-winning Babel(words), co-choreographed with Damien Jalet and designed by Gormley. Babel(words) appeared at the White Light Festival in 2016. In 2015, Cherkaoui assumed the role of artistic director at the Royal Ballet of Flanders, where he has created Fall (2015), Exhibition (2016), and Requiem (2017). He remains artistic director of Eastman and is also associate artist at Sadler’s Wells, London. Read a complete bio at


Antony Gormley is widely acclaimed for his sculptures, installations, and public artworks that investigate the relationship of the human body to space. Gormley’s work has been widely exhibited throughout the U.K. and internationally. He has collaborated with choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui on zero degrees (2005), Sutra (2008), Babel(words) (2010), Noetic (2014), and Icon (2016). Gormley was awarded the Turner Prize in 1994, the South Bank Prize for Visual Art in 1999, the Bernhard Heiliger Award for Sculpture in 2007, the Obayashi Prize in 2012, and the Praemium Imperiale in 2013. In 1997 he was made an Officer of the British Empire (OBE) and was made a knight in the New Year’s Honours list in 2014. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, an Honorary Doctor of the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of Trinity and Jesus Colleges, Cambridge. Learn more at


The Shaolin monks performing in Sutra are from the Shaolin Temple, situated near Songshan (Mount Song) in the Henan Province of China and established in 495 AD by monks originating from India. In 1983, the State Council defined the Shaolin Temple as the key national Buddhist temple. The monks follow a strict Chan (Zen) Buddhist doctrine, and kung fu and tai chi martial arts are an integral part of their daily regime. Shaolin kung fu is one of the oldest Chinese martial arts traditions. The monks regard the perfection of their kung fu warrior skills as their lifelong goal. Fully understanding life with no fear in their hearts, the monks’ physical and mental practice embodies the ancient Chinese belief in “the unity between heaven and man.” Learn more at



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The White Light Festival is a presentation of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (LCPA)?serves three primary roles: presenter of artistic programming, national leader in arts and education and community engagement, and manager of the Lincoln Center campus. A presenter of more than 3,000 free and ticketed events, performances, tours, and educational activities annually, LCPA offers a variety of festivals and programs, including American Songbook, Avery Fisher Career Grants and Artist program, David Rubenstein Atrium programming, Great Performers, Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Awards, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Lincoln Center Vera List Art Project, LC Kids, Midsummer Night Swing, Mostly Mozart Festival, White Light Festival, the Emmy Award–winning?Live From Lincoln Center, which airs nationally on PBS, and Lincoln Center Education, which is celebrating more than four decades enriching the lives of students, educators, and lifelong learners. As manager of the Lincoln Center campus, LCPA provides support and services for the Lincoln Center complex and the 11 resident organizations: The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Juilliard School, Lincoln Center Theater, The Metropolitan Opera, New York City Ballet, New York Philharmonic, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, School of American Ballet, and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.


Lincoln Center has become a leading force in using new media and technology to reach and inspire a wider and global audience. Reaching audiences where they are—physically and digitally—has become a cornerstone of making the performing arts more accessible to New Yorkers and beyond. For more information, visit?


Lincoln Center is committed to providing and improving accessibility for people with disabilities. For information, contact Accessibility at Lincoln Center at [email protected] or 212.875.5375.




The White Light Festival 2018 is made possible by The Shubert Foundation, The Katzenberger Foundation, Inc., Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater, The Joelson Foundation, The Harkness Foundation for Dance, Great Performers Circle, Chairman’s Council, and Friends of Lincoln Center.


Public Support is provided by New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.


Nespresso is the Official Coffee of Lincoln Center.


NewYork-Presbyterian is the Official Hospital of Lincoln Center.




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Twitter: @LincolnCenter #WhiteLightFestival




For more information, please contact:


Michelle Tabnick

[email protected]



Pamela Hernández

[email protected]


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