Sutra a “unique, profoundly imagined work” (The Guardian) is a collaboration between one of Europe’s most exciting dancer-choreographers Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Turner Prize-winning sculptor Antony Gormley and 17 practicing Buddhist monks from the Shaolin Temple in China. It is a piece of dance that is at once deeply hypnotic, playful and breathtakingly athletic.
Aged between 10 and 26 years the monks performing in Sutra follow a strict Buddhist doctrine, with kung fu and tai chi martial arts forming a part of their daily ritual. Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui (who is a big Bruce Lee fan) spent several months at their Temple before devising his awe-inspiring piece. During Sutra the monks perform such spectacular, dare devil moves that you see them quite literally as leaps of faith.
Antony Gormley’s stage setting consisting of 21 wooden boxes which are carried or pushed around the stage by the monks, becoming walls, boats, beds, skyscrapers, toys, temples – whatever is needed. It is set to a specially commissioned score by Polish composer Szymon Brzoska for piano, percussion and strings which is performed live.