Urban meets Baroque in Hofesh Shechter's Trilogy barbarians at the NAC on November 10 and 11

On November 10 and 11, NAC Dance welcomes the return of the UK’s Hofesh Shechter Company to the NAC Theatre, with a trilogy entitled barbarians. Renowned for his highly physical and distinctive work—and raw, atmospheric music compositions to accompany his choreography—Hofesh Shechter’s barbarians presents an explosive universe consolidated around the themes of intimacy, passion and the banality of love.

Influenced by the spirit of the baroque era, barbarians explores with exuberance and sensibility the basic instinct that inhabits the human being living in an orderly and strict environment.

“It is about the disconnect there is between ourselves, our bodies and the set of rules and culture around us,” says Hofesh Shechter. “We all have plans and we all fuck them up constantly because of the instincts that are driving us. I experience constant failing in my dreams of life. I am probably not alone in that.”

The trilogy will immerse the spectators into an incomparable musical atmosphere in which elements of baroque, electronic and dubstep all convene. This will notably be highlighted in Part 1, where Shechter juxtaposes his own electronic beats to the music of 17th century composer François Couperin.

barbarians will be performed on November 10 and 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the NAC Theatre.

Please note that there will be haze, nudity, explicit lyrics, loud music and flashing lights.  

“Hofesh Shechter. It’s a name to remember ... He shows physical invention as part of a fiercely contemporary universe.” - Roslyn Sulcas, The New York Times

Hofesh Shechter is renowned for composing atmospheric musical scores to compliment the unique physicality of his movement. He is Artistic Director of the UK-based Hofesh Shechter Company.

Following his choreographic debut, Fragments, in 2003, Shechter was commissioned by The Place Prize in 2004 to create Cult, winning the Audience Choice Award. This was followed in 2006 by Uprising, a work for seven men that has since been staged on companies around the world. In 2007 The Place, Southbank Centre and Sadler’s Wells Theatre commissioned Shechter to create In your rooms, which earned him the Critics’ Circle Award for Best Choreography (Modern).

In 2008, Shechter formed Hofesh Shechter Company, which has rapidly established an international reputation. His first full-length work Political Mother – commissioned by venues in Paris, Lyon, Rome, London and Barcelona – had its premiere at the Brighton Festival in 2010, and a year later he re-visited the work to create Political Mother: The Choreographer’s Cut. Shechter collaborated with Antony Gormley in 2012 to create Survivor for the Barbican Centre. His 2013 work Sun continues to tour extensively after opening at the Melbourne Festival.

In 2013, Shechter created the choreography for Nico Mulhy’s opera Two Boys at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. He was Guest Director of the Brighton Festival in 2014 and is currently an Associate Artist of Sadler’s Wells. He has recently created a new work, Untouchable, for the Royal Ballet, at the Royal Opera House, performed to a score co-composed by Hofesh and long-time collaborator Nell Catchpole. This autumn’s Royal Opera House season begins with Shechter’s opera directorial debut of Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice, co-directed with John Fulljames. Plans include choreographing the Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof which will premiere in December 2015 and a new work for Nederlands Dans Theatre which will premiere in April 2016.

The infinitely unpredictable Shechter presents a sparse world for three wildly different takes on intimacy, passion and the banality of love.

Revealing his choreography at its most elegant and intimate, the highly acclaimed and disquieting the barbarians in love opens the evening. Trembling with emotion residing within order, six white-clad figures move as one to the strains of an ecclesiastic baroque score.  What follows, as two very different works unfold, is a volatile explosion of dubstep grooves in tHE bAD —at once joyous and trance-like—and a poignant duet Two completely different angles of the same fucking thing, which completes the evening.

Part I: the barbarians in love
VOICE: Victoria with Natascha McElhone

Part II: tHE bAD
COSTUME MAKER: Amanda Barrow

Part III: Two completely different angles of the same fucking thing
CHOREOGRAPHY: Hofesh Shechter

Hofesh Shechter Company performs in the Theatre of the National Arts Centre on Tuesday, November 10 and Wednesday, November 11 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 $40, $49, and $55 for adults and $22, $26.50 and $29.50 for students (upon presentation of a valid student ID card).

Groups of 10 or more save 15% to 20% off regular ticket prices; to reserve your seats, call 613 947-7000 x634 or e-mail grp@nac-cna.ca.

Tickets are available for purchase:
• In person at the NAC Box Office;
• At all Ticketmaster outlets;
• By telephone from Ticketmaster, 1-888-991-2787 (ARTS); and
• Online through the Ticketmaster link on the NAC’s website (www.nac-cna.ca).

A service charge applies on all purchases made through Ticketmaster.


Alexandra Campeau
Associate Communications Officer
NAC Dance
613 947-7000 x508

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