Repertoire

Phaedra

Nominated for an Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production. Ihsaan de Banya in Richard Alston's Phaedra 'which physically and artistically meshes dance and music to the max’ (Lyndsey Winship, Evening Standard).

Choreography: Richard Alston
Music: Benjamin Britten Phaedra
Lighting: Charles Balfour
Costumes: Fotini Dimou

At her marriage to Theseus, Phaedra first sees her stepson Hippolytus and is smitten. She cannot shake off her infatuation and eventually confesses her feelings. Hippolytus is a committed follower of the severe goddess Artemis, and rebuffs Phaedra utterly. She panics that he will tell Theseus so she fabricates a brazen lie for her husband, accusing Hippolytus of ravishing her, in a rage Theseus banishes his son.

Hippolytus goes rather than tell his father the awful truth, but as his chariot leaves his horses panic and lose control. Hippolytus is dashed violently against the rocks and dies instantly. Phaedra appears one last time before her husband to confess her guilt and Hippolytus’s innocence. She takes poison and calmly ends her tortured existence.

Phaedra received its world premiere as part of Barbican Britten: Phaedra at the Barbican Theatre on 6 November 2013.