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And the Earth Shall Bear Again

The English National Ballet
Commissioned for the Cultural Olympiad, accompanying the 2012 London Olympic Games

Choreography: Itzik Galili

Light design: Yaron Abulafia

Music: John Cage

Costume design: Natasja Lansen

Choreographic Assistant: Elisabeth Gibiat

Photos by © Amber Hunt & © Yaron Abulafia

World premiere at Theatre Royal, Glasgow, followed by a national tour during the London Olympics - June 2012.


Dance GB was the first time when English National Ballet, National Dance Company Wales and Scottish Ballet joined forces in a ground-breaking national celebration of dance inspired by the 2012 London Olympics.

In And the Earth Shall Bear Again, the vibrant athletic choreography consists of short scenes, featuring relationships between couples, trios and groups in ever-changing compositions, corresponding to the metamorphosing scenography of light. We explore the creation of elastic architecture of light and the instant transformations of virtual spaces – seemingly solid walls, or pillars of light that become a choreography in its own right – ‘rhythmic spaces’.

Cage’s music is played on a ‘prepared piano’ the sound of which is distorted by screws and other mechanical elements. Light beams that often burst into the dark surroundings and hit as piano hammers amplify its alienating character and cold machinery sounds. Coloured brownish light is used to evoke a feeling of empathy toward the human performers, counterbalancing the emotional effect of the music and the ‘violent’ behaviour of the space.

"Designer Yaron Abulafia’s rig is an integral part of the stage design, some of the more sculptural elements being in plain view. I can see why you wouldn’t want to be setting this up during an intermission. The stage is filled with atmospheric fog and we are immediately drawn into the murky darkness. What Abulafia has created is remarkable: a theatrical black hole from which dancers emerge into the light, or recede into latency at the will of the lighting designer and choreographer."
(Dance GB: Olympic Fever, a review by Nicholas Minns in Writing About Dance.com, July 19th 2012)