María Pagés and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, two of the world’s most celebrated dancemakers, coming together in an extraordinary collaboration.



“Dunas is, of course, inspired by dunes, sand, its grains and its metamorphosis. Both Maria and i are enthusiastic about exploring the desert that lies before us”. Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui

“My encounters with Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui have always been the product of a harmonious and rhythmic destiny… Larbi has showed me the way to recognise myself, not only in my artistic and creative soul, but also in my own personal soul. I’ll be taking Larbi by the hand to meet his essence, his own genuine roots. These, and other ingredients, make up his fabulous world.”
Maria Pagés (National Award for Dance) spoke in this way of her meeting with the Belgian choreographer, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui (Best Choreographer 2008) before setting to work on the creation of Dunas.
These two stars of modern dance unite Flamenco and Contemporary Dance in this performance – opening in October at the Dan:s Festival, Singapore – creating a choreography born of their mutual admiration for each other.
The music composed by Szymon Brzoska and Rubén Lebaniegos for the show, with touches of Flamenco, classic and Arabic music, represent the roots of both choreographers. The result is a deeply innovative performance, about which Sidi Larbi reflects: “Meeting Maria has been like meeting a current of passionate and positive energy; she is extraordinarily open and able to see the quality of the movements in an unique way. Far from the conventionalisms of contemporary choreography. I love the way she moves, her way of totally committing herself to her full emotional expressivity; she delivers herself in heart and soul onstage, I have never seen such powerful dedication before – she makes the stage completely hers. Her style redefined my way of looking at movement and sharing the stage with her has been an honour and a great apprenticeship for me.”
About the Company

Maria Pagés, the Flamenco dancer and choreographer from Seville, has conquered stages around the world with numbers that go farther than just exhibiting cultural differences, opening up a path for Flamenco dance. She was part of the Antonio Gades Dance Company and has been first dancer in both Mario Maya’s and Rafael Aguilar’s Companies. She took part in movies, such as Carmen and Flamenco directed by Carlos Saura. In 2007, Mikhail Baryshnikov invited her to dance at the Baryshnikov Dance Centre. This project included a residency in BAC. This experience inspired Maria for her show Autorretrato (Self Portrait). She has won awards such as the National Prize for Dance (Creation) in 2002, the ADE Prize for Choreography in 1996 and five Giraldillo Prizes in the Seville Flamenco Art Biennial.
Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui (Antwerp, Belgium, 1976) is one of the most prolific choreographers and dancers in Belgium. His work is characterised by his unprejudiced openness to all cultures, languages and forms of expressivity, which has given rise to intensely personal creations. He has created dances such as Rien de Rien (Cherkaoui’s first choreography as a member of the C de la B Ballet), Ook, It, D’Avant, Foi, Tempus Figit, Ik hou Van Jou/Je T’Aime Tu Sais, Corpus Bach,Mea Culpa, Myth, L’Homme de Bois, Apocrifu, Origine, Sutra and BABEL. He was awarded the Special Prize in the BITEF Belgrade Festival and the Revelation Prize for Choreographers in the Nijinski Prizes in Monte Carlo, amongst many others.


María Pagés and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, two of the world’s most celebrated dancemakers, coming together in an extraordinary collaboration, to create a dialogue between flamenco and contemporary dance. Inspired by the undulating landscape of sand dunes, Dunas set against an original music score coloured with echoes of flamenco, classical and Arabic music. The fiery passion of her classically structured form and the nuanced richness of his modern intercultural style make this a creation of exceptional brilliance.

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