News - Aisha and Abhaya


Rambert and The Royal Ballet, in association with BBC Films are delighted to present their first ever collaboration, a powerful new stage work set to premiere at the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Theatre in January 2020...

Press Release

A one-of-a-kind contemporary tale, Aisha and Abhaya is directed by London-based film director Kibwe Tavares, in his first work for theatre. This potent and atmospheric piece combines Tavares’ visually stunning film and animations with choreographer Sharon Eyal’s singularly emotive movement, performed by a cast of 16 Rambert dancers.

Set in a fantastical world, but one riven with familiar troubles and dangers, Aisha and Abhaya tells the story of two teenage refugee sisters displaced from home who must find their way in a faraway place. Aisha and Abhaya tackles themes for our times through a multimedia performance in which film drives the narrative and dance becomes the vehicle for the sisters’ sense of loss and yearning for home.

A one-of-a-kind theatrical experience and a feast for the senses, Aisha and Abhaya is supported by an original score and soundtrack design by Eyal’s collaborator Ori Lichtik and acclaimed musician GAIKA, with lavish costumes by visual artist Uldus Bakhtiozina.

Benoit Swan Pouffer, Artistic Director of Rambert, said, ‘This collaboration between director Kibwe Tavares and choreographer Sharon Eyal offers audiences the opportunity to see Rambert in a unique production, and in a new light, on stage at the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Theatre. It’s been wonderful to see the dancers working on the film, and exploring new ways of performing. This groundbreaking show is an opportunity for new audiences to discover the power of dance.’

Emma Southworth, Creative Producer for The Royal Ballet added, ‘We are delighted to be welcoming Rambert to our international stage for dance with our co-production of Aisha and Abhaya. Combining the work of so many innovative creatives in this project is really exciting, and the work promises to be a truly innovative and poignant exploration of one of the most pressing issues of today.’

Aisha and Abhaya is on at the Linbury Theatre from Tuesday 21 Jan 2020 – Sunday 9 February 2020. Visit the Royal Opera House website for more information

Image - © Uldus Bakhtiozina