Cassandra || Royal Ballet
"A polished, eminently watchable 70 minutes of dance-drama. Its through-composed score by Ana Silvera,
who also takes a performing role as a singer is attractively varied, constantly engaging" - Artsdesk
"Lovely live music...and the silvery voice of Silvera" - The Guardian
"A haunting and ethereal theatrical experience depicted with beautiful sensitivity the onset of psychotic illness in a young woman"
- The British Medical Journal
Premiered 30th October 2014 at Linbury Theatre, Royal Opera House
In 2013, alongside filmmaker Kate Church and choreographer Ludovic Ondiviela, I was commissioned to create a full-length work for the Royal Ballet, entitled ‘Cassandra’. Based on the story of the Trojan princess, blessed and cursed with the ability to foresee the future, we devised an updated version of this story, centred around a modern-day Cassandra.
The piece examined ideas around sanity and madness, via Cassandra’s admission to psychiatric hospital as a consequence of the visions she is party to. The piece was initially inspired by the work, ‘Soliloquy for Cassandra’ by the Polish poet, Wisława Szymborska, and more directly by my own brother’s experiences with psychosis and hospitalisation.
I co-created the storyline, composed the music and sang onstage in the role of ‘Ancient Cassandra’ (picture top left). Have a listen to some of the instrumental pieces below and also an Royal Opera House interview with myself and psychiatrist Dr Mark Salter about the role the arts have to play in elucidating issues around mental health.
Remembering Becs Andrews (1978 - 2016)
Becs Andrews was our stage and costume designer for Cassandra and such a great asset to our production. But not just that - she was also warm, witty, empathic, curious, kind and talented. She passed away at the age of 37, January 2016. Sending her greatest love wherever she is. I'm so glad to have met and worked with her.
Credits: Choregrapher/Co-Creator - Ludovic Ondiviela; Films/Co-Creator - Kate Church; Score and Live Performance/Co-Creator - Ana Silvera; Set & Costume - Becs Andrews; Paul Keogan - Lighting] plus dancers: Olivia Cowley, Thomas Whitehead, Mara Galeazzi, Paul Kay, Gary Avis, Yuhui Choe, Jacqueline Clark and Romany Padjak.