Life is a Dream

a dance by Kim Brandstrup

Life is a Dream

In the same room, many decades apart: a woman incarcerated, presumed mad. A boy experiencing the world through his computer screen. A theatre group discovering a 400 year-old Spanish play with surprising relevance today.

As their parallel stories unfold, their room transforms. The characters are transported to a bustling city, a dense forest, an opulent garden, a vast arid plain. Could it be that too many of their dreams are coming true?

Life is a Dream is a spectacular new show that combines the vivid dance story-telling of choreographer Kim Brandstrup with the stunning visual imagination of filmmakers the Quay Brothers. Their contemporary take on Calderón’s classic play is a journey through alienation, vengeance, tenderness and redemption, set in an ever-changing, dream-like world and accompanied the rich, harmonious music of Witold Lutosławski, played by a full-size symphony orchestra.

With dramatic and lyrical dancing from our brilliant ensemble, Life is a Dream is a study of desires as recognisable in today’s mass-mediated world as at any time in the past 400 years: the longing for an authentic experience, and the need to dream.

Kim Brandstrup’s most recent work for Rambert, Transfigured Night, won the 2016 National Dance Award for best modern choreography.

"Superbly constructed, inventively musical, beautiful and profoundly humane”

The Guardian on Transfigured Night

Commissioned by Bergen International Festival. Supported by Adam Mickiewicz Institute / Polska Music, Arts Council England and Cockayne Grants for the Arts – a donor-advised fund of The London Community Foundation.

IAM Polska Music logo

Kim Brandstrup
Quay Brothers
Witold Lutosławski
Jean Kalman
Holly Waddington
Willem Bruls
Based on the play by:
Pedro Calderón de la Barca

Showing at:

  • Sadler's Wells, London

    Sadler's Wells
    Rosebery Avenue London EC1R 4TN
  • Bergen International Festival, Norway

    Bergen International Festival
    Grieghallen, Griegsalen, Bergen Norway
  • Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

    Festival Theatre
    13 - 29 Nicolson Street Edinburgh EH8 9FT
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