National Gallery, London, Nationwide, United Kingdom
As the Second World War broke out and bombs menaced London, the National Gallery’s art collection was evacuated to Snowdonia, buried for safe-keeping deep in the Manod slate mines. Winged Bull in the Elephant Case dramatises the journey of a lost painting that takes human form, as it strives, with help from its friends, to get back to the National Gallery. Combining extraordinary dance forms, and filmed underground and in the National Gallery, this immersive performance for the screen questions how far we should go to preserve our cultural heritage in the face of violence and aggression.
Winged Bull in the Elephant Case features choreography by Wayne McGregor, Charlotte Edmonds, Botis Seva and Bonetics, performed by Company Wayne McGregor, Alessandra Ferri, Bonetics, and Far From The Norm. The production for BBC Performance Live is written and directed by Robin Friend, choreographed and directed by Wayne McGregor, and the live screen director is Rhodri Huw. The music is composed by Joel Cadbury with performances by pianist Joanna MacGregor and cellist Tunde Jegede, and spoken word performed by Isaiah Hull.
Winged Bull in the Elephant Case will be broadcast on BBC Two on Saturday 3 March at 10pm and available on BBC iPlayer, coinciding with the BBC's landmark series Civilisations.
A Studio Wayne McGregor/Illuminations production for BBC Television and Arts Council England. Performance Live is a partnership between Arts Council England, BBC Arts and Battersea Arts Centre.
Image: Robin Friend