Profile: Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s debut as a choreographer was in 1999 with Andrew Wale’s Anonymous Society. While Cherkaoui’s initial pieces (Rien de Rien, Foi, Tempus Fugit) were made as a member of les ballets C de la B, he also made work that both expanded and consolidated his artist vision: Ook (2000) with Nienke Reehorst and the mentally disabled actors of Theater Stap, D’avant (2002) with Damien Jalet and dancer-singers of the Sasha Waltz & Guests company and zero degrees (2005) with Akram Khan. Between 2006 and 2009, as associate artist at Het Toneelhuis in Antwerp, he created Sutra (2008), his dialogue with the warrior monks of the Shaolin Temple, Dunas (2009) alongside flamenco bailaora Maria Pagés and Play (2010) with kutchipudi dancer Shantala Shivalingappa.
In 2010, with the founding of his company Eastman in Antwerp, Cherkaoui began a new phase in his trajectory, marked by the multiple-award-winning Babel, co-choreographed with Damien Jalet and designed by Antony Gormley. TeZukA (2011) and Puz/zle (2012) followed. 2013 saw the premiere of 4D (Eastman), Boléro (co-created with Damien Jalet and Marina Abramovic, for the Paris Opera Ballet) and m¡longa (for Sadler’s Wells).
Cherkaoui received international acclaim for his choreography in Joe Wright’s feature film Anna Karenina (2012). Cherkaoui directed and choreographed Shell Shock (2014).
He is artistic director of the Royal Ballet Flanders, where he has created Fall (2015), Exhibition (2016) and Requiem (2017). He combines this function with his title as artistic director of Eastman.
In 2016 he created Qutb for Natalia Osipova and Icon for GöteborgsOperans Danskompani. He made Mosaic in 2017 for Martha Graham Dance Company. He directed the operas Les Indes galantes (2016) for the Bayerische Staatsoper, Satyagraha (2017) for Theater Basel and Pelléas et Mélisande (2018) with Damien Jalet and Marina Abramović for Opera Vlaanderen.
Cherkaoui is an Associate Artist for Sadler’s Wells.