Russell Maliphant

Russell Maliphant, choreographer

Russell Maliphant trained at the Royal Ballet School and graduated into Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet Company before leaving to pursue a career in independent dance. As a dancer he worked with companies such as DV8 Physical Theatre, Michael Clark & Company, Laurie Booth and Rosemary Butcher and also studied anatomy, physiology and bio-mechanics. He became certified as a practitioner of the Rolfing Method of Structural Integration in 1994 and this has subsequently informed both his teaching and choreographic work.

He created his first solo in 1992 and formed the Russell Maliphant Company in 1996 which has sought to integrate and explore elements from a diverse range of body practices and techniques, including classical ballet, contact improvisation, yoga, capoeira, tai chi & chi gong. He has collaborated closely with the lighting designer Michael Hulls, and in addition to working with his own company of dancers, has set works on renowned companies and artists including: Sylvie Guillem, Robert Lepage, The Ballet Boyz, Lyon Opera Ballet, Ricochet Dance Company, CobosMika, The Batsheva Ensemble, and Ballet de Lorraine.

In 2003, Russell created Broken Fall with Sylvie Guillem and George Piper Dances, commissioned by George Piper Dances and The Royal Ballet and was awarded an Olivier Award the same year. Broken Fall was restaged at Sadler’s Wells in autumn 2004 as part of a three ballet evening of Russell's work re-titled Rise and Fall, and was awarded a Critic’s Circle National Dance Award for Best Choreography (Modern) in 2006. In autumn 2005, Russell and Guillem were reunited in a new programme entitled PUSH, produced in collaboration with Sadler’s Wells and which, like Rise and Fall has subsequently toured to sell-out audiences across the globe. Russell received a South Bank Show Award and an Oliver Award (2006) for the work.

He also worked on the collaboration titled Eonnagata, a new production created and performed with Sylvie Guillem and Robert Lepage which was produced by and premiered at Sadler’s Wells in March 2009. This piece is continuing to tour internationally during 2010 and 2011.

Throughout these projects, Russell continues to work with his own company, the Russell Maliphant Company, which acts as his creative lab for the development and presentation of new work in its own right with a national and international touring programme. The Company has recently been touring PUSH, reworked for and presented by two of the company dancers, and a new male solo, Flux for which Alexander Varona received the Critic’s Circle National Dance Award for Best Emerging Dancer (Modern) for his performances. In 2007, the Company featured in Cast No Shadow, a new work exploring the ideas of identity and migration created in collaboration with the visual artists Isaac Julien which was presented at Sadler’s Wells and BAM in New York, amongst other places.

In Aril 2009, Two:Four:Ten, a retrospective of works created with Michael Hulls was produced by the Russell Maliphant Company and Sadler’s Wells and presented at the London Coliseum, featuring Russell, Dana Fouras and Daniel Proietto from the Russell Maliphant Company, Adam Cooper, Ivan Putrov from The Royal Ballet and Agnes Oaks and Thomas Edur from English National Ballet.

In his recent work he produces, together with the Composer Mukul Patel, a new piece for the premiere Der gelbe Klang in April 2014 at the BallettFestwoche 2014.