Laura Keeble’s “I’d Like to teach the world to sing!” shortlisted for the John Moores painting prize at the Liverpool Biennial
Starts 15th September
The Liverpool Biennial, founded in 1998, has become the largest contemporary art festival in the country, commissioning new work from artists from all over the world and invading unexpected buildings and public spaces in the city. This year the great American artist Doug Aitken is creating a video installation on Albert Dock, just outside Tate Liverpool, in a temporary structure designed in collaboration with the British architect David Adjaye.
Other highlights include a commission by the Argentine artist Jorge Macchi, and the premier, in Liverpool Cathedral, of a new concerto, A Crimson Grail, by the American composer Rhys Chatham requiring 100 volunteer electric guitarists. The famous Cunard Building will be opened for part of the city-wide group show, The Unexpected Guest, while a former Royal Mail sorting office hosts two shows—City States and Bloomberg New Contemporaries. Not every work in every exhibition will blow your mind—but the energy of the whole is impressive.
San Francisco Ballet
Sadler’s Wells, 14th to 23rd September
San Francisco Ballet, the oldest professional ballet company in America, makes a rare journey to the UK. A pair of triple bills and a quadruple bill include work by George Balanchine (Divertimento No 15), Christopher Wheeldon (Ghosts, Number Nine), Edwaard Liang (Symphonic Dances) and the company’s resident choreographer Yuri Possokhov (Prokofiev’s Classical Symphony and the multi-media dance work RakU).
Founded in 1933 as The San Francisco Opera Ballet, the company is one of America’s “Big Three” ballet companies, easily holding its own against New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. Renowned for its passion and commitment, the company also has a reputation as “The Starship Enterprise” of dance, boldly going where none have been before. They were the first company to deliver an American production of Swan Lake as well as extending their repertoire into the outer limits of contemporary ballet. Under the regime of longstanding artistic director/choreographer Helgi Tomasson, the company has become a powerhouse of creativity and their arrival in the UK is hotly anticipated.
Happy Birthday Edward Lear: 200 years of Nature and Nonsense
The Ashmolean, Oxford, from 20th September
Literary conspiracy theorists set a lot of store by pedigree. Last…