In 2014 Sisters Grimm premiered their first full length musical dance production, "INALA" meaning abundance of goodwill in Zulu, with Grammy award winning, South African legends, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, current and former dancers of the Royal Ballet & Rambert, with choreography by Mark Baldwin and new music co-written by Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Ella Spira.
INALA sold out at the Edinburgh International Festival, the Edinburgh Playhouse, and at Sadler's Wells in London. The show repeated this feat throughout its 9 concert hall venue UK tour, culminating in an invitation to perform an excerpt at the 2014 Royal Variety Performance, in the presence of Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
INALA had been developed over 5 years, this partly due to; it being their first big production, and aligning with the 20 year anniversary of South African democracy.
This year INALA was programmed as part of the Chekov International Theatre festival, in Moscow, for 5 performances in the Mossovet Theatre and due to phenomenal demand, INALA returned to the Sadler's Wells Theatre in London, for 6 performances. Sisters Grimm were honoured to join forces with ATG (Ambassador Theatre Group) to co-produce INALA which enabled a further 5 weeks of UK regional touring.
In 2009 Sisters Grimm Ltd produced “Rapunzel the Final Chapter” with Royal Opera House backing from Lord Tony Hall.
It was the first time something like this had been shot in the Royal Opera House.
Bringing together their networks and disciplines they achieved extremely high standards, with a relatively limited budget and secured an excellent and exceptionally talented team to work on Rapunzel. Royal Ballet dancer Sabina Westcombe, and ex Royal Ballet dancer, current Mariinsky Ballet Principal Xander Parish.
The foundations of Sisters Grimm were formed in 2008. A Royal Ballet performance at The Royal Opera House presented Ella and Pietra with the perfect opportunity to bring to life a painting for an acquaintance who had a longstanding dream of a ballet film about his favourite surrealist artist Leonor Fini.
A woman wearing a glove with a scorpion’s tail just poking out, is just a glimpse into the dark and fascinating world that Leonor Fini's surreal paintings show us. Leonor herself is often depicted as a sphinx or lioness and women with wild hair featured often. The exploration of sexuality and the interplay between the dominant female and passive male were all part of her exploration between the sexes and so also inspired the creation of the FINI BALLET.
The piece was performed by Emma Maguire, Akane Takada, Sabina Westcombe, Romany Pajdak, Erico Montes and Xander Parish in the Clore Studio at the Royal Opera House.
One of Fini's paintings particularly grabbed Pietra, as it already looked like the start of a ballet with a slavery theme. "Volens Nolens", depicts two bald almost identical women back to back on chairs with one arm tied together with a blue ribbon. The women are in unitards and are in a 'dancers' pose. The chairs seemed key to the image. Pietra designed the set, which was built by Penny Spedding at The Royal Opera House.
Ella Spira created a bespoke score which was recorded in Abbey Road Studios performed by the Orsino Ensemble, an 18 piece orchestra. She called the piece, Reves Au Chemin: Dream, after one of Leonor's paintings.