Michael Pinchbeck (EN)




Bolero is realized in co-production of the Sarajevo War Theatre, Nottingham Playhouse from Nottingham, and ODA Theatre in Pristina. The author of the project’s original concept is Michael Pinchbeck, a writer, and live and performance artist from Nottingham, who brought together an international team for this project. Project partner is the British Council in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 1928 in Paris, French composer Maurice Ravel wrote the orchestral piece “Bolero”. At the Winter Olympics in Sarajevo in 1984, British Olympians in figure skating, Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, performed their set dancing to the music of “Bolero”. In Sarajevo, Jayne and Christopher became the highest scoring duo in the history of figure skating. Eight years later, the sports hall in which they performed was shelled. Working with music as the bridge that connects these two stories, Michael Pinchbeck departs on a journey from Paris to Sarajevo, from 1928 to 1984, to Winter Olympics, to the Bosnian War. “Bolero” explores the creation of music and making history with this music, looking back on how the glory of the Sarajevo Olympics was covered in blood a few years later. It is about the intertwining and unfolding of cultural and political history that leaves no one indifferent. The project embarks on a conceptual journey from creativity to deterioration, from the composition to the conflict, in order to respond to the structure of Ravel’s music and the choreography of the dance numbers on ice.

Directed by Michael Pinchbeck
Cast Michael Pinchbeck, Vera Molitor, Nicki Hobday, Ollie Smith, Benjamin Bajramović, Jasenk Pašić, Amila Terzimehić
Dramaturgy Florent Mehmeti
Stage Manager Anneke van de Stege
Photography Velija Hasanbegović

75 minutes


Michael Pinchbeck is a Nottingham-based writer and artist. He co-founded Metro-Boulot-Dodo in 1997 after studying Theatre and Creative Writing at Lancaster University. He was commissioned by Nottingham Playhouse to write The White Album (2006) and The Ashes (2011), and was awarded funding by the British Council to write and direct a new play — Bolero — which premiered at Nottingham Playhouse in 2014 before touring to Sarajevo, Mostar, Tusla and Zenica in Bosnia.

Michael has recently finished touring a trilogy of devised performances — The Beginning, The Middle and The End— and his work has been selected three times for the British Council’s Edinburgh Showcase. He has a Masters in Performance and Live Art from Nottingham Trent University, lectures at the University of Lincoln and is completing a PhD at Loughborough University exploring the role of the dramaturg. Michael is a co-director of Hatch, the East Midlands’ “theatre without a building”.


12 October 2014, MESS Festival