As the Second World War broke out and bombs menaced London, the National Gallery’s art collection was evacuated to Snowdonia, buried for safe-keeping deep in the Manod slate mines. Winged Bull in the Elephant Case dramatises the journey of a lost painting that takes human form, as it strives, with help from its friends, to get back to the National Gallery. Combining extraordinary dance forms, and filmed underground and in the National Gallery, this immersive performance for the screen questions how far we should go to preserve our cultural heritage in the face of violence and aggression.
Written and directed by Robin Friend, Winged Bull in the Elephant Case is a production for BBC performance live. Choreographed and directed by Wayne McGregor, and the live screen director is Rhodri Huw. With choreography from Charlotte Edmonds, Botis Seva and Bonetics, performed by Company Wayne McGregor, Alessandra Ferri, Bonetics, and Far From The Norm. The music is composed by Joel Cadbury with performances by pianist Joanna MacGregor and cellist Tunde Jegede, and spoken word performed by Isaiah Hull.
The program aired on March 17th 2018 at 10:40 on BBC2, and was featured alongside a free exhibition at the National Gallery, Manod: The Nation's Treasure Caves 5 March - 8 April 2018.