Monthly Archives: December 2017

Company of Elders takes the stage for end-of-year performance

On its last day of term, our resident over 60s dance company performed Seeta Patel’s Fragments, Not Forgotten at Sadler’s Wells.

Established in 1989, our Company of Elders meets every Friday to rehearse and work with professional dance artists. Dancer and choreographer Seeta Patel, who presented a Wild Card evening in September 2014 and most recently performed at Darbar Festival in November 2017, originally worked with the company during autumn 2015 to create the piece.

Fragments, Not Forgotten offers a glimpse into new and old memories that are never really left behind. Incorporating voice recordings from members of the company, Seeta used the words of the elders to create a delicate work that conjures haunting moments and fleeting images.

The company previously performed the piece as part of the Art of Age programme, an evening of work presented in the Lilian Baylis Studio in spring 2016. It has since been reworked and extended to include new members who joined the company earlier this year.

Next term, the company will work with choreographer Adrienne Hart, a participant in our Summer University programme.

We are committed to highlighting the valuable contribution to the art form made by older dancers, and to offer a platform for work created and performed by them to be shared with wide audiences. We look forward to continuing our celebration and support of lifelong creativity at Sadler’s Wells in the New Year.

SW Voices: Comms Intern Belphoebe New

Sadler’s Wells is committed to building a culturally diverse workforce and offers a number of opportunities throughout the year to help young people take their first step in the creative sector. Bel joined Sadler’s Wells in June 2017 and worked for six months in the Corporate Communications team, where she helped to promote the theatre and its work. She told us more about her internship and what she learnt.

What is your background?

I’m from Oxford originally, and during school I occasionally volunteered at a theatre company based in the city. I studied English Literature at Queen Mary University of London, and during that time I spent two years working as the Arts Editor of our student union newspaper and magazine. Straight after graduating, I began working as a Copywriter and Digital Marketing Assistant at a creative agency, writing copy for our clients’ brochures and websites. After a couple of years, I decided that I wanted to focus my career within the arts, so I started an Editorial internship at an arts marketing agency, writing articles including exhibition reviews and interviews for their website.

How did you find out about the internship and why did you apply to work at Sadler’s Wells?

I came across the internship on Arts Jobs. I was looking for something that could help me take the first steps in becoming an arts professional and offer some training too. Admittedly I knew next to nothing about dance before starting here, apart from taking a few contemporary dance classes, but my sister was always fascinated by ballet growing up, so I had some exposure to it during childhood. I’d heard of Sadler’s Wells before and I knew it had an excellent reputation as an arts organisation and for presenting world-class dance, so it seemed like the ideal place to gain experience of the inner workings of an arts venue in London.

What does your internship involve?

I support the Senior Communications Manager in raising the profile, and promoting the vision, of the organisation. My projects have included assisting with the production of our annual review 2016-17, liaising with different departments to acquire information and images, as well as drafting sections. I also coordinated content and wrote sections of a brochure for guests of the Material Movement evening, a joint fundraising event held by Sadler’s Wells and London College of Fashion in November. Day-to-day, I help write content for the executive team, create posts for the Sadler’s Wells LinkedIn and Twitter accounts, and I also manage the Sadler’s Wells’ blog, coming up with content ideas and helping to publicise our programmes and initiatives, such as Learning & Engagement and sustainability projects.

What have you learned so far?

An enormous amount! I feel that I’ve had an unrivalled insight into how a large arts venue works. I’ve been fortunate enough to work across many different departments, learning about the work that they do to ensure that Sadler’s Wells is active in the local community and encouraging openness and diversity. I felt particularly that my line manager Giulia was an encyclopedia of knowledge about Sadler’s Wells and the creative industry as a whole!

I have also learnt how to take responsibility for my own workload and be proactive in ensuring I am up-to-date with activities across the organisation. I’ve gotten to grips with a whole new writing style and understood the importance of accuracy, consistent messaging and sensitivity. But I think one of the most important things I’ve learnt is that it’s good to be inquisitive and ask questions, even if it feels like they are too obvious!

What do you particularly enjoy as part of the internship?

I love the environment of working in a busy theatre. I have never worked anywhere this large before, and being able to go and see shows, to see great art and know that you’re part of it in some small way, there’s honestly nothing like it. I also never felt restricted as part of this internship and was treated just like any other employee. I was encouraged to work independently and seek out new opportunities to learn in the organisation, from independently sourcing content for the fundraising event brochure through to running a Twitter Q&A with one of our visiting companies!

What do you find is the most challenging aspect of it?

I think with the amount of trust bestowed in me there were many new challenges. Sometimes it was difficult to complete everything I wanted to do at particularly busy times, and taking part in large meetings was also something I’d never done before, so I struggled with my confidence a little. But I like to feel challenged and some of these moments I would honestly say were part of my highlights of working here.

How do you feel the internship will benefit your career?

Prior to this I knew I wanted to work in the arts sector, as theatres, museums and galleries are honestly the places in which I feel most comfortable, but I didn’t know quite where I could fit. My role as Communications Intern helped me to clarify and centre my focus on what I wanted to do in the arts, and gave me indispensable experience within a prestigious arts organisation. I am now going on to a full time, permanent role as Communications Assistant at Art Fund, so it has undoubtedly been the perfect first step into a role within the creative sector.

What advice would you give to other graduates doing a placement through the programme?

Be proactive, go after your own opportunities within the organisation and don’t be afraid to be challenged. The focus is very much on helping you to learn, grow, and gain as much experience as possible. Always be inquisitive, ask lots of questions and really make the most of your time here. Be active, enthusiastic and don’t be afraid to ask advice about your work or the next steps in your career, the people here come from such varied career backgrounds and are always happy to help!

BREAKIN’ CONVENTION: 2017 IN NUMBERS

As 2017 comes to an end, it’s time to reflect on the huge successes of the past year, in particular for our Breakin’ Convention team who continue to bring hip hop culture to new audiences around the world through our international festival, youth projects and education programme.

Here’s what the team achieved during the past year.

  • The Breakin’ Convention Festival has visited 16 cities in 4 countries, with a total of 32 shows, each with a unique programme.
  • Shows reached 39,698 people and involved hundreds of local artists.
  • Hosted 5 Open Art Surgeries in 4 cities, in 3 countries involving 80 artists – with several having gone on to perform work at the Breakin’ Convention festivals and beyond.
  • Delivered 5 Higher Learning days covering lighting, sound & technical prep: dramaturgy & choreopoetry engaging over 95 participants.
  • 1 Moving Rap project developing movement for 5 rap artists and 1 Back to the Lab two-week project involving 21 artists.
  • 10 educational projects, featuring many more workshops. These included a music video project involving 30 young people from across London, as well as outreach workshops in schools outside of London.
  • Reached 5 million video views on their YouTube channel BCTV. Watch BCTV here.

Looking ahead, we’re excited to be celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Breakin’ Convention festival in 2018. We hope to see you all there for what will hopefully be another record-breaking year!

Celeb Spotting at Cinderella Gala Performance

With Christmas only a week away, we decided to roll out the red carpet and invite some famous faces to a special one-off performance of Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella at Sadler’s Wells. This star-studded evening was attended by the biggest names from stage and screen including David Walliams, Lily James, Matt Smith, Susanna Reid, Susan Calman, Jeremy Vine and many more.

Take a look at the image gallery above.

Matthew Bourne’s unique take on a classic fairytale transports the audience back to 1940s London, during one fateful night when Cinderella meets a dashing young RAF pilot and are together just long enough to fall in love before being parted by the horrors of the Blitz.

Many performances of Cinderella are now sold out, but you can catch this unmissable show when it will be broadcast to TV screens across the UK on Boxing Day at 5.35pm on BBC2.

SADLER’S WELLS NOMINATED FOR PRODUCER OF THE YEAR AWARD

We are delighted to be nominated as Producer of the Year in The Stage Awards 2018.

Since becoming a producing house in 2005, Sadler’s Wells has helped bring to life over 150 shows, presented at our home in London and all over the world.

“In another strong year, Sadler’s Wells has worked closely with innovative artists on pieces that push the boundaries of contemporary dance,” reads the judges’ citation. “Since 2016, it has co-commissioned and co-produced 16 new dance works, many of which had audiences and critics in raptures.”

Among the co-productions we presented on our stage from October 2016 to November 2017, the period considered for the awards, are:

  • TAO Dance Theater – 6 & 8
  • Dance Umbrella – Unknown Pleasures
  • Crystal Pite – Bettrofenheit
  • Jasmine Vardimon – Pinocchio
  • Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui – Fractus V
  • Rambert – The Creation
  • English National Ballet – Akram Khan’s Giselle
  • Hetain Patel – American Man
  • Michael Keegan Dolan – Swan Lake/ Loch na hEala
  • Wayne McGregor – Tree of Codes 
  • Wayne McGregor – Autobiography 
  • Acosta Danza – Debut
  • BalletBoyz – Fourteen Days
  • Alexander Whitley – 8 Minutes

You can read the award shortlist in full here.

Sadler’s Wells has been shortlisted in the Producer of the Year category alongside Hull City of Culture and commercial producer Michael Harrison.

Alistair Spalding, Sadler’s Wells’ Artistic Director and Chief Executive, said: “As an international dance house, we are committed to investing in the creative journey of the talented artists we are privileged to work with, and to supporting them in bringing their ideas to the stage. It is great to see this work acknowledged and to be nominated for the Producer of the Year award.”

Alistair Smith, editor of The Stage and chair of the judging panel said: “I’m delighted The Stage Awards once again celebrate the achievements of theatres from across the UK, many of which aren’t recognised at other ceremonies. This year’s shortlist highlights the theatrical talent among organisations of all sizes, right across the UK.”

The Stage Awards, in association with Integro Insurance Brokers Ltd, are decided by The Stage’s senior editorial team, following extensive consultation with leading figures in the theatre industry and a public nomination process.

The winners will be announced on Friday 26 Jan 2018 at a ceremony at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.

Fingers crossed!

 

Image: Michael Keegan Dolan’s Swan Lake/ Loch na hEala. Photo: Colm Hogan

Audition for a new dance project

Alesandra Seutin | Vocab Dance is auditioning for a new project with Sadler’s Wells in 2018. We are inviting highly skilled and experienced contemporary male and female dancers of black, mixed race heritage / diverse backgrounds to be part of a new work.

Audition requirements

We are searching for versatile, open minded dancers, with a high level of artistry, integrity and with a collaborative approach to creation.

Applicants must meet all of the following essential criteria:

  • Trained in Contemporary/Modern and/or Jazz, urban styles and/or African techniques.
  • Over 3 years professional/performance experience
  • Physically strong
  • Comfortable working with the voice

Where: The audition, by invitation only, will be held in London.

When: Saturday 27 January 2018, with recalls on Sunday 28 January 2018.

Applications

Please read our requirements carefully and send in all the requested material well in advance easily accessible to us.

We request all of the following:

  • your complete CV;
  • a short bio (3-10 sentences);
  • a short letter of motivation, to explain your desire to work with Alesandra Seutin | Vocab Dance (3-10 sentences)
  • 2 pictures of which 1 should be a portrait and the other a full body photo
  • An online film links / uploaded videos to previous work by email
  • The period of employment will include rehearsals and performances in London. It is crucial that applicants are available for all the following dates: 19 – 24 May 2018 (R&D), 27 August – 1 September 2018, 17 – 28 September 2018 (rehearsals), 1 – 5 October 2018 (production week), 7 – 13 October 2018 (show week) and are to explicitly confirm their availability for the above period.

Deadline for Applications: 

Auditions will be invitation only subject to the requirements above. Please send submissions to Georgia.Kersh@sadlerswells.com Deadline for applicants is noon on 8 January 2018.

Selected candidates will be contacted personally shortly after and invited to audition in London on 27 January 2018.

Please note that we are unable to respond to requests that do not fulfil all of the above criteria or lack any of the requested material and information. We will respond to and review only complete applications, including the video-links, only on YouTube or Vimeo (without a password, open privacy settings), not downloadable files.

The videos should be free from special effects, for example slow motion.

For more information please contact Georgia.Kersh@sadlerswells.com

East London Pupils Take Part in Rambert Dance Workshop

Dance company Rambert enthused pupils from an east London school with a workshop held on Sadler’s Wells main stage during the run of its production A Linha Curva & Other Works.

In November, a class of 11 year-10 students from Bow School in Tower Hamlets worked with Laura Harvey, Artistic Director of Rambert’s youth dance company Quicksilver, to learn and perform an extract of A Linha Curva, one of the iconic works in the company’s repertoire. Choreographed by Itzik Galili, the piece was inspired by the Brazilian carnival and is part of the GCSE Dance syllabus.

The pupils had been learning sequences of the work in class since the beginning of the month. Working on a stage for the first time at Sadler’s Wells gave them the opportunity to learn more about performance and projection techniques, and to experience the professional environment the Rambert dancers perform the piece in. After the workshop, the young participants enjoyed the matinee performance of the show.

The students will now use sections from the extract they have learnt as part of a group project, which they will present in examinations for their GCSE Dance qualification.

Bow School is the first Associate School Sadler’s Wells has appointed in east London. This forms part of the Learning & Engagement work that we are developing with young people and communities in the area, ahead of the opening of our new venue as part of a new cultural and education district in Stratford’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Give the Gift of Dance this Christmas

Stuck for ideas of what to get your family and loved ones this Christmas? Looking for an original and personal gift to treat the dance lover in your life? Sadler’s Wells has a few ideas for unique and special gifts that will keep them entertained for the year ahead.

Memberships
Dance fans will love the exclusive benefits that come from being a Member, including 20% off tickets for most shows, priority booking and season brochures mailed to straight to their door for just £60 a year.

Rehearsal Memberships
Treat them to something really special with a Rehearsal Membership, including priority booking, a limited number of free programmes, and invitations to Season Preview events and Dress Rehearsals, at £130 a year.

Patron Memberships
If you’re feeling really generous, a Patron Membership will get the lucky recipient all the benefits of Rehearsal Membership, plus a personalised booking service, invitations to exclusive events, and opportunities to meet their favourite artists and performers. Starting from £645 per year.

With each level your loved one will receive a beautiful membership pack. Each pack includes a membership card, season brochure and information about their membership that will allow them to be part of a vibrant community of members to one of the most important dance houses in the world.

As a charity, all membership fees are reinvested into the work of Sadler’s Wells, helping us to create and present incredible shows and develop new talent in the world of dance. The gift of a membership is also a gift back to the theatre and the dance community that it serves.

For more information and to purchase gift memberships, visit www.sadlerswells.com/support-us/gift-memberships/.

Sadler’s Wells hosts Cinderella-inspired supper club

To celebrate the return of Sadler’s Wells’ Associate Artist Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella on our stage this festive season, we are hosting a number of special pre-performance supper clubs.

Held on the Mezzanine level, Supper at Sadler’s transports diners back to 1940s London, the evocative setting of Bourne’s war-time romance. From the Union Jack bunting, to the floral table settings and even the ration book-style menus, diners will be immersed in a vintage wonderland.

Supper at Sadler’s runs before performances of Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella on selected dates between 12th December and 27th January 2018. For more information and to book, visit the website.

Breakin’ Convention break records in America

After breaking box office records on their first Canadian dates in June, Breakin’ Convention, our international festival of hip-hop dance theatre, concluded its triumphant 2017 tour with a return to the USA, presenting 11 shows over four weeks across Charlotte, Denver, Harlem and Miami.

The festival returned to Charlotte’s Knight Theater at Levine Center for the Arts and Harlem’s Apollo Theater, and was also held for the first time at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami and the Denver Center for Performing Arts. As ever, it featured performances by a mixture of international and local dance artists and offered a rich programme featuring dance workshops, graffiti, DJs and freestyle dance circles.

International headliners included France’s dynamic b-boy crew Yeah Yellow and iconic hip-hop dancer Salah, while South Africa’s Soweto Skeleton Movers performed the high-energy, quick-stepping dance style Pantsula. In three of the touring cities, they were joined by dancer and choreographer Popin’ Pete, a pioneer of the ‘popping’ dance style and founding member of street dance crew Electric Boogaloos. All-female US popping crew Femme Fatale joined Breakin’ Convention for the first time in Charlotte.

Representing the UK was Protocol Dance Company, who presented a powerful duet called I Can’t Breathe. The piece, exploring the theme of power and racial tensions present in communities today, visibly moved audiences. Protocol developed the piece as part of Back to The Lab, one of Breakin’ Convention’s professional development programmes for hip hop artists.

These were incredibly successful dates for Breakin’ Convention, with over 13,000 people attending the whole American tour and the performances receiving over 40 standing ovations. In Denver, 2234 people attended the schools matinee, breaking a new record for the festival.

Next year, Breakin’ Convention will celebrate its 15th anniversary at Sadler’s Wells on 5-7 May 2018. You can book tickets here.