Monthly Archives: January 2018

Sampled: Meet the Dancers

Sampled is coming back to Sadler’s Wells this February, giving audiences a taste of different dance styles from hip hop to ballet to flamenco and showcasing some of the finest dance talent from the UK and across the world. Ahead of their arrival at Sadler’s Wells, we caught up with some of the dancers to find out a bit more about the pieces they will be performing and what dance means to them…

Kami and Bee D

In 2012, Kami and Bee D created Yeah Yellow – a crew that gather together artists of the diverse disciplines of the hip hop dance including bboying, popping, freestyle hip hop and tutting.
As part of this year’s Sadler’s Well Sampled, they will be performing their 13 minute piece Yeah Yellow Sunshine which captures the spirit and creative of this dynamic dance troop, featuring 10 energetic performers, including Kami and Bee D.

What was your first experience of watching dance?
Kami & Bee D: “Our first experience with dance was the same. It was a documentary about hip hop dance called Faire Kiffer les Anges. It spoke about a French company and French hip hop dancer. We saw how the dancers trained, how they faced their choice to live dance despite the difficulties and sometimes the misunderstanding of the family. How they managed to overcome all the obstacles to finally make it their job.”

Adam Russell-Jones

Also performing as part of Sampled, is NDT2, a secondary division of Nederlands Dans Theater which was set up in 1978 to feed the professional company with fresh, young talent.
The piece entitled Wir sagen uns Dunkles is set to the sounds of Schubert and Schnittke, and performed by an ensemble cast of 11 dancers, including Adam Russell-Jones who spent 3 years with Stuttgart Ballet before joining NDT2 last year.

What does dance mean to you?
Adam Russell-Jones: “For me dance is more than performance art, it is constantly shifting and can never be truly repeated. It’s a beautiful conversation between artist and viewer that can’t be replicated once you’ve left the the auditorium. That’s the beauty of live performance. For myself that means that each performance something different can be said, or can be felt and I think that’s what keeps a performance alive.”

Rudi Cole & Júlia Robert Parés

Rising Birmingham based contemporary dance company Humanhood will be performing their piece ZERO as part of Sampled which is performed and choreographed by the company’s founders Rudi Cole and Júlia Robert Parés.

ZERO is Humanhood’s first full length duet and was created over a period of one year and a half, in different places including Birmingham, Barcelona as well as a research period in India. The piece is a metaphor of the Universe, its physical laws as well as its spiritual realm, from the latest discoveries about gravitational waves and black holes to the wisdom of Taoism.

What was your first experience of watching dance?
Júlia Robert Parés: My mum always talks about when I was 3 years old, I was staring speechless at a roller dancer training in the skate park of my hometown in Sitges, she had to pull me away to get me out of that state of awe; some weeks later she inscribed me into ballet classes.
Rudi Cole: My first experience had to be when I was a toddler watching my mother and father during African Classes in Birmingham.

Zenaida Yenowsky

This Spanish born, former Principal Dancer with the Royal Ballet, started her career as a classical dancer with Paris Opera Ballet before moving to London to join the Royal Ballet where she danced leading roles.

For Sampled, she will be performing The Dying Swan (originally The Swan), which is a solo choreographed by Mikhail Fokine in 1905 for the ballerina Anna Pavlova and was first presented in St. Petersburg, Russia.

What was your first experience of watching dance?
Zenaida Yenowsky: “My parents where contemporary dancers so I was bottle-fed dance.”

Jesús Carmona

Born in Barcelona, the award-winning and critically acclaimed flamenco dancer Jesús Carmona began his training age 7 and went on to learn from the masters of Spanish dance.

Soleá del Campillo is a piece that goes through the tradition of an emblematic style of Flamenco, with a traditional aesthetic where Jesús Carmona shows all his technical and artistic possibilities.

What does dance mean to you?
Jesús Carmona: “For me dancing means everything, it’s like for a plant, photosynthesis, when music enters me and becomes feelings and these in movement. It is something vital for me and for my life, I could not live without dancing.”

Jenna Roberts

Two of Birmingham Royal Ballet’s finest dancers Jenna Roberts and Mathius Dingman will be performing Kin., originally created by Alexander Whitley as part of the 2014 International Dance Festival Birmingham. This excerpt, a pas de deux choreographed for pointe, is the third of the ballet’s four movements. The work’s title is not only an obvious reference to relations, but also an abbreviation of the word ‘kinetic’.

What does dance mean to you?
Jenna Roberts: “Whether it be in the studio or on stage performing, dancing is where I can loose myself and become someone else for that hour or two. To really be in the moment is what dancing is to me.”

Jodelle Douglas & Harry Barnes

Harry Barnes and Jodelle Douglas grew up at opposite ends of the country in Merseyside and Bristol but bonded over their shared passion for dance when they met through the BBC Young Dancer competition.

Last year Harry was invited by Jodelle Douglas to create a duet for the Grand Final of BBC Young Dancer 2017, resulting in Mass Effect, a piece which they will be performing as part of Sampled.

What inspired you to become a dancer?
Jodelle Douglas: “My inspiration to become a dancer was my family and my neighbourhood. Growing up in a neighbourhood like mine when I was younger was really hard as there were many opportunities to take the wrong paths. I feel dance allowed me to have a positive outlet of all the negative things happening around me at the time.”

Nafisah Baba

Nafisah started dancing at age 9 and was awarded a DaDa aged 16. After graduating from Tring Park School for the Performing Arts, Nafisah joined Chrysalis London where her love for Contemporary dance flourished under the direction of Jodie Blemings and in April 2017 she won BBC Young Dancer. Nafisah is currently dancing with Phoenix Dance Theatre.

What was your first experience of watching dance?
Nafisah Baba:”Watching Alvin Ailey was my first experience of watching dance that I can remember clearly. The company is a huge inspiration for me and watching them at Sadler’s Wells in 2016 was a dream come true.”

Welly O’Brien & Victoria Fox

Candoco Dance Company, the leading dance company of disabled and non-disabled dancers, was founded by Celeste Dandeker-Arnold and Adam Benjamin in 1991.

For Sampled, Candoco will be presenting a 10 minute excerpt of their brand new duet piece Dedicated to…, a touching portrayal of female strength, support and friendship performed by company members Welly O’Brien and Victoria Fox.

What inspired you to become a dancer?
Welly O’Brien: “After losing my leg I attended a workshop with Candoco Dance Company and realised that with my new physicality I could still express myself as an artist. I was lucky enough to be invited to embark on an apprenticeship with the company a couple of years later. The original company of dancers along with Celeste Dandekar and Adam Benjamin were the most incredible mentors, they taught me so much which I still very much value today.”

BBC2 to broadcast Le Patin Libre’s Vertical

Dance fans are in for a treat this Saturday 27 January when Le Patin Libre’s Vertical – first seen as part of Dance Umbrella in 2014 – will be broadcast on BBC2 at 10pm.

This incredible dance piece, created using research supported by Jerwood Studio at Sadler’s Wells, has gone on to win multiple awards including a Total Theatre Award and a Critics’ Circle nomination in 2015 as well as being a highlight of the 2014 Dance Umbrella Festival.

Find out more about how the piece was developed in partnership with Jerwood Studio at Sadler’s Wells by watching our short film.

You can now see a specially created short film version this Saturday on BBC2 as part of New Dance, hosted by Darcey Bussell. The programme also features Boy Blue’s Emancipation of Expressionism directed by Danny Boyle.

Vertical brings us dangerously close to the action, capturing the skaters slashing and slicing the ice at top speed in this award-winning choreography.

Watch the trailer below:

Vertical Trailer – Le Patin Libre (BBC2 Sat 27 Jan 10pm) from Dance Umbrella on Vimeo.

New Year, New Opportunities at Sadler’s Wells

January is the month for self-improvement and new beginnings, whether you’re swapping the meat for a salad by taking part in ‘Veganuary’, cutting out the booze by going on a dry January detox or reaching for a yoga mat instead of the remote and taking up a new hobby.

But if, like us, you’re fed up of the fads and fancy a more exciting challenge to kick start 2018, then why not consider applying to work at one of the world’s leading dance houses?

At Sadler’s Wells, we have lots of exciting job opportunities currently on offer across a range of departments at the theatre from Marketing to Press and Learning & Engagement to Events.

These opportunities are ideal for any ambitious individuals looking for a fresh start in 2018 and the chance to develop their career at an internationally renowned venue, producing and presenting the highest quality productions.

Current vacancies include two opportunities to join the busy Marketing team as a Marketing Manager – Productions and Touring and Marketing Manager – Peacock Theatre. We have also created two new roles connected the running of our Family Friday scheme for ages 2 – 4, including a Lead Artist and a Support Tutor.

There are two Maternity Cover positions available including an NYDC & Learning & Engagement Coordinator and well as a Learning & Engagement Officer to support the continuation of Sadler’s Wells’ work with young people and communities.

Finally, we are also recruiting for the roles of Events Executive, Programming Coordinator and Press Assistant.

Now is a better time than ever to join our organisation as we work towards the opening a fourth, 550-seat venue on the site of the 2012 London Olympic Park as part of a vibrant new East London arts quarter, and prepare to welcome a range of companies and dance styles to our stages.

If you think you have the relevant skills and qualifications to bring to any of these roles, visit our website to find out more and apply.


Hailed as a masterpiece of 21st century dance’ from English National Ballet, Akram Khan’s Giselle is released in cinemas for the first time from 25 April 2018, thanks to a collaboration between English National Ballet and digital commissioning agency The Space, giving ballet fans nationwide the opportunity to see this award-winning production in glorious high definition on the big screen.

The production won an Olivier Award and the South Bank Sky Arts Award for Dance, received rapturous 5-star reviews and was sold out when it was originally performed at Sadler’s Wells in September last year, in a co-production with Manchester International Festival and Sadler’s Wells.

Recognised as one of the greatest romantic ballets, Giselle has been re-imagined by Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist Akram Khan, with Artistic Director and Lead Principal of English National Ballet, Tamara Rojo, dancing the role of Giselle, one of a community of migrant workers cast out of their jobs in a condemned garment factory.

His first full-length ballet, Khan’s Giselle features set and costume designs from Academy Award-winning designer Tim Yip, known for his work on the hit film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and an adaptation of the original Adolphe Adam score by composer Vincenzo Lamagna, orchestrated by Music Director, Gavin Sutherland and performed live by English National Ballet Philharmonic. Giselle also features dramaturgy from Ruth Little and lighting design from Mark Henderson.

Alongside Rojo, further Principal casting sees Soloist James Streeter perform in the role of Albrecht, Guest Artist and Principal of American Ballet Theater Jeffrey Cirio perform as Hilarion, and Artist of the Company, Stina Quagebeur perform in the role of Myrtha, Queen of the Wilis.

This is the first time an English National Ballet production has been filmed for cinema, extending the reach of the company beyond its existing national and international touring programme. The film was commissioned by The Space, the digital agency which supports UK arts organisations to grow their audiences across digital, cinema and broadcast platforms.

Tamara Rojo CBE, Artistic Director, English National Ballet said: “We are very proud of Akram Khan’s Giselle, a beautiful and original re-imagining of the one of the most traditional pieces of the classical repertoire. At English National Ballet we aim to push the boundaries of ballet, taking the art form to the widest possible audience, and so it seems entirely fitting that this stunning work should be the first production from English National Ballet to be released in cinemas. The company is incredibly excited that our fans across the country and around the world will have the opportunity to see this iconic work on the big screen.”

Alistair Spalding, Sadler’s Wells’ Artistic Director and Chief Executive said: “In Akram’s creative hands, the emotional essence of Giselle has been successfully preserved, while at the same time its form has been given an entirely new life. The result is a contemporary ballet that is powerful, poetic and relevant to our time. I’m delighted that an even wider audience will now be able to see the work in cinemas.”

Filmed live at the Liverpool Empire in October 2017, Akram Khan’s Giselle is directed for the screen by Ross McGibbon. Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

For more information and to book cinema tickets, visit