Chelsea Robinson

Standing in Solidarity: George Floyd

A year ago today, George Floyd was murdered.   

Especially in times of trauma, artists and artistic responses help to us to process our emotions and connect with each other beyond languages, cultures, and borders.   
 
So, we’re sharing a selection of dance works by and featuring Black artists that speak to us on this day, and we invite you to spend some time with these artists and their work.  
 
To our Black colleagues, audiences, visitors, participants and artists: we all stand in solidarity with you today and every day. 

Jonzi D & jessica Care moore  Our Bodies Back 

We want our freedom 
We want our justice 
We want our bodies 

Our Bodies Back is a powerful rendering of Black women’s voices; speaking out against the realities of anti-Black racism, misogynoir, and sexual violence, while uplifting and honouring in full the Black lives and memories lost, in a ceremony of dance, spoken word and visual art. 

“This poem is a demand. For justice, for equality, for respect, for Our Bodies Back. The whole team were so moved by jessica’s incisive lyrics and intense delivery, we had the perfect blueprint for this film. The dancers responded with honesty, grace and power.” – Jonzi D

jessicacaremoore.com 


Matsena Productions
Shades of Blue 

When brothers Anthony and Kel saw a lack of representation in schools, on stage and on screen during their dance training, they founded Matsena Productions as a response to this. Their ambition is to encourage people to have important conversations about the difficulties faced by Black people in society today. 

Inspired by the 
Black Lives Matter movementAnthony and Kel created Geometry of Fear which was later adapted as Shades of Blue (excerpt below) for Sadler’s Wells and BBC Arts’ mini-series Dancing Nation.

Together they have built a love and curiosity for telling stories that express themes of culture, race, change and belonging.

matsenaproductions.com

Watch a longer clip as part of Dancing Nation’s highlights here.


Azara
Meghie
 I Am A Woman

Azara Meghie is a multi-disciplinary artist who expresses her views through a blend of live art, poetry, breakdancing and theatre. Created in Jamaica, I Am A Woman navigates Azara’s sexual identity through hip hop and breakdanceThe film was screened at the BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival (2017) with subsequent screenings across London, Berlin and New York.

Tackling themes of politics, sexuality, gender, race and class, Azara aims to identify the struggles faced when trying to maintain individuality whilst highlighting the cultural limitations and stereotypes she does not adhere to.

azararm.com 

Protocol Dance Company I Can’t Breathe 

I Can’t Breathe takes an in-depth and uncompromising look at racism in society. From the epidemic oBlack killings by police officers in America, to the reality of being a young Black man living in London, the piece explores the causes of institutional racism, and the impact that has, all through the prism of a game. 
 
Protocol Dance Company was founded in 2008 by Jared Garfield and Lanre Malaolu. I Can’t Breathe was performed as part of Sadler’s Wells Breakin’ Convention in 2016 and the company are dedicated to creating bold and thought-provoking work, using a range of styles including hip hop, popping and krump to create their own unique language.

lanremalaolu.com

An excerpt of I Can’t Breathe:


Antoinette Gomis
Images 

How do we value our female heritage? Created as a tribute to Nina Simone and Black women too, Images draws upon the words of Waring Cuney’s poem No Images, where a Black woman is unable to identify her own beauty.

Nina Simone’s song depicts a woman who ‘thinks her brown body has no glory’ and explores the limited beauty ideals of the western world. Motivated by her own personal experiences, we encourage you to listen to Antoinette’s inspiring story behind the performance here.

Performed as part of the Breakin’ Convention tour in 2016, Antoinette is an award-winning street dancerchoreographer and model based in Franceshe continues to teach her style and techniques to people around the world.

@antoinette_gomis


Vocab Dance & Alesandra Seutin
Inside Head 

Performer, choreographer and teacher Alesandra Seutin has built an international reputation for creating thought provoking and striking performances. Her work Inside Head (available until 27 May) explores the inner thoughts of a young Black man as he reflects on the outside world’s perception of what he represents, and the systemic pressures he frequently endures

Founder of Vocab Dance and current Guest Artistic Director of the National Youth Dance Company (NYDC), Alesandra’s creativity is inspired by social and political circumstances, and with movement, voice and music, she shares stories to encourage further conversation. 

vocabdance.co.uk


Botis Seva
CAN’T KILL US ALL

Can’t Kill Us All unravels one man’s mental unrest as he deals with two global pandemics. From reflecting on childhood memories to reliving Black trauma, the film pushes through darkness to find light, humility and peace.

Botis Seva is a dance artist, choreographer and director working within the realms of contemporary dance, physical theatre and hip-hop. Botis is entrenched in hip hop dance theatre but experiments with form, structure and theatrics to reinvent choreography. Botis’ focus is on making a difference and using his autobiographical experiences to drive narratives. His company Far From The Norm is fuelled by socio-political issues in the contemporary world.

farfromthenorm.com 


Ivan Blackstock
TRAPLORD HAVE MERCY

Exploring questions of identity, faith, abandonment and Black masculinity, TRAPLORD HAVE MERCY is artistic director Ivan Blackstock navigating a world in which socially disenfranchised young men grapple some of the biggest philosophical questions of our time in their own way, and on their own terms. 

The film is a sensitive and poetic reflection on Black masculinity in crisis. 

Ivan is an artist, choreographer and innovator with an established career working as a dancer and choreographer on numerous music videos and advertising campaigns. He is also artistic director of arts organisation CRXSS PLATXRM, showcasing what’s next in street culture. 

@ivanmichaelblackstock

 

Even though we are sharing this selection of work at this moment, we are committed to platforming the work of Black artists all year round, in times good and bad.

Welcome back to Sadler’s Wells

We are delighted to be re-opening our doors from today (Monday 17 May) for the first time since December 2020! In line with social distancing guidance as advised by the UK Government, below are the measures we have put into place to keep you as safe as possible for your next visit to Sadler’s Wells.  

As always, if you have a temperature higher than 38°C, a continuous cough or have loss of taste and smell, we ask that you please stay at home.  

Your arrival

Please remember to bring a mask with you as we ask that you wear a face covering at all times whilst in the venue, aside from eating or drinking, and unless medically exempt. 

To limit your contact with other parties, we will be operating a staggered entry system where your designated arrival time will be listed alongside your seat number on your e-ticket. We ask that our audiences arrive as close to this time as possible to ensure our queueing system runs as smoothly as possible. 

‘I thought a lot of care had been taken and everyone was extremely calm and polite.’

Please keep an eye out for floor markings and signage to ensure you are kept at safe distance from others. The Sadler’s Wells team will also be on hand to help provide guidance when moving around the theatre. If you have any questions or feedback on your experience, please don’t hesitate to speak to one of them where they will be happy to assist.  

To help further protect you, we are asking everyone to use the UK Government’s NHS Test and Trace app when in the building, or alternatively to scan our QR code when entering the theatre.  


Your visit

The cloakroom will be out of service until further notice and bags must measure less than 30cm x 30cm x 15cm. No luggage items please. For additional safety, our usual security measures are in place such as random bag searches. Our lifts are limited to one person or household use only. 

For any refreshments you might like during your visit, the Fox Garden Court Cafe is open pre-show and our bars open from 6.45pm. Drinks and snacks should be consumed in the auditorium but we ask ticket holders to please wear masks at all other times. The box office will be open as normal and operating within Covid-secure protocols. A gentle reminder that all payments and transactions are now cashless, to reduce contact and queueing times. 

‘I was very impressed with Sadler’s Wells professionalism. Top marks for feeling very, very safe.’

As an audience member, you will be seated in small groups of one or two to allow for social distancing. Our Front of House Team will be on hand to guide you to the correct seats in our well-ventilated auditorium, while maintaining a safe distance from others. 

At the end of a performance, please remain seated and await guidance from our Front of House Team who will lead you out of the building safely. 

‘I found the whole event extremely well organised. The whole experience was extremely uplifting.’


Cleaning 

We have professionally enhanced cleaning in place throughout the building, with surfaces and toilet facilities regularly sanitised for your protection. To prevent the spread of bacteria, we ask that audience members maintain frequent hand washing prior to and whilst in the theatre. There are sanitising stations throughout the building for you to sanitise your hands regularly, too! 

‘I think Sadler’s Wells had one of the best procedures I’ve seen.’

Rest assured we have taken stringent steps to ensure the continued safety of our audiences during this time. We hope this guide provides useful ahead of your visit to the theatre and if you have any thoughts or feedback on the measures in place, please direct them to our Front of House team at feedback@sadlerswells.com. 

This is a live blog post we will continue to edit with updates whilst socially distanced performances are in place, so please keep checking back regularly for further info. 

 
We can’t wait to welcome you.