First encounters: New names on the Sadler’s Wells stage

First encounters can happen anywhere, including the theatre. Entering an artist’s world and experiencing its idiosyncrasies is like meeting someone for the first time. Not quite a blind date, these encounters do however require trust, as the experience becomes a journey of discovery once the curtain goes up.

This autumn three distinguished dance artists bring their world to Sadler’s Wells for the first time. New to the theatre, but by no means to London, is seasoned choreographer Shobana Jeyasingh presenting Bayadère – The Ninth Life (16 & 17 October), a work inspired by the famous 19th century ballet. Born in Chennai, India, with roots in Sri Lanka and Malaysia, Jeyasingh has lived and worked in London for the last 29 years. She creates an inventive, hybrid world which draws from a variety of dance styles both classical and contemporary. Strong in the belief of the power of dance, her work engages with it both as a physical and intellectual form.

American choreographer Meg Stuart comes to Sadler’s Wells for the first time via Berlin and Brussels, her home for the last 20 years. Stuart is a major dance artist at the forefront of choreographic developments. Her work crosses different territories from theatre to visual arts, anchored in the idea that the body, however uncertain and vulnerable, holds meaning. This is a rare chance to experience the peculiar beauty of a world where charismatic performers surrender to a seemingly chaotic universe with striking commitment and risk. UNTIL OUR HEARTS STOP (15 November) questions many norms, not without humour. Don’t miss this performance in London for one night only.

As part of our Debut series, introducing rising dance names to Sadler’s Wells, American choreographer Kyle Abraham presents the poignant Pavement (17 & 18 November). From New York City the company Abraham.In.Motion delves into racial tension and discrimination with a distinctive movement style rooted in hip hop, both sensual and provocative, putting the emphasis on human personalities. This is a chance to catch a rising company with something to say.

We hope you will take that step and have your own first encounters this season.