Sadler’s Wells partners with BBC Four on new DanceWorks series

DanceWorks, four 30-minute artist-led films for broadcast on BBC Four this May as part of their forthcoming dance season, was announced at a press conference at Sadler’s Wells this morning.

Co-produced with Islington-based production company ClearStory, each film in the DanceWorks series introduces the audience to a different artist: Zenaida Yanowsky, Dickson Mbi, Carlos Pons Guerra and Shobana Jeyasingh. Following them as they create new work and gaining behind-the-scenes access to the creative process, these films allow viewers a unique insight into the world of dance in Britain today.

The Dying Swan follows former principal dancer Zenaida Yanowsky as she overcomes knee surgery and fights her body back to fitness to prepare for one of her final public performances following an acclaimed classical ballet career.

The artistic process behind Shobana Jeyasingh’s new work, Contagion, an evocation of the 1918 flu epidemic, is revealed in Choreographing History.

Dancer and choreographer Dickson Mbi is followed as he transitions from his street dance roots to the contemporary dance limelight under the guidance of his mentor, Akram Khan’s producer, Farooq Chaudhry, in Street to Stage.

Prejudice and Passion follows Carlos Pons Guerra as he begins choreographing a new children’s production, the true story of two male penguins raising a baby penguin.

Alistair Spalding, Artistic Director and Chief Executive at Sadler’s Wells said: “At Sadler’s Wells, we’re always looking for ways to introduce the experience of high quality dance to the widest possible audience. Beyond the stage we also want people to be able to experience dance through different media. I’m delighted that our partnership with the BBC and ClearStory has enabled us to present these films on BBC Four, which will give viewers an opportunity to go behind the scenes with some of today’s most exciting artists and discover how they create dance.”

The BBC Four Dance Season launches on Sunday 6 May and lifts the curtain on today’s thriving dance scene, featuring some of today’s most exciting dance makers and the enduring legacy of others whilst shining a light on a broad range of dance styles from ballet and contemporary to tap and hip-hop.

Jonty Claypole, Director of BBC Arts said: “Dance has the power to bring together different communities and generations in a shared love of creative expression, and you only have to look at the extraordinary diversity of dance talent and audiences right across the UK to realise how successfully it fulfils this promise. As part of our forthcoming Dance Season we’re delighted to be partnering with Sadler’s Wells for the first time to present these four fascinating DanceWorks films, placing the spotlight on some of the UK’s most exciting dancers.”

The films will be broadcast on BBC Four from Monday 7 – Thursday 10 May.