Associate Artists

Watch Akram Khan in new digital art film XEN

Sadler’s Wells has commissioned Associate Artist Akram Khan to create a short film, XEN, inspired by XENOS, his final new full-length solo which receives its UK premiere at Sadler’s Wells on 29 May 2018.

Watch the full film below:

Created especially for the screen, XEN is a reimagined version of Akram Khan’s live performance, and is a response to XENOS’ evocation of the shell-shocked dream of a colonial soldier in the context of the First World War.

Meaning ‘stranger’ or ‘foreigner’, XENOS takes place where humanity stands in wonder and disarray, on the border between East and West, past and present, mythology and technology. The live production of XENOS reveals the beauty and horror of the human condition and seeks to express tales of loss, hope and redemption, through a movement language that shifts between classical kathak and contemporary dance.

XEN is produced by Illuminations for Sadler’s Wells, and is part of Sadler’s Wells’ commitment to developing new forms of dance which reach new audiences.

Akram Khan is one of the most celebrated and highly regarded dance makers working today. He has collaborated with artists including actress Juliette Binoche, ballerina Sylvie Guillem, choreographers/dancers Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Israel Galván, singer Kylie Minogue, visual artists Anish Kapoor, Antony Gormley and Tim Yip, writer Hanif Kureishi and composers Steve Reich, Nitin Sawhney, Jocelyn Pook and Ben Frost. A career highlight was the creation of a section of the London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, set to Emeli Sandé’s rendition of Abide with Me.

Akram Khan became a Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist in 2005. Sadler’s Wells has co-produced many works with Akram Khan Company, including his acclaimed solo work DESH.

XENOS was commissioned by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary. It is part of Sadler’s Wells’ 20th anniversary celebrations, and is among 20 commissions celebrating 20 years of the current building, which opened in 1998.

New Shows Announced for Autumn 2018

Today, we announce a thrilling new season of dance coming to Sadler’s Wells in Autumn/Winter 2018-19, featuring new creations by some of the world’s leading dance-makers and unique collaborations between artists. Priority booking opens to members on 16 May, so become a member today to ensure you secure the best seats and avoid missing out on these truly remarkable shows.

American choreographer Mark Morris teams up with the Silkroad Ensemble – the musical collective founded by Yo-Yo Ma – to present the UK premiere of Layla and Majnun, adapted from an Azerbaijani opera. The tragic story of Majnun (meaning “possessed”), who is driven mad over his love of Layla, is performed by 16 dancers that tailor their movements to improvised mugham music, with traditional Asian instruments alongside Western strings and percussion.

Rambert presents one of the last opportunities to see a company classic, Ghost Dances, alongside exhilarating work by early-career dancers in their young company, Rambert2. The mixed programme features work by Sydney Dance Company’ Rafael Bonachela’s, Sadler’s Wells’ Associate Artist Sharon Eyal and Rambert’s guest artistic director Benoit Swan Pouffer.

This is followed by Dystopian Dream, a concept originated by composer Nitin Sawhney and co-devised with dancers and choreographers Honji Wang and Sébastien Ramirez. Taking inspiration from threads woven through Nitin Sawhney’s album of the same name, this stage interpretation directed by Wang Ramirez combines choreography, live music and theatre to examine themes of loss, isolation, surrender and continuity.

Award-winning collaborators Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Antony Gormley reunite in the UK premiere of Icon and Noetic, two works created with Swedish contemporary dance company GöteborgsOperans Danskompani, which makes its first visit to Sadler’s Wells.

Icon sees three-and-a-half-tonnes of clay moulded, heaped and shaped by 18 dancers to the sound of traditional songs from the Amami Islands, French ballads and medieval compositions. In Noetic, 19 black-clad dancers manipulate Antony Gormley’s pliable carbon fibre strips in an exploration of noetic (from the Greek “noesis” meaning intellect) philosophy.

Also announced for spring 2019 is a new evening by our International Associate Company Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, whose style was forged over decades performing the late Pina Bausch’s huge catalogue of works. The company embarks on the expansion of its repertoire with new works by Greek choreographer Dimitris Papaioannou and Norwegian choreographer, director and award-winning playwright Alan Lucien Øyen.

Full details of Sadler’s Wells Autumn/Winter 2018-19 Season are available on our website. To become a member and take advantage of priority booking as well as other exclusive benefits, sign up online or call 020 7863 8000.

Cascade of light illuminates Sadler’s Wells’ curtain

As part of the celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of Sadler’s Wells current building, we commissioned our Associate Artist Michael Hulls to create a light installation for the stage curtain of our main auditorium, which is usually lit with red light.

“I immediately imagined a slow wave of light descending the curtain that would be understated and subtle. Something people might not immediately sense, something peripheral. I’ve always been interested in creating movement through light, movement that might not immediately be apparent, and this was an opportunity to do that,” says Hulls. “Something you might catch out of the corner of your eye while chatting to friends or reading the programme for the show you are about to see. A slowly repeated descent of a curtain of light, to create some gentle pre-show movement in the auditorium.”

The lighting installation will grace our stage curtain pre-show throughout the year, starting with the performances by Richard Alston Dance Company this week. Watch a clip of the installation and find out when it will be on here.

Sadler’s Wells’ Associate Artists receive Olivier nominations

A number of Sadler’s Wells’ Associate Artists received nominations for the 2018 Olivier Awards today.

In the Best New Dance Production category, Grand Finale by our Associate Artist Hofesh Shechter at Sadler’s Wells, Tree Of Codes by our Associate Artist Wayne McGregor and The Paris Opera Ballet at Sadler’s Wells and Flight Pattern by our Associate Artist Crystal Pite at the Royal Opera House all received nominations, alongside Goat by Ben Duke, performed by Rambert as part of a mixed bill at Sadler’s Wells last November.

In Outstanding Achievement In Dance, Francesca Velicu has been nominated for her role in our Associate Company English National Ballet‘s performance of Pina Bausch’s Le Sacre Du Printemps, part of a mixed programme the company presented at Sadler’s Wells in spring last year. Other nominees in this category are Rocío Molina – for pushing the boundary of flamenco in Fallen From Heaven (Caída Del Cielo) at the Barbican – and Zenaida Yanowsky, for her performance in Liam Scarlett’s Symphonic Dances at the Royal Opera House.

Two Sadler’s Wells’ Associate Artists are among the nominees for Best Theatre Choreographer: Kate Prince for Everybody’s Talking About Jamie at the Apollo Theatre and Christopher Wheeldon for An American In Paris at the Dominion Theatre.

The full list of nominations is available here. The Awards ceremony will take place at the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday 8 April.

Many congratulations to all our Associate Artists on their nominations! We’ll keep our fingers crossed…

 

Image: Hofesh Shechter’s Grand Finale Photo: Rahi Rezvani

Akram Khan and Micheal Keegan-Dolan win at National Dance Awards

The National Dance Awards were announced today and we were delighted that a number of Sadler’s Wells’ associate artists and companies were among the winners.

Our Associate Artist Michael Keegan-Dolan’s moving Swan Lake/Loch na hEala for Teac Damsa was awarded Best modern choreography. Our Associate Artist Akram Khan’s wonderful Giselle for Associate Company English National Ballet won the Best classical choreography award, with Lead Principal Alina Cojocaru receiving the Outstanding classical performance (female) award for her performance in the title role.

Resident Company New Adventures’ Ashley Shaw took the Outstanding contemporary performance (female) award for her performance as Vicky Page in our Associate Artist Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes. Lez Brotherston, Matthew’s long-time collaborator and creator of New Adventures’ spectacular set designs, was honoured with the Ninette de Valois award for outstanding contribution to dance.

Among other winners, Richard Alston Dance Company’s Liam Riddick received the award for best male dancer and former principal of The Royal Ballet Zenaida Yanowsky, who recently performed as part of Sadler’s Wells Sampled,  won best female dancer. The full list of winners is available here.

Many congratulations to all on their awards!

 

Image: Michael Keegan-Dolan’s Swan Lake/Loch na hEala. Photo: Marie-Laure Briane.

Our family of associates is growing!

Artists are the lifeblood of Sadler’s Wells. Our productions and our theatre wouldn’t exist without them. Today, we are delighted to announce new additions to the Sadler’s Wells family.

Sharon Eyal becomes our newest Sadler’s Wells’ Associate Artist. One of the most original choreographic voices in contemporary dance, Sharon made her Sadler’s Wells debut with OCD Love in 2016, which received critical and public acclaim. There are four opportunities to see her work this year: her piece Bill is part of Ballet British Columbia’s triple bill in March.; the world premiere of her work as Guest Artistic Director of NYDC, Used To Be Blonde, is in April; Love Chapter 2, her latest production for her company L-E-V, has its UK premiere in July; and her piece Killer Pig is part of Rambert 2’s programme in November.

Speaking about her appointment, Sharon said: “L-E-V’s last two creations were co-produced with Sadler’s Wells, which was a fantastic vote of confidence from the theatre. This year, as well as bringing Love Chapter 2 here in July, another fortune has been bestowed on me by Sadler’s Wells – working with the National Youth Dance Company. I’m known as an emotional person – but working with those young people brought me to a new level of emotion, fulfillment and a genuine sense of purpose. L-E-V means heart in Hebrew – and this project shows what a big heart Sadler’s Wells has. So it’s with great honour and excitement that I receive this appointment of Associate Artist. For me, Sadler’s Wells was always one of the dance summits – now I’m privileged to reach and be part of it.”

We are committed to supporting artists at every stage of their career and to nurturing the pipeline of future talent. This encompasses the promising young performers in the National Youth Dance Company, early career artists consolidating their work in our Lilian Baylis Studio, our New Wave Associates and our more established Associate Artists. However, we have identified the need for more support to be given to those at the very outset of their dance-making careers, those who have just left higher education with a desire to establish their choreographic voices early on. So we have launched a new initiative, the Young Associates programme, supporting talented young people aged between 18 and 24, and providing a crucial first step into their career as choreographers.

The first Young Associates are: Anthony Matsena, Wilhelmina Ojanen, Ruby Portus and Christopher Thomas. We are supporting them in a variety of ways, including with production time in our studios and theatres, providing advice and networking opportunities. The Young Associates present a mixed bill of work later this year in the Lilian Baylis Studio.

Image: Anthony Matsena, Christopher Thomas, Ruby Portus and Wilhelmina Ojanen

We have also appointed three more artists as New Wave AssociatesJulie Cunningham, Project O and L’Atisse Rhoden. Julie Cunningham recently launched her own company after 15 years of dancing with the iconic Merce Cunningham Dance Company and Michael Clark Company. Her work employs text and movement, and is concerned with gender identity. Project O is a collaboration between artists Alexandrina Hemsley and Jamila Johnson-Small. Their work explores the body as a site of politics, considering the impact of colonial history in the UK today. L’Atisse Rhoden comes from the hip hop dance theatre community. Introduced to us by our Breakin’ Convention team, she trained with dance companies Avant Garde Dance and Botis Seva’s Far From the Norm. A solo artist and director of the female collective 25, her work is heavily influenced by surrealism.

Image: Julie Cunningham, L’Atisse Rhoden, and Project O’s Alexandrina Hemsley and Jamila Johnson-Small

Alistair Spalding, Sadler’s Wells Artistic Director and Chief Executive, said: “Supporting artists and their creative journeys is at the very heart of what we do. I’m delighted to welcome a new collection of artists to our stable today, marking our commitment to long-term investment in artists at every stage, from fledgling choreographer, to the emerging, mid-scale and the most established artists. It is absolutely fitting that in our 20th anniversary year, we look to the future with our Young Associates initiative, addressing the need for more support to be given to those at the very outset of their dance making careers.”

We are thrilled to welcome these artists to our associates’ family and look forward to seeing their work on our stages soon!

National Dance Awards nominations are announced

Nominees have been announced for the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards 2017 and we are delighted that a number of artists and companies we present and support are among them.

Our Associate Artists Akram Khan and Crystal Pite have received nominations in the Best Classical Choreographer category. Akram is recognised for his choreography of Giselle for our Associate Company English National Ballet, a Sadler’s Wells co-production. Crystal has been nominated for two works: Emergence, which we presented as part of a double bill by Scottish Ballet in June, and Flight Pattern, presented at the Royal Opera House in March.

Matthew Bourne and Michael Keegan-Dolan, also Sadler’s Wells Associate Artists, are up for the Best Modern Choreography Award. Matthew has been nominated for The Red Shoes, which had its world premiere at Sadler’s Wells in December 2016, while Michael Keegan-Dolan has been recognised for Swan Lake/Loch na hEala, which we presented in November 2016 and will return to our stage later this month.

We are thrilled to see that Botis Seva has been nominated in the Emerging Artist category. Botis presented a Wild Card evening in our Lilian Baylis Studio in 2015 and also took part in Open Art Surgery and Back To The Lab, Breakin’ Convention’s artistic development programmes. Composer Vincenzo Lamagna is also nominated for the same honour, for his music for Akram Khan’s Giselle.

Dancer Ashley Shaw, of our Resident Company New Adventures, is among the Outstanding Female Performance (modern) nominees for her performance as Vicky Page in The Red Shoes, while Syrian-born, France-based dancer and choreographer Mithkal Alzghair has been nominated for Outstanding Male Performance (modern) for Displacement, which we presented in the Lilian Baylis Studio in July, as part of the Shubbak festival.

In the Outstanding Female Performance (classical) category, nominees include English National Ballet’s Alina Cojocaru for her leading role in Giselle and Scottish Ballet’s Bethany Kingsley-Garner, for her performance in Emergence. The Award for Outstanding Male Performance (classical) sees English National Ballet’s James Streeter nominated for his role as Albrecht in Giselle, Scottish Ballet’s Christopher Harrison for his performance in MC 14/22 (Ceci est mon corps), presented here in summer alongside Emergence, and Israel Galván  for his performance in FLA.CO.MEN, which he performed at Sadler’s Wells’ Flamenco Festival in February 2017Eva Yerbabuena, who also performed her show Apariencias at the Flamenco Festival, is nominated for the Grishko Award for Best Female Dancer and the Outstanding Female Performance (classical) award.

Birmingham-based Rosie Kay Dance Company, whose sold-out run of 5 SOLDIERS: The Body is The Frontline we presented at Yeomanry House in September, is up for Best Independent Company.

The full nominations’ list is available here. Winners will be announced on 19 February 2018, when two other honours will be bestowed: the De Valois Award for Outstanding Achievement and the One Dance UK Industry Award.

Many congratulations to all on their well-deserved nominations and best of luck!

Image: Laurent Liotardo 

Audition For a New R&D Dance Project!

Kate Prince, Associate Artist at Sadler’s Wells and Artistic Director of ZooNation Dance Company (Into the Hoods, Some Like it Hip Hop, The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, Groove On Down The Road) will be auditioning dancers for a new research and development project with Sadler’s Wells on 17 August. 

She is looking for dancers who are charismatic, highly skilled and diverse, whose abilities span more than just one genre of dance, including but not limited to contemporary, breaking, locking, popping, house dance, krump, African dance, lindy hop, swing, experimental and freestyle. Dancers who love to tell stories and feel comfortable doing character work.

This is a pure dance piece and there is no requirement to speak or sing. The R&D period is from Wednesday 4 to Thursday 19 October 2017. All applicants must be available for this period. Audition will be by invitation only and is subject to the requirements above.

Send CV, photo and video link submissions to ellie.hartwell@sadlerswells.com. Please note that without a video link where you can be clearly identified, we won’t be able to invite you to audition. Deadline for applications is noon on Friday 11 August. 

 

Image: Kate Prince, Associate Artist at Sadler’s Wells and Artistic Director of ZooNation Dance Company.

Nitin Sawhney receives Lifetime Achievement Ivor Novello award

Sadler’s Wells’ Associate Artist Nitin Sawhney picked up the lifetime achievement honour at the Ivor Novello awards earlier this month. The British musician, producer and composer was presented with the award, which is bestowed in recognition of exceptional creative talent, by actor and director Andy Serkis at the event on 18 May.

Speaking to Music Week magazine, Sawhney explained what the accolade means to him: “The Ivor Novello Awards are the awards that I respect the most, because it’s from composers and songwriters. I know how the board works, and they are all very accomplished and seasoned musicians and writes. From that point of view, it’s an incredible accolade. I’m very proud to get it.”

Sawhney may have received a lifetime achievement award, but he is definitely not one to rest on his laurels. Among the projects he is currently working on, he is co-devising a brand new dance production with dancer and choreographers Honji Wang and Sébastien Ramirez (Wang Ramirez). The production, which is being made to Sawhney’s acclaimed 2015 album Dystopian Dream, will premiere at Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg in September 2017 and receive its UK premiere at Sadler’s Wells in autumn 2018.

 

Image: Nitin Sawhney with his Lifetime Achievement award and its presenter Andy Serkis at the 62nd Ivor Novello Awards (2017). Photo: Mark Allan

Award-winning Betroffenheit at Sadler’s Wells broadcast on BBC4

Sadler’s Wells’ co-production Betroffenheit, created by Associate Artist Crystal Pite and author and actor Jonathon Young, will be broadcast on BBC4 this Sunday 7 May at 9pm.

Described as “an astonishingly ambitious, brilliantly realised, tender-hearted meditation on the nature of bereavement, grief, and the coping strategies of the mind”, the production is a sensitively and exceptionally crafted mix of choreography and theatre that investigates the state of shock, speechlessness and confusion experienced by an individual following traumatic events.

As well as having authored the script, Young performs in the central role, for which he won the Outstanding Performance in Modern Dance award at the 2016 Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards. Pite’s choreography demonstrates her absolute command of the dance-making territory at the intersection between narrative and abstraction.

The work received plaudits from critics and public alike during its two successful runs at Sadler’s Wells, and in April won the 2017 Olivier award for best new dance production. Betroffenheit is an extraordinary and affecting work – watch it on BBC4 on 7 May, or catch the production on iPlayer for the 30 days after the broadcast.

 

Image: Betroffenheit. Photo: Micheal Slobodian.