Dance

SADLER’S WELLS NOMINATED FOR PRODUCER OF THE YEAR AWARD

We are delighted to be nominated as Producer of the Year in The Stage Awards 2018.

Since becoming a producing house in 2005, Sadler’s Wells has helped bring to life over 150 shows, presented at our home in London and all over the world.

“In another strong year, Sadler’s Wells has worked closely with innovative artists on pieces that push the boundaries of contemporary dance,” reads the judges’ citation. “Since 2016, it has co-commissioned and co-produced 16 new dance works, many of which had audiences and critics in raptures.”

Among the co-productions we presented on our stage from October 2016 to November 2017, the period considered for the awards, are:

  • TAO Dance Theater – 6 & 8
  • Dance Umbrella – Unknown Pleasures
  • Crystal Pite – Bettrofenheit
  • Jasmine Vardimon – Pinocchio
  • Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui – Fractus V
  • Rambert – The Creation
  • English National Ballet – Akram Khan’s Giselle
  • Hetain Patel – American Man
  • Michael Keegan Dolan – Swan Lake/ Loch na hEala
  • Wayne McGregor – Tree of Codes 
  • Wayne McGregor – Autobiography 
  • Acosta Danza – Debut
  • BalletBoyz – Fourteen Days
  • Alexander Whitley – 8 Minutes

You can read the award shortlist in full here.

Sadler’s Wells has been shortlisted in the Producer of the Year category alongside Hull City of Culture and commercial producer Michael Harrison.

Alistair Spalding, Sadler’s Wells’ Artistic Director and Chief Executive, said: “As an international dance house, we are committed to investing in the creative journey of the talented artists we are privileged to work with, and to supporting them in bringing their ideas to the stage. It is great to see this work acknowledged and to be nominated for the Producer of the Year award.”

Alistair Smith, editor of The Stage and chair of the judging panel said: “I’m delighted The Stage Awards once again celebrate the achievements of theatres from across the UK, many of which aren’t recognised at other ceremonies. This year’s shortlist highlights the theatrical talent among organisations of all sizes, right across the UK.”

The Stage Awards, in association with Integro Insurance Brokers Ltd, are decided by The Stage’s senior editorial team, following extensive consultation with leading figures in the theatre industry and a public nomination process.

The winners will be announced on Friday 26 Jan 2018 at a ceremony at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.

Fingers crossed!

 

Image: Michael Keegan Dolan’s Swan Lake/ Loch na hEala. Photo: Colm Hogan

Audition for a new dance project

Alesandra Seutin | Vocab Dance is auditioning for a new project with Sadler’s Wells in 2018. We are inviting highly skilled and experienced contemporary male and female dancers of black heritage/ diverse backgrounds to be part of a new work.

Audition requirements

We are searching for versatile, open-minded dancers, with a high level of artistry, integrity and with a collaborative approach to creation.

Applicants must meet either of the following essential criteria:

  • Over 25 years old
  • Trained in Contemporary, Ballet, Jazz and/or African techniques.
  • Over 3 years professional/ performance experience
  • Physically strong
  • Experience of working with the voice

Where: The audition, by invitation only, will be held in London.

When: Saturday 27 January 2018, with recalls on Sunday 28 January 2018.

Applications

Please read our requirements carefully and send in all the requested material well in advance easily accessible to us.

We request all of the following:

  • your complete CV;
  • a short bio (3-10 sentences);
  • a short letter of motivation, to explain your desire to work with Alesandra Seutin | Vocab Dance (3-10 sentences)
  • 2 pictures of which 1 should be a portrait and the other a full body photo
  • An online film links / uploaded videos to previous work by email
  • The period of employment will include rehearsals and performances in London. It is crucial that applicants are available for all the following dates: 19 – 24 May 2018 (R&D), 27 August – 1 September 2018, 17 – 28 September 2018 (rehearsals), 1 – 5 October 2018 (production week), 7 – 13 October 2018 (show week) and are to explicitly confirm their availability for the above period.

Deadline for Applications 

Auditions will be invitation only subject to the requirements above. Please send submissions to Georgia.Kersh@sadlerswells.com Deadline for applicants is noon on 8 January 2018.

Selected candidates will be contacted personally shortly after and invited to audition in London on 27 January 2018.

Please note that we are unable to respond to requests that do not fulfil all of the above criteria or lack any of the requested material and information. We will respond to and review only complete applications, including the video-links, only on YouTube or Vimeo (without a password, open privacy settings), not downloadable files.

The videos should be free from special effects, for example slow motion.

For more information, contact Georgia.Kersh@sadlerswells.com

Give the Gift of Dance this Christmas

Stuck for ideas of what to get your family and loved ones this Christmas? Looking for an original and personal gift to treat the dance lover in your life? Sadler’s Wells has a few ideas for unique and special gifts that will keep them entertained for the year ahead.

Memberships
Dance fans will love the exclusive benefits that come from being a Member, including 20% off tickets for most shows, priority booking and season brochures mailed to straight to their door for just £60 a year.

Rehearsal Memberships
Treat them to something really special with a Rehearsal Membership, including priority booking, a limited number of free programmes, and invitations to Season Preview events and Dress Rehearsals, at £130 a year.

Patron Memberships
If you’re feeling really generous, a Patron Membership will get the lucky recipient all the benefits of Rehearsal Membership, plus a personalised booking service, invitations to exclusive events, and opportunities to meet their favourite artists and performers. Starting from £645 per year.

With each level your loved one will receive a beautiful membership pack. Each pack includes a membership card, season brochure and information about their membership that will allow them to be part of a vibrant community of members to one of the most important dance houses in the world.

As a charity, all membership fees are reinvested into the work of Sadler’s Wells, helping us to create and present incredible shows and develop new talent in the world of dance. The gift of a membership is also a gift back to the theatre and the dance community that it serves.

For more information and to purchase gift memberships, visit www.sadlerswells.com/support-us/gift-memberships/.

Sadler’s Wells participates in Japan conference on how art benefits the elderly

Sadler’s Wells staff and members of our Company of Elders discussed how the arts benefit the over 60s at an international conference in Japan in September. The four-day World Gold Theater Kickoff symposium at the Saitama Arts Theater featured workshops and panel discussions with performers and speakers from Japan and the UK, who shared programming and best practice, as well as exploring the role of ageing communities in the arts. Besides Sadler’s Wells, other UK organisations in attendance included London’s performing arts centre the Albany and Entelechy Arts, a participatory arts company working with older people from diverse communities.

Our Director of Learning and Engagement Joce Giles, Lucy Clarke-Bishop, Projects Producer in the Learning and Engagement team, three members of our Company of Elders – Betsy Field, Chris Havell and Catriona Maccoll – and the company’s rehearsal director Simona Scotto gave a presentation on Sadler’s Wells’ over-60s programme. They shared an overview of our work with the Company of Elders, our outreach activities, including the Silver Routes community group, and the Elixir Festival, which celebrates lifelong creativity and the achievements of older dance artists. Joce also took part in a panel discussion alongside David Slater, director of Entelechy Arts, which was chaired by Yoshiyuki Oshita, chief director of the Center For Arts Policy and Management for Mitsubishi UFJ Research and Consulting. The debate looked at how theatres’ future programmes could focus on creative opportunities for elderly people.

Simona led a Company of Elders’ taster session and three introductory dance workshops designed for the local over-60 community in Saitama. There were 20-30 participants in each workshop, who were given the chance to learn introductory dance skills and some of the Company of Elders repertoire.

Sadler’s Wells’ relationship with Saitama Arts Theater is a long-term one, centred on a shared vision of connecting older audiences with dance. The Japanese theatre’s late artistic director, Yukio Ninagawa, founded Saitama Gold Theater, an over-55 theatre company that has been performing and touring internationally since its inception in 2006. Saitama Arts Theater has also been involved in ambitious community engagement: in 2016 it delivered the 10,000 Gold Theater project, which saw 1,600 professional and non-professional performers over 60 from the local community perform a new production at Saitama Super Arena.

We were thrilled to be able to discuss how arts and culture can contribute to elderly people’s mental and physical wellbeing with international colleagues. We look forward to continuing our work with the Saitama Arts Theater and other like-minded organisations to support and promote lifelong creativity worldwide.

To find out more about Company of Elders, visit the website

Join The Movement!

The Lowry, Salford, Birmingham Hippodrome and Sadler’s Wells in London are uniting in a new Arts Council funded initiative called ‘The Movement’ to promote dance across the UK.

These three venues are looking for dance lovers to become their Social Movers – a dedicated team committed to supporting great dance, and keen to share their love of dance with a wider audience online.

Benefits include:

  • Free tickets to selected shows in your region’s Dance Season for the next 12 months.
  • Behind-the-scenes access to some of our most important events of the year.
  • The chance to meet some of the performers and choreographers who work on our productions.

Over the next twelve months, our three venues will be hosting a diverse range of dance productions, including Carlos Acosta‘s new Cuban dance company Acosta Danza, BalletBoyz’s new work 14 Days, Darbar Festival curated by Akram Khan, Matthew Bourne‘s Cinderella, and Birmingham Royal Ballet‘s classic The Nutcracker.

WE NEED YOU!
The Movement is looking for nine special people from the North West, West Midlands and London areas who would be interested in becoming one of our exclusive Social Movers.

As one of our Social Movers you will be invited to come and see live dance events in your region completely free, get to go behind-the-scenes, meet the professionals involved and share your experience by sharing your own videos and social content with others on our The Movement social media channels.

In addition, if you run or are part of a local dance group or class, we want to hear from you too. We will be giving local organisations the chance to have their homegrown talent featured on our social media channels by being directly involved our monthly events, competitions, and even get the opportunity to see some of our productions. We want to hear from everyone from children’s ballet groups to seniors’ movement classes, belly dancers to Zumba class regulars.

If you think you have what it takes, The Movement wants to hear from you!

HOW TO APPLY
We’re looking for passionate, enthusiastic people who love dance and who are social media savvy, so if you fall under one of the categories below we want to hear from you:

The Enthusiast – Are you a seasoned fan of the world of dance who has to see everything and knows almost everything there is to know about dance?

The Student – Are you attending a local training academy or dance school and looking to making dance a career?

The Newcomer – Are you an individual who is entirely new to the world of dance but has a keen interest in learning more, perhaps an amateur dancer in their spare time who enjoys classes during the week?

Regional Dance Organisation – Are you a member of or run a regional dance school, group or class? We are also looking groups who are up for showcasing their collective talents online each month.

Applicants need to submit a one-minute video of yourself telling us who you are, what you do, and why you think you should be a Social Mover.

Here are a few things we are looking for in a successful candidate:

  • Active profiles on social media in particular Facebook, YouTube and Instagram
  • The ability to create fun and engaging social content
  • A tech savvy & creative individual.
  • You’re a proactive and reliable person.
  • Access to your own laptop, camera and smart phone.
  • Able to create at least one piece of content per month and/or attend an event, as well as live in or easily travel to Manchester, Birmingham or London.
  • If you are applying on behalf of a regional dance organisation you must also be based in or near Manchester, Birmingham or London and include a short video of choreography featuring your members and us with any supporting material e.g. website, social media or supporting video links.

We welcome applications from people of all ages, genders, ethnicities, abilities and nationalities. C
Click here to read the Terms and Conditions of the Social Movers programme.

Email your application to themovement@thelowry.com

Successful candidates to be shortlisted after the 15 September 2017 by The Lowry, Salford, Birmingham Hippodrome and the Sadler’s Wells, London.

Sadler’s Wells brings dance to Wilderness Festival

This August Sadler’s Wells will return to the Wilderness Festival for the second consecutive year. Set in the heart of the Cotswolds, Wilderness offers audiences an eclectic programme of live music, theatre and contemporary art.

Joining a diverse line up including comedy, cabaret and immersive theatre, we will present work from Pepa Ubera, one of the dance artists we are supporting through Sadler’s Wells’ Summer University programme, as well as Breakin’ Convention’s Freestyle Funk Forum.

Pepa Ubera’s The Machine of Horizontal Dreams draws on kundalini and tantric yoga practices to examine how we relate to each other, creating a playful and sacred space for audiences and performer to interact and explore the senses. At the same time a dance work and a shared experience, the performance allows different situations to develop and viewers to choose what to engage with.

Breakin’ Convention’s Freestyle Funk Forum is an evening of hip hop-infused theatre inspired by improvisatory comedy classic Whose Line is it Anyway?. Hosted by Sadler’s Wells’ Associate Artist and Breakin’ Convention’s artistic director Jonzi D, the show features a series of skits incorporating hip hop dance, beatboxing, turntablism and rap, informed by audience participations and suggestions.

Wilderness will take place in Oxfordshire’s Cornbury Estate between 3 and 6 August 2017.

Sadler’s Wells and Birmingham Royal Ballet launch Ballet Now

In association with Sadler’s Wells, Birmingham Royal Ballet has launched a new initiative to develop the choreographers, composers and designers of the future.

Ballet Now is a five-year programme of professional development, with BRB and Sadler’s Wells commissioning two works each year , supporting a total of six artists per year – one choreographer, composer and designer per commission. The commissions aim to support and champion artistic innovation, risk-taking and new choreographic practice.

Thanks to mentoring from BRB’s Artistic Director David Bintley, Koen Kessels, Music Director for BRB, and other experts in the dance industry, participating choreographers, composers and designers will have the opportunity to challenge their choreographic practice and develop creative collaborations for presentation on the large-scale, while gaining valuable skills in leading a creative process in a major ballet company.

Ballet Now’s launch coincided with the first meeting of the Creative Consortium, made up of David Bintley, Koen Kessels, Alistair Spalding (Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Sadler’s Wells), Cassa Pancho (Artistic Director, Ballet Black), Ted Brandsen (Director, Dutch National Ballet), Emma Southworth (Studio Programme Senior Producer, The Royal Ballet), Sally Beamish (Composer) and Sally Cavender (Director, Performance Music & Vice-Chairman, Faber Music). The first awarded commissions will be announced at Sadler’s Wells on 3 November 2017.

 

Image: Cinderella in rehearsal: David Bintley with Momoko Hirata and Jenna Roberts. Photo: Ty Singleton.

Meet Nora

We caught up with Eleanor Sikorski from Nora to find out more about the dancer-led initiative and what to expect from the much anticipated return of Nora Invites… in the Lilian Baylis on 1 and 2 June.

How did Nora come about?

Flora and I started Nora, essentially, so that we could do more dancing. We wanted to actively create situations in which we were working with choreographers and other artists that we loved in the studio: making, moving and performing. We were both at the end of a period of doing a lot of independent producing and curation, and we could see that in order to shift the nature of the work we were doing, from laptop to dance floor, we had to initiate something new and something big… or at least something that dramatically shifted our perception of our power as dancers. We also wanted to create a working model which could be robust enough to eventually involve more people, which we have done. Nora is now a trio! Stephanie McMann, Flora Wellesley Wesley and myself.

Nora is a dancer-led initiative. Do you generally approach choreographers yourselves, and what leads you to approaching particular choreographers/ dance artists?

Yes, we initiate everything. We have had a lot of help, guidance and support from others but we are quite strict about the fundamental decisions coming from us. It has always been important for us that Nora has the potential to take whatever shape we want it to, so we like to keep questioning what we are doing so that we don’t fall into any boxes without wanting to and we stay flexible to our and our collaborators’ needs. Each conversation with an artist starts a little differently, depending on if we know them well or not at all! The important things are that we love the work they make, that we believe they will engage with us as artists in the studio, that they are conscious of the power dynamics that Nora is trying to challenge and that they have an ethical approach to working… that might sound like a lot to ask, but there are plenty of people working like this!

Nora Invites is back after its run in 2015. Do you find the experience of performing the same pieces for 2 years has changed? Do you feel you have changed as individuals and as artists in that time?

We have changed a lot and the way we perform the show has really shifted. The main shift is that we have had time with the work and practice performing it so we feel much more confident and knowledgeable about what we are doing on stage. Stephanie (now co-artistic director with me and Flora) was our rehearsal director throughout the process of making the duets and her role has been key to us developing our relationship with the work – I think we have gone from being in awe of the work to feeling like we are the work, or, as dancers like to say, that we ‘own’ the work. I think our performances are better for it.

Nora Invites features three different pieces by three different creative teams with quite different moods. How do you adapt to the tone of each piece on the evening?

Liz Aggiss kept repeating a mantra to us throughout out her process which is, ‘The King is Dead! Long live the King!’. Essentially this just means drop it and move on. Next, next, next! She taught us this mantra in relation to what we do within her piece, but it is actually really useful for performing the whole evening and being able to leave each piece behind and move onto the next. The first time Simon Tanguy saw us performing the other duets he came backstage and said something along the lines of, ‘breathe, slow down and think floppy’. He saw that we needed to chill out before we could do his piece well. It’s not necessarily hard to get in to each new piece, it’s more difficult to get out of the previous one. You have to learn to drop it quickly, to shake off the residue and start again from nothing. We have very different relationships with all of the artists, so I find it is useful to just imagine each of them before we perform their work, and their imagined presence helps me to get in the right mood!

How involved have you been in the creative processes behind each piece? Does it differ piece to piece?

Each piece had a very different process. Jonathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion gave us a musical score and set us the task of creating movement to the written rhythm. They essentially left us with it for six months, dropping in and out of the studio to support and direct us. Their handing over of the score was key to the concept of the work.

Simon Tanguy worked with us in the studio for about a month, spread out over the course of a year. He directed us through many improvisation scores and then we slowly wrote a script together. When we had learnt the script he set it in space – creating a choreography which supported and moulded the words in very particular ways and working with our lighting designer, Seth Rook-Williams, to create the right landscape.

Liz Aggiss choreographed the work and then taught it to us, giving us very clear direction in order to create her precise vision. During the process of teaching us the composition she made adjustments as she saw us embody her ideas and as she got to know us better as people and performers. She was amazingly quick and sharp in how she composed her ideas around us as we worked.

You’ll also be here the week after Nora Invites, with Nora Talks, where you’ll be discussing your thoughts after a period of research. Do you think this research informs or changes the way you perform, particularly in Nora Invites?

Yes, the talk will be one of a series in which we reflect on our curatorial research and we invite people to respond with their own ideas and thoughts. Our relationship to Nora Invites is constantly shifting, as time passes, and this research feels like a continuation of this shift – a bit like a natural evolution. Having performed the work a lot I think we now feel more reflective, and we have begun to think about what might happen next; this is essentially how our research started! Our research is also closely connected to our changing relationship with each other: the experience that Flora and I have performing together over a long period of time, and our relationship with Stephanie as rehearsal director and now as co-artistic director/performer. We have discovered a lot about each other, about how things can work and be different to how they appear or what one might imagine. We are very happy with what we have managed to do, so it feels important to share it and invite others to see it. Through being transparent we hope to continue questioning how performance can be made and how dancers can engage directly and practically with artistic practice and intention.

I’m not sure our research has directly affected how we perform, but the fact that we are doing the research is because our relationship to performing has changed! Maybe…

What’s next for Nora?

After our series of Nora Talks we are planning to curate a new programme of work for the three of us to perform. This curation process has begun already and it has been a fascinating and ever-changing ride. We are still keeping very open to what this could be – maybe something similar to Nora Invites, or maybe something wildly different. We will see!

Click here to find out more about Nora Invites.

 

Image: Flora Wellesley Wesley and Eleanor Sikorski in BLOODY NORA! Photo: Camilla Greenwell.