Matthew Bourne

Swan Lake curtain raiser is ‘once-in-a-lifetime experience’ for students

Our Learning & Engagement team and our Resident Company New Adventures worked with 18 students from our Associate Schools programme over two weeks this month to create a short piece inspired by Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake. Following intense rehearsals in our Studio A, the project culminated with the students premiering their new piece on our main stage before the company’s Swan Lake performance on 11 January.

Emily Massey, a student at City and Islington College, wrote about her experience taking part in the curtain raiser:

“When I first heard about the opportunity to audition for Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake, I couldn’t contain my excitement. The thought of getting the chance to perform on a stage that thousands of amazing dancers have danced on was simply unbelievable. Come audition day, I was a bundle of nerves, yet once the audition started they all seemed to fade away. I was made to feel so comfortable and supported by the instructors and my fellow peers that the dreaded word, audition, no longer seemed so scary.

After rehearsals had started, that’s when the real fun began! I have personally always been taught that dance is about technique, but this experience has taught me that it is so much more than that. Dance is a combination of movement and storytelling, and throughout this adventure we were pushed to the limits not only to improve technically as dancers but to develop our characterisation. Trying to embody a swan is a lot harder than you would think, but we were given suggestions on several strategies to employ in order to be able to do that along the way, and lots of support. By far the most challenging, yet rewarding part of the curtain raiser was getting the chance to create our own swan motifs. We were pushed to think like swans, which is hard given we’re human, but with extra guidance, we all created swan-like movements that were incorporated in the dance

“The lessons I’ve learnt along the way from both dancers and choreographers will stay with me.” Hannah Rose

I also met some of the best people I will ever meet in my life and that’s thanks to this whole experience. Having come from four different schools, we originally started off quite separated, but within a day or so we all quickly became very close and supportive of each other; it was an amazing environment to be in.

“Having the chance to be part of such an amazing experience reminds me of why I love to dance and what I would like to achieve in the future.” Isis

Getting to dance on the Sadler’s Wells stage was incredible! I have never done anything like it in my life and will never forget it. It was like I was dreaming the whole thing because it was so great. The most amazing part was meeting the man behind it all, Matthew Bourne, who choreographed Swan Lake for his company New Adventures. I was in absolute awe, it was a totally surreal moment.

“We gained insight into how a professional company works.” Mia

Getting to meet the professional company before dancing was unreal. They are our idols, the people we are striving to be, and meeting them as well as dancing on the same stage as them was too good to be true. It was truly an unforgettable experience and I will cherish the memories of it forever, as well as hope that I get to do it again next year!”

“The curtain raiser was fantastic! I saw most of my students afterwards and they were really buzzing and so excited about the whole experience. Thank you for facilitating this project, it makes such a difference to the students’ whole approach to dance and its possibilities.” Siobhan White, dance teacher at City and Islington College

“Wow – what an evening! Our students are so inspirational and I’m sure I’m not alone in saying their performance was incredible. Blown away by their talent and performance abilities! Thank you so much – opportunities like these are second to none and your support has played a great part in helping our young dancers to find and enjoy their passion.” Gemma Anderson, dance teacher at Bow School

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.

Celeb Spotting at Cinderella Gala Performance

With Christmas only a week away, we decided to roll out the red carpet and invite some famous faces to a special one-off performance of Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella at Sadler’s Wells. This star-studded evening was attended by the biggest names from stage and screen including David Walliams, Lily James, Matt Smith, Susanna Reid, Susan Calman, Jeremy Vine and many more.

Take a look at the image gallery above.

Matthew Bourne’s unique take on a classic fairytale transports the audience back to 1940s London, during one fateful night when Cinderella meets a dashing young RAF pilot and are together just long enough to fall in love before being parted by the horrors of the Blitz.

Many performances of Cinderella are now sold out, but you can catch this unmissable show when it will be broadcast to TV screens across the UK on Boxing Day at 5.35pm on BBC2.

Our associate artists and companies win four Oliviers

The winners of this year’s Olivier Awards were announced at the Royal Albert Hall on 9 April and we are thrilled that Sadler’s Wells’ associate artists and companies won four awards.

Our Associate Artist Crystal Pite and Jonathon Young received the Best New Dance Production award for Betroffenheit. Our Associate Company English National Ballet won Outstanding Achievement in Dance for expanding the variety of their repertoire with our Associate Artist Akram Khan’s Giselle and triple bill She Said at Sadler’s Wells. Our Associate Artist Matthew Bourne received the Best Theatre Choreographer award, while his latest production The Red Shoes, performed by our Resident Company New Adventures, won in the Best Entertainment and Family category.

Many congratulations to all!

 

Image: Crystal Pite and Jonathon Young’s Betroffenheit. Photo: Wendy D Photography

Sadler’s Wells hosts Cinderella-inspired supper club

To celebrate the return of Sadler’s Wells’ Associate Artist Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella on our stage this festive season, we are hosting a number of special pre-performance supper clubs. adidas nmd Held on the Mezzanine level, Supper at Sadler’s transports diners back to 1940s London, the evocative setting of Bourne’s war-time romance. Mochilas Kanken Online From the Union Jack bunting, to the floral table settings and even the ration book-style menus, diners will be immersed in a vintage wonderland. new balance homme Supper at Sadler’s runs before performances of Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella on selected dates between 12th December and 27th January 2018.

New Adventures wins International gong at The Stage Awards

Sadler’s Wells’ Resident Company New Adventures won the International award at The Stage Awards 2017. Winners were announced at a ceremony at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane last Friday.

The award recognised the company’s international touring and audience engagement activities, which in 2016 included a mammoth tour of New Adventures’ Sleeping Beauty in Asia, with audiences of over 70,000.

Many congratulations to Sir Matthew Bourne, Robert Noble and all the dancers and company members! We look forward to seeing New Adventures back on our main stage in April with Matthew Bourne’s Early Adventures.

New Year’s Honours list recognises Matthew Bourne, Tamara Rojo and Christopher Wheeldon

Sadler’s Wells’ Associate Artists Matthew Bourne and Christopher Wheeldon and Tamara Rojo, Artistic Director of Sadler’s Wells’ Associate Company English National Ballet, received a knighthood, an OBE and a CBE respectively as part of the 2016 New Year’s Honours list. Our warmest congratulations to all!

Matthew Bourne to receive UK Theatre’s outstanding contribution award

Sadler’s Wells’ Associate Artist Matthew Bourne is to be honoured at the UK Theatre Awards 2015 for his contribution to theatre.

The choreographer and Artistic Director of dance company New Adventures will receive the The Stage award for outstanding contribution to British theatre at a ceremony in London on 18 October. A five-time Olivier Award-winner and the only British director to have won a Tony Award for both Best Choreographer and Best Director of a Musical, Bourne is one of the most popular and successful choreographers working today.

Following a 14-year career as a professional dancer, he quickly established himself as an audience favourite with his endlessly inventive and witty versions of classical ballets, such as Nutcraker!, Swan Lake and Cinderella, as well as innovative productions like The Car Man and Edward Scissorhands.

Rachel Tackley, President of UK Theatre, said: “I am a huge fan of Matthew Bourne’s work which has been inspiring and thrilling audiences all over the UK and around the world for many years. I am delighted that his incredible contribution to our industry is being honoured at this year’s award ceremony. I can’t wait to see what he has planned next.”

New Adventures will perform Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty at Sadler’s Wells between 1 December and 24 January 2016. To book tickets, visit www.sadlerswells.com

 

Image: Matthew Bourne. Photo: Hugo Glendinning

Legacy funding keeps Lord of the Flies’ young performers dancing

During the Easter holidays, the young cast who performed in Matthew Bourne’s Lord of the Flies in October 2014 participated in a skills workshop led by dance company ZooNation as part of the production’s legacy programme. The 22-strong cast, aged 11 to 22, were selected from 950 boys and young men from across the capital to perform alongside professional dancers from New Adventures in Matthew Bourne’s acclaimed show last year.

Thanks to legacy funding from New Adventures, Sadler’s Wells has been able to continue working with these young dancers. A year-long programme has been designed to extend the group’s knowledge and experience of dance through access to professional artists, skills workshops and performance visits.

Mentored by dance ambassadors Sam Cook and Shaun Dillon, the young dancers have so far learnt how to move like Edward Scissorhands in a workshop led by New Adventures in December; been gripped by BalletBoyz and their performance of Young Men at Sadler’s Wells in January and witnessed acrobatics in Cirkopolis at The Peacock in February.

Next up is a weekend focused on dance company Rambert. On Saturday 16 May, the group will attend a matinee performance of the company’s triple bill Dark Arteries/ Frames/ Four Elements. They will take part in a pre-show talk with Rambert’s Artistic Director Mark Baldwin, Music Director Paul Hoskins and composer Gavin Higgins, as well as a post-show Q&A session led by Liam Mower, company dancer and rehearsal director. On Sunday 17 May, the young dancers will visit Rambert’s studios in central London, where they will be given a tour of the building and take part in a three-hour workshop led by former company dancer Eryck Brahmania.

 

Photo: the young cast of Matthew Bourne’s Lord of the Flies in rehearsal in 2014.