An Amazing Day for Dance  – 22 June 2022

It may have been a day late for midsummer, (and sandwiched between two train strikes) but the sun was shining on Sadler’s Wells on 22 June as the organisation prepared for what turned out to be an amazing day for dance. A new venue was launched, the famous flamenco festival opened after a Covid-enforced break, a ballet performance was premiered, a hectic hip hop rehearsal sizzled at the Peacock, we launched a new talent search, set off a flashmob in central London, and threw a jumping party for 16-30 year olds who have the free Barclay’s Dance Pass. And these were just the highlights! Back stage,  the teams were making food for hundreds, preparing sets and costumes, artists were warming up, and the ticket office was rushed off its feet. The studios were buzzing with classes and the tech team were limbering up for a demanding festival. Oh, yes, and at the centre of the hurricane, the dancers were ready to hit the stage – including the astonishing cross-dressing dancers of Viva!

‘The vision is now real’

Our cameras were on hand to record an historic day which started with the VIP tour and ‘topping out ceremony’ at the new 550-seater venue Sadler’s Wells East in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford. Justine Simons, London’s Deputy Mayor for Culture spoke powerfully about the impact the new venue will make – in the local community, in the London economy and as a new UK cultural beacon. Sadler’s Wells CEO and Artistic Director, Sir Alistair Spalding , expressed his delight at seeing the first performance in Sadler’s Wells East – by local hip hop team EASTablishment – and his pride at inaugurating Europe’s newest cultural precinct – East Bank. Executive Director Britannia Morton led the press conference, presenting the features of the state-of-the-art auditorium which had been designed after deep consultation with dancers and the local community. Jonzi D, Director of the new Hip Hop Theatre Academy linked his own journey starting at Sadler’s Wells in Islington to the prospects of new dancers joining his organisation in Stratford opening in 2023. Suddenly, it felt very real, very joined up, very exciting.

Sadler’s Wells also launched a talent search for young east Londoners to join the cast of the opening show Our Mighty Groove. If Stratford was buzzing with the promise of an amazing new chapter for dance in the UK, at Sadler’s Islington HQ and in central London at the Peacock Theatre three shows were taking shape. And on the Digital Stage the acclaimed production of Rite of Spring was being relayed from a beach in Senegal. And to conclude the CEO – aka ‘the knight on a bike’ cycled home into the sunset. What a day.

Check out the video report on ‘an amazing day for dance’ and follow us on social media to keep in touch.