Last Updated on April 14, 2021 by Fiona Maclean
New Shows for Spring/Summer 2021 at Sadler’s Wells London
If there was one moment that stands out as a poignant symbol for The Arts during the pandemic, it was the screening of Dancing at Dusk. A mind-numbingly beautiful interpretation of The Rite of Spring by Pina Bausch danced by École des Sables, it should have been taken on a world tour last year. Instead, the 38 dancers from 14 African countries performed on the beach in Senegal. I do hope at some point the live production is reinstated and I can see it on stage. But for now, I’m delighted that Sadler’s Wells is reopening from 17th May – with seven productions scheduled between then and September.
There are productions by English National Ballet, Rambert, Northern Ballet, New Wave Associate Alexander Whitley, Sadler’s Wells Breakin’ Convention and National Youth Dance Company (run by Sadler’s Wells) to look forward to. While the first six productions will have social distancing measures in place, Singin’ in the Rain is on sale without social distancing, following the UK Government’s roadmap, though of course, everything is subject to change.
Here’s more about what you can look forward to in the months ahead.
The World Premiere of ‘Reunion’ performed by English National Ballet opens the Sadler’s Wells season on 17th May. Five works by renowned choreographers and rising talents were created and released as films as part of ENB’s critically acclaimed Digital Season in late 2020. Now, these original pieces are performed live on stage for the first time at Sadler’s Wells.
Alexander Whitley Dance Company take the Friday and Saturday night slots during that period (21st and 22nd May) with ‘Overflow’. Whitely has a reputation for his bold, interdisciplinary approach, producing innovative and thought-provoking productions, such as his solar-physics inspired 8 Minutes, and is known for his groundbreaking use of digital technology. His new work asks what it means to be human in the shadow of big data. Now more than ever, our lives are influenced by unseen algorithms and surveillance technologies, with filter bubbles, feedback loops and fake news having a profound impact on individual behaviour and political events. Created before the Covid-19 pandemic, but with its London premiere delayed until now, Overflow considers how our desires, fantasies and vulnerabilities are powerfully influenced by social platforms, exploring what lurks beneath our compulsions to check, share and like.
Next, from 2nd to 5th June is Rambert with ‘Draw from Within’. Beginning life in 2020 as a live digital broadcast, Draw from Within opened to much acclaim and has now been reworked to be performed on stage to a live audience in a London Premiere. Rambert’s dancers move through vivid, theatrical worlds of dreams and nightmares. Choreographed by Wim Vandekeybus, Draw From Within takes inspiration from current times where we seek physical interaction.
Running from Tuesday 8th to Saturday 12 June, Northern Ballet presents the London premiere of ‘Dangerous Liaisons’, choreographed by David Nixon. The story of sexual power, cruelty and deceit is set to Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, played live by Northern Ballet Sinfonia.
‘Contemporary Cuts 2021’ comprises a series of excerpts including Kenneth Tindall’s new work ‘States of Mind’, inspired by the turbulence of 2020, as well as Amaury Lebrun’s ‘For An Instant’. Also included is ‘Little Monsters’ by Demis Volpi set to music by Elvis Presley, plus excerpts from Jonathan Watkins’ ‘1984’ and Cathy Marston’s ‘Jane Eyre’.
From Thursday 1st to Sunday 4th July, ‘Breakin’ Convention’ is the world’s biggest festival of hip hop dance and returns to Sadler’s Wells for its 18th year. Curated and hosted by UK hip hop pioneer and Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist Jonzi D, you can expect exceptional performances showcasing the best of international and UK talent.
‘Speak Volumes’ on Saturday 24 July is the latest staged work from National Youth Dance Company (NYDC) a collaboration with internationally renowned choreographer Alesandra Seutin. 29 outstanding young dancers present a new contemporary work, exploring the relationship between movement, voice and music.
Finally, the Spring/Summer season is rounded off by Jonathan Church’s critically acclaimed production of ‘Singin’ in the Rain’. A smash-hit at Chichester Festival Theatre and in the West End, this irresistible show returns to London to make a summer splash. Song-and-dance legend Adam Cooper reprises the iconic role made so famous by Gene Kelly. Andrew Wright’s high-energy choreography and Simon Higlett’s sumptuous set design (including over 14,000 litres of water on stage every night) combine with the charm, romance and wit of one of the world’s best-loved films.
English National Ballet
Monday 17 – Sunday 30 May 2021
Tickets: £15 – £65
Alexander Whitley Dance Company
Friday 21 May – Saturday 22 May 2021
Tickets: £20 – £25
Draw From Within
Wednesday 2 – Saturday 5 June 2021
Tickets: £15 – £55
Dangerous Liaisons and Contemporary Cuts 2021
Tuesday 8 – Saturday 12 June 2021
Tickets: £15 – £65
Sadler’s Wells Breakin’ Convention
Breakin’ Convention 2021
Thursday 1 – Sunday 4 July 2021
Tickets: £15 – £45
National Youth Dance Company / Alesandra Seutin
Saturday 24 July 2021
Tickets: £10 – £15
Singin’ in the Rain
Friday 30 July – Sunday 5 September 2021
Tickets: £15 – £100 (tickets already on sale)
Tickets for all newly events are on public sale via www.sadlerswells.com and 020 7863 8000.