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Sadler's Wells celebrates 20th anniversary by highlighting the exciting future of dance talent

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

SADLER’S Wells is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its current building by highlighting the exciting future of dance talent.

During the anniversary week, Sadler’s Wells introduces distinctive new voices with two mixed programmes of work commissioned by the theatre, as part of its ‘20 for 20’ anniversary commissions.

Reckonings features new socio-political work by a fresh generation of UK-based dance-makers: Botis Seva, Julie Cunningham and Alesandra Seutin. In the Lilian Baylis Studio, the inaugural Young Associates present a mixed bill showcasing the originality and promise that propelled them into selection for the new initiative, launched earlier this year.

These productions demonstrate Sadler’s Wells’ commitment to supporting artists at all stages of their careers.


Sadler’s Wells Fun Palace – Sunday, October 7, 2018. Free.

As part of the 20th anniversary celebrations of Sadler’s Wells’ current building, enjoy an afternoon of free and fun activities for all. Dance and wellbeing are celebrated with movement and relaxation-related activities delivered by the venue’s community partners.

Participate in a Bollywood-inspired dance routine workshop led by St. Luke’s Community Centre, enjoy a toddler-led and role-reversed interactive family dance session, or be guided by Holloway Neighbourhood Group with calming exercises, amongst other entertaining activities.

On Tuesday, October 9 and Wednesday, October 10, Young Associates present Mixed Bill in the Lilian Baylis Studio. Tickets: £12; £6 concessions.

The first exclusive opportunity to see the work of the inaugural Young Associates, a new Sadler’s Wells initiative aiming to celebrate and support young artists as they embark on their choreographic careers. Choreographers Anthony Matsena, Wilhelmina Ojanen, Ruby Portus and Christopher Thomas showcase the originality and innovative talent that distinguish them as ‘ones to watch’ in the dance world.

An engaging mixed bill, pieces range from an exploration of why hope matters in a world of uncertainty, to a series of feminist vignettes set in a 1930s underground German cabaret club, to a gothic fairy-tale depicting a dark, dream-like narrative about a woman in the last few moments of her life.

Fully supported and mentored by established choreographers – Theo Clinkard, Bryony Kimmings, Arthur Pita and Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist Russell Maliphant – the Young Associates are innovative grassroots choreographers playing with narrative, improvisation and pertinent themes in their work to create bold dance pieces.

The world premiere of Reckonings runs from Thursday, October 11 to Saturday, October 13. Tickets: £20. Free post-show talk on Thursday, October 11.

Sadler’s Wells presents three commissions by a new generation of UK based dance-makers with socio-political things to say and barriers to break: Sadler’s Wells New Wave Associate Julie Cunningham, Alesandra Seutin and Botis Seva.

Cunningham explores gender politics and female empowerment, Seutin imagines the shattering of oppressive systems and self-actualisation with Boy Breaking Glass, teaming up with Randolph Matthews as vocalist, whilst Seva showcases his mental struggles and coping mechanisms with Black Dog.

Reflecting a diverse variety of dance styles – from contemporary African, to post-modern dance and hip hop theatre – these choreographers intertwine their styles with socio-political issues to allow them to tackle subjects including race representation, identity and visibility in their pieces.

Cunningham recently launched Julie Cunningham Company after 15 years of dancing with the renowned Merce Cunningham Dance Company and Michael Clark Company.

Seutin first started creating work in 2007 when she founded her company, Vocab Dance. From there she has forged a career as performer, teacher and commissioned choreographer for companies such as Phoenix Dance Theatre and Studio Wayne McGregor, to name a few. Seutin is also a protégé of Germaine Acogny (The Mother of African Contemporary Dance).

Seva and his collective Far From The Norm have previously performed at Sadler’s Wells with Breakin’ Convention, and curated a Wild Card evening. Using the foundations of hip hop, he has created a physical dance language of his own. Seva will be Guest Artistic Director for the National Youth Dance Company for 2018/2019, run by Sadler’s Wells.

Sadler’s Wells has partnered with Channel 4’s Random Acts to commission three original films from the artists for broadcast in 2018. The first, Reach, a collaboration between Botis Seva and Billy Boyd Cape, is available online now, with the other two films to follow later this year.

For more information or to book tickets, call the box office on 020 7863 8000 or visit