Monday, 19 November 2012

Sadler's Wells bounces into Spring and Summer

Sadler's Wells Spring/Summer 2013 brochure popped through my letter box the other day (I'm an old fashioned boy and still prefer print to e-newsletters). It is cram full of dance events from children's ballet and the National Youth Dance Company to Pina Bausch and Hip Hop with Sylvie Guillem, Akram Khan and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui on the way.


I have already blogged about the celebrations for the 100th anniversary of the premiere of the Rite of Spring. One of the events at Sadler's Wells includes the inaugural performance by the National Youth Dance Company (why didn't we have one already?). The London Children's Ballet will be performing (at the Peacock Theatre) Erico Montes' narrative work based on Francis Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden. Montes is a first artist with the Royal Ballet. His ballet, uses an original score by Artem Vassiliev (the score dates from a 2007 production of the ballet, but I'm not clear whether Montes' choreography is new).

Moving from children performing to dance for children, Northern Ballet Theatre are doing their first production aimed at children. Ugly Duckling tells the Hans Anderson fairytale in just 45 minutes. English National Ballet 2 are also addressing children with My First Cinderella with music by Prokofiev, choreography by George Williamson and an accompanying narration. And balletLorent will be performing Rapunzel as part of the Sadler's Wells family weekend. So if you have dance inclined children, then there are plenty of events to choose from.

Those with more adult tastes might prefer Northern Ballet Theatre's new full length narrative ballet, The Great Gatsby, based on F. Scott Fizgerald's book with choreography by Northern Ballet Theatre's artistic director David Nixon. Translating Scott Fitzgerald's book into other mediums has not always been a success, so it will be interesting to see whether Nixon manages to succeed. The music is by Richard Rodney Bennett, taken from existing pieces rather than a new ballet score.

Narrative of a different sort comes to Sadler's Wells in the summer with the return of West Side Story with the original Jerome Robbins choreography.

The National Ballet of Canada will be bringing their, rather more adult take, on Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet with choreography created in 2011 by Alexei Ratmansky, former Bolshoi Ballet director. Having seen Natalia Makarova and David Blair dancing Kenneth MacMillan's version of the ballet when I or 16 or 17, I do rather find it difficult to appreciate version of the iconic ballet. That said, I can't help feeling that this sort of production makes a far better introduction for children to full length ballet than one of the standard Tchaikovsky/Petipa ones with all their acres of walking around to music.

Tanz Teater Wuppertal Pina Bausch will be bringing two of Bausch's classic works to Sadler's Wells, Two Cigarettes in the Dark (from 1985) and Vollmond (from 2006). It will be interesting to see how the company develops without Bausch, but heartening that they are reviving rarely performed works.

The Ballet Boyz (now a registered trademark, what next!) are putting on the Talent 2013, with a group of handpicked artists and new work by Russel Maliphant and Liam Scarlett - quite a contrast in styles there!

Sylive Guillem continues her own trajectory away from ballet with 6000 Miles Away with work by William Forsyth, Matts Ek and Jiri Kyliam. William Forsyth's own company comes to Sadler's Well in June with the UK premiere of a double bill. There is much else beside, hip-hop, flamenco, Cuban dance, Akram Khan, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui (twice, once with the Shaolin Temple monks and Antony Gormley) and Hofesh Schechter.

At the end of June there is Sadler's Sampled, a two week taster menu presenting a variety of dance at low price, including £8 standing tickets. Your chance to try out companies like Rosas and Ictus, or Hofesh Shechter.

Word has also come that the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation is supporting Sadler's Wells with a grant of £48,000 to support their Wild Card programme. This will 'provide a platform for young, active, dynamic choreographers and producers working in dance who have compelling and exciting ideas to present on stage but are outside the current range of programming at Sadler's Wells'. No word on exactly what sort of work, but it does rather sound intriguing.

Further details from the Sadler's Wells Theatre website.

Elsewhere on this blog

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