Opera North and Sadlers Wells return to Latitude

David Chadderton

The first release of acts at this year's Latitude Festival includes the return of Opera North and a programme from Sadler's Wells, its tenth year at the festival, which includes Matthew Bourne's New Adventures, as well as a new work from BalletBoyz.

Opera North Projects will transform Latitude’s woodlands into "a magical immersive soundscape" when it brings Underworld to The Faraway Forest—a Greek mythology experience formed through words, music and light. Find a path through the Forest and listen out for Orpheus: his voice is in the trees and under the ground; it’s coming.

Sadler’s Wells will present a diverse programme including Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures with an extract from Town and Country. Country is "a heartfelt pastiche" to the music of Edward Elgar, Noël Coward and Percy Grainger, amongst others.

Sisters Grimm’s Voices of the Amazon tells the tale of a water spirit from the Amazon River through contemporary ballet and capoeira, accompanied by live music by Brazilian songwriters and percussionists Olodum. Sadler’s Wells will present the BBC Young Dancer 2017 Finalists, a showcase of the best of young British dance talent from the competition’s finalists. The Get-Down, featuring Boy Blue Entertainment, is a showcase of hip-hop theatre featuring performances and demonstrations set to a live DJ soundtrack.

Completing the Sadler’s Wells line-up is National Youth Dance Company with its latest production Tarantiseismic, created by 2016–2017 Guest Artistic Director Damien Jalet, addressing themes such as melancholia, ritual, control and abandon.

BalletBoyz will be bringing its new work Life. to the Waterfront Stage, featuring two new commissions from choreographers Pontus Lidberg and Javier de Frutos. Life. takes a look at life and death performed by an all-male company of ten dancers.

Hip-hop choreographer and dancer Botis Seva will return to the festival with his company Far From the Norm and its new work Da Native, which will explore cultural displacement through a high-energy combination of physical theatre, contemporary dance and hip-hop.

Tania Harrison, Latitude’s Arts Curator said, “Latitude celebrates the very best artists, both emergent and established, across myriad art forms, and this ethos is embodied in the fullness and diversity of the Dance bill for this summer. We’re incredibly proud to offer audiences not only the chance to see the very best ballet, hip-hop and contemporary dance from around the globe, but also the opportunity to learn from these companies through practice, with BalletBoyz, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, and Far From The Norm each offering the Latitude audience the chance to take part in a workshop or class on our iconic Waterfront Stage.”

The music line-up is headlined by The 1975, Mumford & Sons and Fleet Foxes with big names such as Goldfrapp, John Cale, The Divine Comedy, Mavis Staples, Placebo, Fatboy Slim, Ride, Will Young, Imelda May and poet Benjamin Zephaniah also on the bill.

Many more acts yet to be announced are promised on all stages.