Sadler's Wells puts Osipova, Breakin' Convention and more online

Published: 21 April 2020
Reporter: Vera Liber

Natalia Osipova in Pure Dance: Ave Maria Credit: Johan Persson

Sadler’s Wells' next four Facebook Premieres for its Digital Stage, its free online performance programme will include ballet superstar Natalia Osipova, Taiwan’s Cloud Gate Dance Theatre, UK choreographer Alexander Whitley and Sadler’s Wells’ Breakin’ Convention. Performances will be screened live on Fridays at 7:30PM on the Sadler’s Wells Facebook page, then available on demand for a further seven days.

Osipova will present a trio of classical and contemporary works featuring Russian choreographer Alexei Ratmansky’s Valse Triste and Ave Maria by Japanese choreographer Yuka Oishi, both of which originally featured in Osipova’s Pure Dance at Sadler’s Wells in 2018, as well as Qutb, created for Osipova by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui in 2016 and performed with Jason Kittelberger and James O’Hara. An Evening with Natalia Osipova screens Friday 24 April at 7:30PM on Facebook Premiere.

On Friday 1 May, hip hop dance theatre festival Breakin’ Convention looks back to 2018 on the weekend that this year’s festival was due to take place. In 2018 Breakin’ Convention featured a collaboration with live jazz organisation Jazz re:freshed to bring together musicians across jazz, hip-hop and beyond with and a score by Jason Yarde to accompany five newly commissioned dance works. Artists and companies performing included The Locksmiths, The Ruggeds, Boy Blue, Ayanna Witter-Johnson and Mufasa, Tanaya ‘Ice’ Martin and host Jonzi D. On Saturday 2 May, Breakin’ Convention also presents a virtual festival across its digital channels, featuring highlights from past festival programmes, workshops, talks and wellbeing sessions.

On Friday 8 May, Sadler’s Wells New Wave Associate Artist Alexander Whitley will present 8 Minutes, which combines film and dance in a journey to the sun in a collaboration with scientists from STFC RAL Space. This production, which premièred at Sadler’s Wells in 2017, features a score by the electro-acoustic music innovator Daniel Wohl and an installation of high-definition imagery from BAFTA-winning visual artist Tal Rosner.

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre visited Sadler’s Wells in February with 13 Tongues and Dust, created by new Artistic Director Cheng Tsung-Lung and founding Director Lin Hwai-Min respectively. Set to Bach’s Suites for Solo Cello, Lin’s Moon Water was first performed at Sadler’s Wells in 2002. Inspired by the Buddhist proverb “Flowers in a mirror and moon on the water are both illusive”, mirrors and gently moving water gradually fill the stage and reflect the dancers’ movements. Moon Water screens on Friday 15 May.

The fourth Company of Elders workshop for older adults will be available on Wednesday 22 April, hosted by New Adventures Resident Artist Paul Smethurst, who will focus on New Adventures’ signature style of dance theatre and teach introductory swing moves alongside adapted choreography from Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake.

On Wednesday 29 April, International Dance Day, the fifth Company of Elders workshop for older adults is presented by rehearsal director Simona Scotto, who will lead a ballet-based session. All workshops can be found online via the Sadler’s Wells Facebook and YouTube channels.

This week also sees the première of a screen dance film directed by Ben Williams featuring the National Youth Dance Company, inspired by their tour of MADHEAD, by the 2018–19 Guest Artistic Director Botis Seva, last summer. It is available to watch on demand on Sadler’s Wells' YouTube page.