Sadler’s Wells 'socially distanced' autumn season

Published: 8 October 2020
Reporter: Vera Liber

ENB's Fernanda Oliveira and Fabian Reimair Credit: Dana Fouras
Overflow by Alexander Whitley Credit: Johan Persson
Boy Blue Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian

The Sadler’s Wells season of live dance and digital content for autumn 2020 includes performances for 'socially distanced' audiences and online, including English National Ballet, Alexander Whitley Dance Company, Breakin’ Convention and Ballo Arthur Pita.

ENB returns 19–21 November to Sadler’s Wells with An Evening with English National Ballet, featuring choreography by Arielle Smith, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Russell Maliphant, Yuri Possokhov and Stina Quagebeur.

Alexander Whitley Dance Company’s new work Overflow receives its London première 27–28 November, while Breakin’ Convention returns 11–12 December with Social DisDancing, featuring new performances from Boy Blue, AIM and Jamaal O’Driscoll. Ballo Arthur Pita’s The Little Match Girl returns 17–27 December, staged in Sadler’s Wells Theatre for the first-time following Christmas performances in the Lilian Baylis Studio.

Digital Stage In Focus continues online featuring collaborations with ZooNation: The Kate Prince Company 19–30 October and Candoco Dance Company 23 November–4 December, plus a new documentary charting the National Youth Dance Company’s Sadler’s Wells residency and Sadler’s Wells' first virtual gala.

NYDC were halfway through their creative process with Guest Artistic Director Russell Maliphant when the UK went into lockdown and their April residency, première and national tour had to be cancelled. The documentary captures the residency which took place at the end of August under strict 'social distancing' measures, in which the 39 dancers returned to rehearse, re-work and share extracts with friends and family.

On 5 December, Sadler’s Wells will present its first Global Gala, an hour-long, free to access, online showcase of performances and messages from artists and ambassadors to celebrate and support dance.

Sadler’s Wells Artistic Director and CEO, Alistair Spalding, said, "getting to the stage where we can welcome audiences, artists and colleagues back to our theatre feels like a huge achievement, in light of the continuing pandemic, and I'm cautiously optimistic that these socially distant performances are just the first steps on the path of reopening fully.

"Performance opportunities, like the ones we are announcing today, are critical for dancers and choreographers at all stages of their careers. It's vital that we at Sadler’s Wells keep innovating so that we can create opportunities for our community of artists, companies and colleagues during and after the pandemic so that we can all continue to serve our global audiences."