Sadler’s Wells to open new venue in Stratford

Published: 12 November 2021
Reporter: Vera Liber

Night view, architects O'Donnell and Tuomey Credit: Sadler's Wells

Sadler’s Wells East Hip Hop Theatre Academy and Choreographic School is due to open in its new venue in Stratford’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in 2023.

The Choreographic School is a programme of activity offering up to 13 early career artists the opportunity to develop their choreographic practice over a two-year period, with modules and mentorship led by established choreographers, the first three being William Forsythe, Lin Hwai-Min and Alesandra Seutin.

The Hip Hop Theatre Academy is a two-year course for students aged 16–19 which aims to develop the next generation of hip hop theatre artists, run by Jonzi D, Artistic Director of Breakin’ Convention. It will offer intensive, practical training in hip hop performing arts, with a focus on live performance and theatre production.

Students will achieve a Level 3 Extended Diploma. The course will cover all the artistic elements of hip hop theatre, including classes in breaking, popping and hip hop dance, as well as rap, DJing, beatmaking, and graffiti.

Jonzi D said, “hip hop culture has produced the fastest growing artistic movement on earth. And now breaking is going to be part of the Olympics in 2024. With our new home being in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and part of the Olympic legacy, it makes sense that breaking is recognised as both an art and a sport. I am so excited that through Breaking GB we can welcome the very best of the breaking world to Sadler’s Wells East to use the fantastic spaces and facilities there, and students at our Hip Hop Theatre Academy can benefit from their expertise.”

Sadler’s Wells East will open in 2023 with Our Mighty Groove, a reworking of Vicki Igbokwe’s dance theatre show set in an underground nightclub in New York that was first seen as part of a Wild Card evening curated by Igbokwe at Sadler’s Wells in 2013, featuring professional and non-professional dancers from the local area.