Sadler’s Wells spring 2019 season

Published: 18 October 2018

The Sadler’s Wells Spring 2019 season will include a new collaboration between long-standing artistic partners Russell Maliphant and Michael Hulls whose The Thread (15 to 17 March) is inspired by Greek mythology and historic Hellenic dances set to the music of Greek composer Vangelis, whose famous score for Chariots of Fire won him an Oscar in 1981.

Damien Jalet, who choreographed Hussein Chalayan’s Gravity Fatigue in 2015, collaborates with Japanese experimental sculptor Kohei Nawa for Vessel (16 and 17 April). Blurring the lines between human form and its environment and inspired by the body’s composition predominantly being made up of water, the seven near-naked dancers inhabit a stage flooded with more than 7,500 litres of water.

Chinese choreographer Yang Liping collaborates with lighting designer Fabiana Piccioli and designer Tim Yip (9 to 11 May) for her radical retelling of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, using the original score alongside original compositions inspired by Tibetan music. This is one of three works in the season that re-imagines the famously controversial 1913 piece.

San Francisco Ballet returns to Sadler’s Wells for the first time since 2012 with ten UK premières. Included in the four mixed programmes of pieces by choreographers such as Cathy Marston, Alexei Ratmansky, Liam Scarlett and Christopher Wheeldon is Arthur Pita’s Björk Ballet, inspired by the music and with the rare permission of Icelandic singer Björk Guðmundsdóttir.

Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker places world-renowned cellist Jean-Guihen Queryas at the centre of her latest piece Mitten wir im Leben sind/Bach6Cellosuiten (24 and 25 April) featuring all six of Bach’s Cello Suites played live.

For its triple bill (14 to 18 May), Rambert presents a new piece by Marion Motin, whose hip hop-influenced style is best known through her work for Christine and the Queens, while English National Ballet returns with its second mixed bill programme dedicated to female choreography. She Persisted (4 to 13 April) features Pina Bausch’s Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring) and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s Frida Kahlo-inspired Broken Wings, as well as the première of Nora, a new work by Stina Quagebeur, based on Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House.

Matthew Bourne creates a new production of Romeo and Juliet (7 to 31 August), with set and costume design by Lez Brotherston and new orchestrations of the Prokofiev score by Terry Davies, played live by the New Adventures Orchestra and conducted by Brett Morris.

The 16th annual international festival of hip hop dance theatre, Breakin’ Convention, will be hosted by Associate Artist Jonzi D featuring crews and artists from around the world and at home (3 to 5 May). Challenging assumptions that dance is only for the young, the Elixir Extracts Festival (14 to 16 June) features Alesandra Seutin’s new work for the theatre’s resident Company of Elders in a mixed bill that celebrates 30 years of an over-60s programme at Sadler’s Wells.

At The Peacock, Phoenix Dance Company also celebrates the Rite of Spring with a version by Haitian contemporary and folklore choreographer Jeanguy Saintus (27 and 28 June). For his first work created in the UK, Saintus introduces the sacred arts of Haiti along with contemporary global issues.

It will also present two Wild Card programmes, from Keira Martin (9 May) and Stefan Jovanovic (6 and 7 June), offering the two emerging artists the chance to curate an evening of work for the Lilian Baylis Studio, which will also see a world première by Nora: Stephanie McMann, Eleanor Sikorski and Flora Wellesley Wesley. Where Home Is (24 and 25 April) features artistic direction from American dance artist Deborah Hay.

Two Sadler’s Wells productions will be presented abroad in spring 2019, and a total of six touring between October 2018 and June 2019: Sutra, Dystopian Dream, A Quiet Evening of Dance, Vamos Cuba!, Michael Hulls’s LightSpace and Pure Dance.

Vera Liber