News: Sadler's Wells 2013

Tuesday 30 October 2012

Akram Khan Company 'iTMOi (in the mind of Igor)' A new production celebrating the centenary of Stravinsky's 'Rite of Spring'. Photo: Richard Haughton.

Next year Sadler’s Wells marks the 15th anniversary of the opening of the current building and this morning announced some of the new initiatives, productions and performances which will feature in the season. Highlights include:

  • A String of Rites, a series of shows celebrating the centenary of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring – including iTMOi (in the mind of Igor) – a new commission by Akram Khan, with an original score by Nitin Sawnhey, Jocelyn Pook and Ben Frost
  • A spring season of two Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch works – Two Cigarettes in the Dark (1985) and Vollmond (2006). The company will now visit London every year.
  • Visits from The National Ballet of Canada and The Forsythe Company.

Breakin’ Convention, the annual festival of international hip hop dance theatre celebrates its tenth anniversary and Sadler’s Sampled will be a two week proms season, aimed at bringing world class dance to the widest possible audience – with performances from Hofesh Shechter Company and Rosas, amongst others.

The programme for 2013 will include contributions from all Sadler’s Wells Associate Artists – with newly appointed Michael Keegan-Dolan (Director of Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre) bringing the number of Associates to fifteen.

Auditions will be taking place around the UK in the next few weeks for the new National Youth Dance Company, which will be based at Sadler’s Wells. Under the Artistic Directorship of Jasmin Vardimon, the company will be performing for the first time on the main stage in summer 2013.

Sadler’s Wells is also launching a new initiative to support the next generation of dance artists. Six young choreographers will become New Wave Associates and receive support over a two-year period in a scheme supported by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation. They are: Alexander Whitley, Daniel Linehan, Hetain Patel, Rocio Molina, Tao Dance Theatre and Wilkie Branson.

Making these announcements at a press conference today, Artistic Director and Chief Executive Alistair Spalding ended his statement by expressing his grave concerns for the future of dance in the face of Education Secretary Michael Gove’s proposal to exclude it, alongside other art subjects, from the English Baccalaureate which will replace GCSEs from 2015.

“We are currently reaping the rewards that the investment in dance education has brought us,” he said. “Many of the choreographers and dancers that we work with at Sadler’s Wells have benefited from early exposure to the art form. The route to a career in dance is now under threat.”

Alongside leaders of other prominent dance organisations he was written to Michael Gove asking him to reconsider. In an open letter to The Telegraph they say:
“.. the Education Secretary appears to have ignored the warning in the Henley report on cultural learning that the absence of subjects such as dance from the new curriculum “runs the risk of devaluing these subjects within schools, with a consequent removal of financial investment”. The Government has accepted the report’s recommendation for a National Youth Dance Company, but where will its members come from if they are not encouraged at school?”
Read more in the Telegraph, 18 October

Images: Akram Khan Company ‘iTMOi (in the mind of Igor)’. Photo: Richard Haughton.

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