Sadler's Wells Spring 2020 highlights
Sadler’s Wells Spring 2020 programme is an enticing cornucopia of old and new, orthodox and left field, experimental and crowd-pleasing. Here are some hard-to-pick highlights
The Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite’s collaboration with the playwright Jonathon Young – the Olivier awardwinning Betroffenheit – topped The Guardian’s recent list of Best Dance this century (so far).
Another collaboration between these two extraordinary artists is, therefore, cause for celebration. With Pite’s own company, Kidd Pivot, they tackle Nikolai Gogol’s 1836 farce, The Inspector General (Revizor in Russian) through text, music and Pite’s powerful movement. Details here
Photo: Revisor, Doug Letheren © Michaal Slobodian
Picking up where he left off with Giselle, Akram Khan resumes his hugely successful collaboration with English National Ballet with a new full-length piece: Creature. Inspired by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and the classical myth of Prometheus, Khan’s new work is a tale of human overreach with horrifying consequences.
Khan is joined by regular collaborators Oscar-winning designer Tim Yipp, lighting designer Michael Hulls. dramaturge Ruth Little and composer and sound designer Vincenzo Lamagna. Details here
Photo Akram Kahn © Max Barnett
A firm favourite with Sadler’s Wells audiences, Tanztheatre Wuppertal Pina Bausch gives the UK its first view of Bluebeard, a 1977 work which has been absent from the company’s repertoire for over two decades.
In its characteristic expressionist style, the work centres on a man compulsively playing and replaying passages of Bartók’s opera Bluebeard’s Castle, with the dancers exploring clashes between men and women, transgressions and taboos. Details here
Photo Tanztheater Wuppertal, Bluebeard, photo Maarten van den Abeele
The Irish choreographer Michael Keegan-Dolan dazzled Sadler’s Wells audiences with his audacious reimagining of Swan Lake, set in a rural Irish community.
Now Keegan-Dolan brings us MÁM – named after the Irish word that refers to what connects two sides of a mountain – a study of life’s polarities, which brings together the Irish concertina player Cormac Begley, the contemporary collective, s t a r g a z e and 12 dancers from Keegan-Dolan’s company, Teaċ Daṁsa. Details here
One of the most entrancing dancers of our times, Alina Cojucaru, currently a lead principal dancer with English National Ballet and resident guest artist with Hamburg Ballet, curates her own ‘me’ project.
She’ll be joined by her husband, the Danish dancer Johan Kobborg and other, as yet unnamed, ballet stars in a programme of classic and contemporary works that includes Marguerite and Armand, Ashton’s intense distillation of La Dame aux Camélias. Details here
Alina Cojucaru photo Morgan Norman
Simultaneously a celebration and a wake, Final Edition marks the very last performances of Richard Alston Dance Company, following the shock announcement a year ago that it was being wound up.
For 25 years Richard Alston Dance Company has brought the unalloyed joy of dancing to our stages, with the choreographer's immediately identifiable style of movement and unique musicality.
The final programme, a varied quadruple bill, includes Alston’s final work for the company: Shine On, choreographed on Benjamin Britten’s On This Island, with live performances from the pianist Jason Ridgway, and the singer Katherine McIndoe. Details here
Photo Richard Alston's Carnaval, photo Chris Nash
Alexander Whitley is one of the most talented choreographers to have emerged over the past few years. He is also fascinated with science and possessed of a daring imagination.
All that comes together in his latest work, Overflow, which explores what it means to be human in the era of big data. As well as Whitley's meticulous choreography, Overflow features a kinetic light sculpture by Children of the Light, costumes by fashion artist Ana Rajcevic and a new score by composer Ryan Lee West (aka Rival Consoles) of Black Mirror fame. Details here
Photo Alexander Whitley's Overflow © Tom Andrew
Sadler’s Wells hosts some of the shows of the 2020 London International Mime Festival, among them the zany antics of the French contemporary circus company Galactik Ensemble.
In a thrilling, fast-moving, ahhh-provoking show, Optraken, five fearless acrobats fight with a hostile set, where walls shift and firecrackers explode. An exhilarating show for the whole family. Details here
Photo Galactik Ensemble, Optraken © N Martinez
With his pioneering work for DV8 Physical Theatre, Lloyd Newson is widely acknowledged to have broken new ground in dance theatre. Now, together with Rambert and former DV8 performers, Newson is reworking his seminal 1995 Enter Achilles, an unflinching examination of traditional notions of masculinity.
Described by the Sunday Times as ‘funny, moving, disturbing’ Enter Achilles is as pertinent now as it was two decades ago, and is a must-see in a season packed with unmissable shows. Details here
Photo Lloyd Newson's Enter Achilles © Hugo Glendinning
A regular visitor to the Peacock Theatre, and ever the crowd-pleaser, Argentine tango champion German Cornejo returns with his company and a new show, Tango After Dark.
To music by the tango composer and bandoneon player Astor Piazzolla, Cornejo's ensemble of 10 superb dancers will strut their often breathtaking stuff with the help of two singers and seven musicians playing Piazzolla’s Nuevo Tango. Details here
Photo Tango After Dark © Federico Paleo
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