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Press Release: Lilian Baylis Studio Spring 2018 programme

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Lilian Baylis Studio Spring 2018 programme


Sadler’s Wells’ Lilian Baylis Studio presents new perspectives and early career artists in a season of vibrant works that explore topics ranging from music and community to astrophysics.

The Spring 2018 season features three Wild Card events, offering artists the opportunity to curate an evening of work and broaden ideas about dance being made today. Also in the season is a gender-fluid, Hispanic interpretation of the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast by rising star Carlos Pons Guerra; a collaborative piece on historical and contemporary notions of craft by Roberta Jean with an exceptional ensemble of female dancers; and a new work by Jonathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion, featuring local artists.

Sadler’s Wells’ Artistic Programmer Eva Martinez said: “At Sadler’s Wells, the Lilian Baylis Studio is where you can encounter some of the most current developments about what dance and choreography can be, both home grown and from further shores. Year round, the Lilian Baylis Studio offers a carefully curated programme of singular perspectives from many of the most thought-provoking dance makers working today.”

Tickets for the Spring 2018 season are on public sale from today, Monday 6 November, via www.sadlerswells.com and 020 7863 8000.

Lilian Baylis Studio Ticket Office: 020 7863 8000 or sadlerswells.com

The Lilian Baylis Studio Spring 2018 Season in detail:


WILD CARD: Neon Dance                                                                      
Thursday 22 March
Tickets: £17

Wild card returns with a bespoke evening curated by Adrienne Hart and her company Neon Dance. Special guests from different disciplines feature in the programme as dance, live music, video and lighting design encounter each other. This event is part of Nils Fram’s Piano Day, a creative international celebration initiated by the acclaimed Berlin music producer and pianist.  

Adrienne Hart is a Sadler's Wells Summer University artist

Pre-show activities: Thursday 22 March from 7pm

WILD CARD: Spoken Movement                                                           
Thursday 12 April 
Tickets: £17

Kwame Asafo-Adjei, founder and artistic director of Spoken Movement, tackles the concept of identity within Black culture across time and space.

Together with special guest artists rooted in hip hop, Spoken Movement opens up a dialogue on cultural hierarchy, challenges social constructs and explores how these elements have shaped culture today.

Kwame Asafo-Adjei is a Sadler's Wells Summer University artist 

Pre-Show activities: Thursday 12 April from 7pm

Contains strong language

DeNada Dance Theatre                                                                           
TORO – Beauty and the Bull
Wednesday 25 & Thursday 26 April
Tickets: £17

DeNada Dance Theatre comes to Sadler’s Wells with a new production following a guest appearance in a Wild Card evening last autumn. Boldly approaching the erotic themes within the story, TORO is a gender-fluid, Hispanic interpretation of the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast.

Lead by Spanish choreographer Carlos Pons Guerra and set in a dystopian South America, TORO is a darkly comic and melodramatic tragedy. In a heady world of conquistadors, female bulls, virgin lands and animals in drag, discover the monsters created by men through power, fear and oppression. DeNada Dance Theatre was nominated for “Best Independent Company” by the UK Critics’ National Dance Award in 2016.  

Contains nudity and sexual references

Post-Show talk: Wednesday 25 April



Jonathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion                                                
Any Table Any Room
Thursday 10 & Friday 11 May 
Tickets: £17

Burrows and Fargion return to Sadler’s Wells with Any Table Any Room, a new work welcoming four local artists to join them on stage: Seke Chimutengwende, Tanja Erhart, Jacky Lansley and Alesandra Seutin.

How possible is community? How do we retain our autonomy while being in a group?  Using 72 clay objects created by the performers, communal singing and Indian drones on smartphones, Any Table Any Room is a gregarious exploration of the pleasures and demands of being and working together.  

“There is a beguiling mix of the scholarly, the quizzical and the righteously indignant that is unique to Fargion and Burrows” The Guardian on Body Not Fit for Purpose.

WILD CARD: Humanhood                                                                      
Thursday 24 & Friday 25 May 
Tickets: £17

Humanhood’s universe collides with Sadler’s Wells for a specially curated evening as part of the popular Wild Card series. Fascinated with the complexities of physics, astrophysics and Eastern mysticism, company founders, Rudi Cole and Júlia Robert Parés present an exploration into the deep connections which lie between these seemingly abstract fields. Through visual and sonic experiences, be transported to a place beyond the senses and discover the influences these disciplines have upon our knowledge of individual and collective identity.

Alongside special guest artists, this is a chance to see this young company’s latest works, including ZERO.

“Extraordinary performance... Like time stopped” Exeunt Magazine

Pre-Show activities: Thursday 24 and Friday 25 May from 7pm

Roberta Jean                                                                                          
Thursday 31 May & Friday 01 June
Tickets: £17

Roberta Jean presents a poetic response to historical and contemporary notions of craft and physical work in Brocade. Created in collaboration with and performed by an exceptional ensemble of female dancers including Stephanie McMann, Helka Kaski and Laura Dannequin, this intimate piece also features live music by Angharad Davies. 

Across the stage, movement and sound are propelled along a catwalk, sewn together by the rhythmic cadence of beats and jumps. Sonic textures resonate with the presence of the women forging alliances. Somewhere between a procession and a concert, Brocade has the precision, strength and delicacy of an intricate piece of lace. 



Sadler’s Wells is a world-leading creative organisation dedicated to dance in all its forms. With over three centuries of theatrical heritage and a year-round programme of performances and learning activities, its goal is to motivate everyone to experience dance – to take part, learn, experiment and be inspired. Audiences of over half a million come to Sadler’s Wells’ London theatres each year, with many more enjoying its touring productions at partner venues across the UK and around the world, or accessing its content through digital channels. 

Sadler’s Wells commissions and presents more new dance work than any other theatre in the world, embracing the popular and the unknown. Since 2005, it has helped to bring over 140 new dance works to the stage, many of them involving its 16 Associate Artists, three Resident Companies and four Associate Companies – the most exciting talents working in dance today. It also nurtures the next generation of talent through its artist development initiatives, and reaches over 25,000 annually through its learning and engagement programmes.

Located in Islington, north London, the current theatre is the sixth to have stood on the site since it was first built by entrepreneur Richard Sadler in 1683. The venue has played an illustrious role in the history of theatre ever since with The Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet and English National Opera having all started at Sadler’s Wells. Sadler’s Wells is a charity and a National Portfolio Organisation, currently receiving 10% of its revenue from Arts Council England.




Wild Card is a unique initiative providing a glimpse of the rich variety of work that makes up the current dance landscape. Increasingly popular with audiences and artists alike, Wild Card opens the stage to an exciting and adventurous community of dance makers, giving a broad range of artists the unique opportunity to curate their own programmes of dance. These specially curated evenings feature exploratory approaches to choreography and combine different mediums, broadening audiences’ perspectives on dance made today. 

Wild Card is part of Sadler’s Wells’ programme of support for young and emerging dance talent, alongside other initiatives including the New Wave Associates programme, Sadler’s Wells Summer University and hosting the National Youth Dance Company.


Launched in 2010 through an open call, Sadler's Wells Summer University supports the development of professional dance artists interested in extending their practice. The first edition of the project ran successfully in 2010-2014 and Sadler’s Wells is now mid-way through the second edition which runs 2015-2018. Summer University offers dance professionals the chance to take part in a four year project, meeting for two weeks each year to share work, hear talks, explore methodologies and philosophies of performance making and extend their own practice through self-study and focussed interventions. The current Summer University artists are: Kwame Asafo-Adjei, Neil Callaghan, Theo Clinkard, Katye Coe, Nicola Conibere, James Cousins, Dan Daw, Antonio de la Fe, Adrienne Hart, Alexandrina Hemsley, Stefan Jovanovic, Stephanie McMann, Joe Moran, Patricia Okenwa, Katerina Paramana, Eva Recacha, Alesandra Seutin, Charlotte Spencer, Pepa Ubera and Marquez Zangs.


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