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PRESS RELEASE: Sadler's Wells announces new commission - a collaboration between Liv Lorent and Carol Ann Duffy

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Sadler's Wells announces new commission - a collaboration between Liv Lorent and Carol Ann Duffy



The Monument Trust awards £600,000 for new work at Sadler’s Wells


Sadler’s Wells is delighted to announce that it has been awarded £600,000 to support its commissioning of new work, an acclaimed feature of the theatre’s artistic policy since 2005.

Made by The Monument Trust, a Sainsbury Family Charitable Trust, the news follows critical acclaim and sell-out performances of recent Sadler’s Wells Commissions in Autumn 2011, including the Sadler’s Wells Production UNDANCE; a collaboration between Mark-Anthony Turnage, Wayne McGregor and Mark Wallinger, plus Olivier-nominated ZooNation’s Some Like it Hip Hop and Olivier-winning Akram Khan’s DESH.

Among the planned new commissions benefitting from the award is a dance theatre collaboration between British choreographer Liv Lorent and Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy.

Marking the most substantial grant Sadler’s Wells has received for new commissions to date, this generous donation from The Monument Trust enables the UK’s leading dance house to plan new projects over a three year period.

Commenting on the award by The Monument Trust, Sadler’s Wells Chief Executive and Artistic Director Alistair Spalding said “We are extremely grateful to The Monument Trust for its recognition and endorsement of our commissioning policy. This generous grant is a significant boost allowing Sadler’s Wells to maintain its commitment to supporting artists to create new work, which in addition to developing new talent, lies at the heart of our vision for dance.”

Future new Sadler’s Wells commissions are planned for a host of Associate Artists of the theatre, Jasmin Vardimon, Hofesh Shechter, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Resident Company Wayne McGregor | Random Dance as well as other artists with whom Sadler’s Wells has worked, including Michael Keegan-Dolan, Daniel Linehan and Liv Lorent.

One of the first productions to benefit from the award is a new commission from established contemporary dance company balletLORENT, for a large scale collaboration between choreographer Liv Lorent, Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, composer Murray Gold (Doctor Who, Shameless, Torchwood) and costume designer Michele Clapton (HBO’s Game of Thrones).

Following a period of research and development within Sadler’s Wells’ Jerwood Studio programme - generously supported by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation, Sadler’s Wells and New Writing North commissioned Newcastle-based choreographer Liv Lorent to create a contemporary version of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale Rapunzel for the theatre’s main stage in March 2013.

Rapunzel marks Carol Ann Duffy’s first collaboration for dance, following previous experience of writing for the stage. Writing a new version of the classic story, she comments; “Fairy tales are both strange and familiar, frightening and reassuring, and provide a map of childhood which we can still use as adults to remember who we are. Their re-telling and reinterpretation is part of the lifeblood of literature”

With plans to feature a cast of young children on stage alongside eight professional dancers, with actress Lesley Sharp as narrator, the work is inspired by the dark tale’s central themes; a woman’s longing for a child, promises and deceit, sexual jealousy, loyalty, loneliness, vengeance and redemption. Liv Lorent’s theatrical, narrative dance work has previously been presented at Sadler’s Wells predominantly in the Lilian Baylis Studio, and this co-commission marks her first production for the main stage, and the realisation of a long-cherished idea.

Liv Lorent says; “Most of us remember Rapunzel’s hair and the tower, but we’re a bit hazy on the rest of the story. It has been told again and again and reinterpreted for children of today through versions like Disney’s Tangled, but we’re telling an older, slightly darker version, more akin to its Grimm tale origins. We’ve included a part of the story which is usually neglected and will be telling it through the eyes of different characters.”

In 2005 Alistair Spalding announced his vision for Sadler’s Wells to become a producing house for dance, appointing a host of world class Associate Artists and Resident Companies including Sylvie Guillem, Russell Maliphant, Matthew Bourne and his company New Adventures and Wayne McGregor and his company Wayne McGregor | Random Dance. To date Sadler’s Wells has commissioned, produced and co-produced over 80 new dance works, many of which have toured the world to global audiences, under the theatre’s banner.

In the seven years since Sadler’s Wells became a producing house, the theatre has received generous support for the commissioning of new work from a number of trusts and foundations including the Garfield Weston Foundation, Foyle Foundation, Sir Siegmund Warburg Voluntary Settlement, John Ellerman Foundation as well as from a number of individuals and long-standing supporters of the theatre.

Rapunzel by balletLORENT is co-produced by Northern Stage and commissioned by Sadler's Wells and New Writing North, in association with Durham Book Festival. Research supported by Jerwood Studio at Sadler's Wells.

It premieres at Durham Book Festival from 18 – 20 October 2012, followed by performances at Hull Truck Theatre on 23 & 24 November, at Northern Stage, Newcastle in February 2013 and at Sadler’s Wells for Family Weekend in March 2013, as part of the company’s planned national touring programme.

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In today's Times there is an an interview with Carol Ann Duffy in which she discusses, amongst other things, balletLORENT's Rapunzel. According to the article the ballet will tour to Northern Stage in Newcastle and Sadler's Wells. Other venues were not specifically mentioned.

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