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Sadler’s Wells is delighted to welcome dancers back to its building for the first time since lockdown, with a special residency and sharing of work from National Youth Dance Company (NYDC) and Guest Artistic Director Russell Maliphant. The 2019/20 cohort will reunite at the company’s home at Sadler’s Wells to complete their year, culminating in a set of private COVID-secure sharings for friends and family 

NYDC were half way through their creative process with Russell Maliphant when the UK went into lockdown as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Their April residency, premiere and national tour had to be cancelled. Now, the 39 dancers will be returning to Sadler’s Wells to rehearse, re-work and share extracts from the originally conceived work in progress.  

The dancers will work in small groups of no more than 10, enabling them to follow social distancing measures. Each group will rehearse separately for four days at Sadler’s Wells, and then share their work on the final day of their short, intensive residency. The sharings will be staggered between 27 August and 5 September. The events will be attended by a privately invited audience of friends and family, giving the young dancers a special moment to complete their year and share their practice, whilst reflecting on the year that has passed and celebrating the company 

These are the first events staged at Sadler’s Wells since it closed its doors as a result of the escalating coronavirus crisis in March 2020, with this residency being the first time that artists and dancers have returned to work in the building since that time. These events also mark the first steps taken by Sadler’Wells as the organisation works towards re-opening and ways to present work and welcome audiences with social distancing measures in place.   

National Youth Dance Company is the country’s flagship company for young dancers run by Sadler’s Wells. It creates and performs innovative and influential dance, bringing together some of the brightest dance talent from across England and Wales to work with acclaimed dance artists. Now in its eighth year, the 2019/2020 company’s guest Artistic Director is internationally renowned choreographer Russell Maliphant.The next cohort of dancers for 2020-2021 will be led by guest Artistic Director Alesandra Seutin, with recruitment of the cohort beginning this October 

This year’s full-length dance pieceto be created by the dancers and Russell during their year-long experience, was due to premiere at  DanceEast on 18 April. This was meant to be followed by a UK tour culminating in a performance on the main stage at Sadler’s Wells in July. However, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, all intended NYDC activity was cancelled in spring 2020. Despite this, the company adapted creatively, quickly assembling a ‘digital residency’ in April - with dancers, choreographers and guest speakers meeting together each day online. Since the end of the residency, the company has continued to keep in touch online. 

Outside of dance, life has been hugely unsettled for the NYDC company this year: schools have been closedexams disrupted, and future training opportunities changed. These unique events are a reimagined celebration of the company members, representing the culmination of NYDCs year, and its dancers’ resilience, talent and hard workbefore, during and after lockdown 

Alistair Spalding, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Sadler’s Wells, said: “We are delighted that the dancers of NYDC are able to return to their artistic home at Sadler’s Wells, create and rehearse work with Russell Maliphant, and share that work from the Sadler’s Wells stage with their friends and family. The coronavirus pandemic has had a profound effect on all dance artists, professionals and organisations. This effect has been acutely felt by the talented young dancers of NYDC. So, it feels very special to have these dancers be the first back on our stages since lockdown began, as we take our first steps towards reopening our theatresWith all the challenges we have faced and will face, this feels like a welcome act of optimism and hope for the future of dance and Sadler's Wells. 

Hannah Kirkpatrick, General Manager for NYDC, said: It feels wonderful to overcome the challenges created by coronavirus, and enable the NYDC dancers to complete their year in person at Sadler’s WellsDesigning and organising this project under social distancing requirements is completely unprecedented for us, but being able to do it is a testament to the hard work and dedication of these dancers and the support and leadership they have had from Russell Maliphant, his artistic team and Sadler’s Wells staff. The work reflects the beautiful diversity of the company--in their dance styles and backgrounds--and we are so pleased to open the theatre up to the company’s family and friends for these unique events. 

Please note that these are private sharings for friends and family of NYDC. 




About Sadler’s Wells   
Sadler's Wells is a world-leading dance organisation, committed to producing, commissioning and presenting new works and to bringing the best domestic and international dance to UK and worldwide audiences. Under the Artistic Directorship of Alistair Spalding, the theatre’s acclaimed year-round programme spans dance of every kind, from contemporary to flamenco, Bollywood to ballet, salsa to street dance and tango to tap.  

Audiences of over half a million come to Sadler’s Wells’ three London theatres each year, with many more enjoying its touring productions at venues across the UK and around the world and accessing its content through its Digital Stage. Sadler's Wells commissions, produces and presents more dance than any other theatre in the world, embracing the popular and the unknown. Since 2005, it has helped to bring over 180 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.   
Sadler’s Wells own productions have toured to some of the most prestigious theatres and festivals around the world, such as the Sydney Opera House, the Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival in New York, and the National Centre for Performing Arts in Beijing.  
Sadler’s Wells also nurtures the next generation of talent through a range of artist development initiatives including its New Wave Associates programmes, its Wild Card initiative and the National Youth Dance Company. A further 30,000 individuals take part in its learning and engagement programmes each year.  
During the Covid-19 crisis, Sadler’s Wells has continued to connect with global audiences through its Digital Stage, an online programme of performances and workshops for people to watch at home. Since 27 March 2020, the programme has been enjoyed by audiences all over the world, generating over 2.7 million video views globally.  
Sadler’s Wells is an Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation and currently receives approximately 10% of its revenue from Arts Council England. www.sadlerswells.com    

About National Youth Dance Company  
Founded in 2012, and run by Sadler’s Wells, NYDC is an exciting young company that creates and performs innovative and influential dance, drawing together some of the brightest young talent from across the country. The company has a track record of putting young people on paths to successful dance careers, with over 80% of NYDC dancers going onto further dance studies, in vocational training or working professionally.   
NYDC is jointly funded by Arts Council England and the Department for Education. Since NYDC’s inception in 2012:   


  • 240 dancers have joined the company, working intensively with renowned dance artists including Guest Artistic Directors: Jasmin Vardimon (2012-13), Akram Khan (2013-14), Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui (2014-15), Michael Keegan Dolan (2015-16), Damien Jalet (2016-17), Sharon Eyal (2017-18)  Botis Seva (2018-19) and Russell Maliphant (2019-20). These 240 dancers come from over 80 different towns and cities in England  
  • Over 3,500 young people have worked with the company   
  • NYDC has delivered 147 workshops in 44 different venues across 29 towns and cities   
  • NYDC has reached an audience of over 45,000 people  
  • NYDC has featured in 79 performances, visiting 26 different venues across the UK, including some leading theatres in the country  



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