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Press Release: New shows announced for Sadler's Wells for Spring 2022

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 Press Release: Thursday 18 November 2021 

Hard-hitting new work TRAPLORD heads spring season ablaze with international dance talent and UK favourites



Sadler’s Wells spearheads its spring 2022 season with a powerful offsite work about Black male identity. TRAPLORD, by London artist Ivan Michael Blackstock, is an immersive dance performance produced by Sadler’s Wells and 180 Studios. TRAPLORD uses dance, theatre and spoken word to question the stereotyping of Black men in contemporary western society.

International dance is back in strength, despite the pandemic. The renowned Sadler’s Wells International Associate Company Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch returns with Kontakthof in its 40th anniversary year. Pina Bausch’s seminal work evokes longing and misguided desires, brought to life by a group of mature dancers, playing out uncertain romance. A prestige season, Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels, showcases some of Europe’s leading choreographers, including Ballet de Lyon and Sadler’s Wells Production Neighbours. There are also performances by Sadler’s Wells International Associate Company Acosta Danza, and NDT2, featuring UK premieres.

At the other end of the age spectrum, a multi-sensory show for babies, Underwater by Xenia Aidonopoulou & Georgia Tegou,forms part of the Easter Family Weekend, along with Sadler’s Wells National Partner Company balletLORENT’s The Lost Happy Endings.

Diverse and distinguished British artists include BalletBoyz, with bold work in Deluxe; Sadler’s Wells Associate Company English National Ballet honours master choreographer William Forsythe in a special programme celebrating his enduring love and curiosity for ballet; and Sadler’s Wells National Partner Company Phoenix Dance Theatre celebrates its 40th anniversary with a showcase programme. Over the summer, Sadler’s Wells welcomes Chichester Festival Theatre’s acclaimed production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s much-loved musical South Pacific.


Tickets for newly announced events are on public sale from Monday 29 November at 10 am via www.sadlerswells.com.  Booking opens for members on Friday 26 November.

The spring 2022 season in detail:

Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch                                    
Thursday 3 – Sunday 6 February      
Tickets: £15 - £75 

Originally premiered in 1982 and now returning to Sadler’s Wells in its 40th anniversary year, Pina Bausch’s powerful work evokes longing and misguided desires. The piece is brought to life by a group of mature dancers, playing out first encounters, courtship and uncertain romance.


One of the most important pieces in Pina Bausch’s repertoire, Kontakthof was created when she was establishing her place in the world of dance. Seen in a new light following conversations during the pandemic surrounding social issues such as sexism, racism and cultural appropriation, Kontakthof is more poignant than ever. It displays power struggles that are present beneath the surface. The desire for love, appreciation and equality, the need to be seen.

Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch is a Sadler’s Wells International Associate Company  


Dance Consortium presents Acosta Danza  
100% Cuban  
Wednesday 9 – Saturday 12 February 

Tickets: £15 - £75

International ballet superstar Carlos Acosta’s critically acclaimed Cuban company Acosta Danza has garnered an unrivalled reputation for creating work that combines both classical and contemporary genres effortlessly, infused with Cuba’s rich musical and dance influences. The Sadler’s Wells International Associate Company returns with a programme of new and existing works.   


Back by popular demand are Paysage, soudain, la nuit by visionary Swedish choreographer Pontus Lidberg and Impronta by Spanish choreographer Maria Rovira. Making their UK premieres are Hybrid, by the award-winning choreographer Norge Cedeno, Liberto by Acosta Danza dancer and choreographer Raul Reinoso, and De Punta a Cabo by Alexis Fernandez, set against the backdrop of the Havana coast.

Acosta Danza is a Sadler’s Wells International Associate Company 


Dance Consortium presents  
NDT2 UK Tour 
Wednesday 16 – Saturday 19 February  
Tickets: £15 – 55  

For their highly anticipated return to the UK, NDT2 will perform works by celebrated international choreographers, featuring two UK premieres. 


In his personal and moving piece about the fragility of life and love, Marco Goecke’s The Big Crying, with songs by Tori Amos, energises the power of 18 dancers to embrace a celebration of life. Hans Van Manen’s quartet, Simple Things, featuring Haydn’s Piano Trio No. 28 in E-major, presents a masterclass in simplicity. For the finale, Johan Inger’s vibrant IMPASSE bursts onto the stage with the music of French Lebanese jazz trumpeter and composer Ibrahim Maalouf, as Inger explores the strength of togetherness over isolation in our world today. 



Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels
Wednesday 9 March – Wednesday 23 March

A season of work showcasing some of Europe’s leading choreographers, curated and supported by French High Jewellery Maison, Van Cleef & Arpels. 



Brigel Gjoka and Rauf "Rubberlegz" Yasit.  LILIAN BAYLIS STUDIO

In collaboration with William Forsythe


Wednesday 9 & Thursday 10 March
Tickets: £18

Neighbours is a raw, powerful collaboration by pioneering abstract b-boy Rauf “RubberLegz” Yasit and established contemporary dancer Brigel Gjoka, inspired by their time dancing in William Forsythe’s A Quiet Evening of Dance produced by Sadler’s Wells.

Both at the cutting edge of their disciplines, they’ve created a work that brings together their diverse expertise and draws influence from their Kurdish and Albanian roots. A new choreographic language forms as they examine moments of transformation and contemplation at the crossroads of urban, classical and contemporary dance. Through their shared experience a simple truth emerges, that dance is part of being human. 

A Sadler’s Wells Production


Ballet de Lyon
Lucinda Childs & Philip Glass
Wednesday 9 & Thursday 10 March
Tickets: £15 - £37

Created in 1979, Dance is often considered the pinnacle of post-modern choreography. The minimalist ballet marks the first major collaboration of Lucinda Childs with the composer Philip Glass and is a must-see event for every contemporary dance fan.  

Interpreted by 17 dancers from Ballet de Lyon, Dance explores the repetitive and progressively shifting patterns of the score against the backdrop of Sol LeWitt’s film.



Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker,                EartH Theatre 
Amandine Beyer / Rosas, Gli Incogniti

Mystery Sonatas
Thursday 10 & Friday 11 March
Tickets: £20

Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker examines the mystical and geometrical richness of Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber’s 15 “Mystery” or “Rosary” sonatas, in a choreography for six dancers.

Biber’s virtuosic sonatas are a musical translation of the Sacred Mysteries of the life of the Virgin Mary. Each movement is divided into one of three cycles: five joyful, five sorrowful, and five glorious. Intrinsically religious and narrative, they are at the same time an invitation to dance. 

For this creation De Keersmaeker renews her collaboration with violinist Amandine Beyer, with whom she previously made Partita 2 (2013) and The Six Brandenburg Concertos (2018). Beyer performs the Mystery Sonatas with her ensemble Gli Incogniti.

Rosas is a Sadler’s Wells International Associate Company  



Katerina Andreou                 LILLIAN BAYLIS STUDIO   
BSTRD                                   UK PREMIERE 
Saturday 12 & Sunday 13 March
Tickets: £18

BSTRD is an energetic and minimalist solo performance featuring Katerina Andreou and a single vinyl turntable, based on the notions of impurity and transformation. 

The score, inspired by house culture, is a backdrop to an exploration of both political and poetic issues focusing on a dramatic bastardised figure.

Content warning: Loud music, intermittent flashing light 


Christian Rizzo
une maison
                                             UK PREMIERE
Saturday 12 & Sunday 13 March
: £15 - £37

Living space has always fascinated choreographer and artist Christian Rizzo. In une maison (a house) performers enter into a dialogue with a suspended, mobile lighting structure, which functions as the architecture, the scenography and the light source of this hybrid theatre piece.

As the stage gradually becomes covered in earth, the house is a space where bodies circulate, murmur, resound. The company plays out encounters and conflicts, solitude and community.



Boris Charmatz [terrain]                 LILIAN BAYLIS STUDIO
SOMNOLE                                         UK PREMIERE
Friday 18 & Saturday 19 March
Tickets: £18

Boris Charmatz explores the idea of somnolence – the feeling of being on the brink of sleep – in a stunning dance solo.  

Accompanied only by the sheer sound of whistling, melodies surface, blend and break apart. The relationship between the sound and the movement is in turn deliberate, halting, drowsy and acute. Charmatz invents an insomniac dance, a refuge of rhythms and refrains at the frontier between wakefulness and sleep.



Gisèle Vienne
This Is How You Will Disappear                   UK PREMIERE
Friday 18 & Saturday 19 March
Tickets: £15 - £37

Created in 2010 for the Festival d’Avignon, This Is How You Will Disappear is set in a large scale, naturalistic installation evoking an ominous, foggy forest with a sinister secret.

Three figures – a young athlete, her coach and a rock star – come together in an epic tableau that evokes the underlying battle between society and the self.

Curious weather events soon rip through the landscape, disrupting space, perception and sensation and pitting the beauty of order against that of chaos.

Content warning: Contains themes of death, suicide, sexism. use of strong language + use of slurs (homophobic/sexism)



Boris Charmatz [terrain]
infini                                                                                                             UK PREMIERE
Tuesday 22 & Wednesday 23 March
Tickets: £20 - 25

Staged in an intimate configuration, numbers and counting set the pace and the theme for this remarkable work.

For centuries, dancers have counted to four, six, or eight, and then started over. In modern choreography, they may count in more complex ways, combining 13s and fives, but what would happen if they counted to infinity? 

The performers mesmerize as they dance and count at the same time, in a test of memory and resilience. They count on the spot, backwards, towards the infinitely small and the infinitely large, alone or in unison, keeping the beat or standing in the face of time. 



SERAFINE1369                                  LILIAN BAYLIS STUDIO
When we speak I feel myself, Opening
Tuesday 22 & Wednesday 23 March
Tickets: £18

SERAFINE1369 is the London-based artist and dancer Jamila Johnson-Small; one half of Sadler’s Wells New Wave Associate Project O. 

When we speak I feel myself, Opening is a duet performed with Fernanda Muñoz-Newsome that seeks to give voice to sensations and impulses as they rise to the surface. A study in walking and weight-distribution, thinking about how we move with what we must carry, heaviness and lightness, light and dark, and the shifting perception of time.


Commissioned by Sadler's Wells with the support of Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels


A Sadler's Wells co-production


Ivan Michael BlackstocK                   180 STUDIOS       
TRAPLORD                                          WORLD PREMIERE            
Sadler’s Wells x 180 Studios
A co-production with The Factory and ALTRUVIOLET
Saturday 26 March - Saturday 16 April 2022                       
Tickets: £20-£25

Award-winning dance artist and cultural innovator Ivan Michael Blackstock’s TRAPLORD is an immersive dance performance meditating on life, death and rebirth. Wandering between dreams and reality, TRAPLORD takes us on a new heroic journey to self-actualisation.


Using dance, theatre and spoken word to explore raw and confrontational themes of mental health and masculinity, TRAPLORDis an invitation to question the stereotyping of Black men in contemporary western society; an attempt to escape from the mental state of being condemned before having lived.

16+ contains adult themes

Supported by Cockayne - Grants for the Arts and the Maria Bjornson Memorial Fund

Supported using public funding by Arts Council England


Thursday 24 – Saturday 26 March
Tickets: £15 - £55

Bold, boisterous and beautiful: BalletBoyz are back. Six extraordinary young dancers feature in this explosion of mesmerising dance, fused with the witty and distinctive BalletBoyz trademark use of film and behind-the-scenes content.


Deluxe features work by some of the world’s most exciting artists, including choreographer Xie Xin, composer Jiang Shaofeng, Punchdrunk’s Maxine Doyle, and jazz musician and composer Cassie Kinoshi of the Mercury-nominated SEED Ensemble.


Winners of numerous awards across the world, BalletBoyz thrill with their unique style, blending achingly beautiful dance with stunning music and film.

A Sadler’s Wells co-production
Balletboyz is a Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist

This performance contains haze effects


Phoenix Dance Theatre
40 Years of Phoenix
Tuesday 29 & Wednesday 30 March
Tickets: £18 - £40

Sadler’s Wells National Partner Company Phoenix Dance Theatre celebrates its 40th birthday with a range of work from across its illustrious history. The programme features five pieces by internationally acclaimed, award-winning choreographers, including former Artistic Directors and collaborators.


From deeply passionate and political solos to exhilarating ensembles, this thrilling programme demonstrates the emotional intensity and athletic power that has formed the company’s international following and esteemed reputation.


Featuring Pave Up Paradise from Lost Dog (Ben Duke and Raquel Meseguer); Darshan Singh Bhuller’s Heart of ChaosSignalby Henri Oguike; Jane Dudley’s 1938 masterpiece, Harmonica Breakdown; and Family, choreographed by Shapiro & Smith.


This performance contains sexual content and themes of racism and discrimination.

Phoenix Dance Theatre is a Sadler’s Wells National Partner Company


English National Ballet 
Thursday 31 March – Sunday 10 April
Tickets: £15 - £75

Returning to Sadler’s Wells Theatre, English National Ballet honour master choreographer, William Forsythe, in a special programme celebrating his enduring love and curiosity for ballet. 

In 2018, William Forsythe and English National Ballet premiered Playlist (Track 1, 2) at Sadler’s Wells as part of Voices of America. In 2022, the programme returns to contrast ballet classicism and athleticism with the beats of neo-soul and house music. Now expanded into Playlist (EP), with six music tracks ranging from Khalid and Barry White to Lion Babe, and up to 30 dancers on stage. Blake Works I is a soulful piece for 21 dancers set to seven songs from James Blake’s album The Colour in Anything. Solos, duets and intricate group formations reflect the poetic melodies and words of Blake’s music. Approximate Sonata 2016 is a series of stripped-down duets. Originally created in 1996, Forsythe reworked this piece for Paris Opera Ballet. 

English National Ballet is a Sadler’s Wells Associate Company


Eleesha Drennan Dance           LILIAN BAYLIS STUDIO
All The Time In The World 
Thursday 31 March & Friday 1 April 
Tickets: £17

Eleesha Drennan Dance makes its Sadler’s Wells debut with an evening of dance theatre that explores the concept of time through the urgency of a life-or-death situation, the timelessness of falling in love and the disorientation one can feel amid uncertainty.


Have you ever been struck by how slowly time passes whilst waiting for something to happen? Or, how quickly it passes in an emergency? All The Time In The World brings this contrast into focus. It’s about not having all the time in the world but pretending you do, just for fun. It’s a tribute to all the birthday parties that never happened during the pandemic in one big existential bash.


This performance contains haze effects and strobe lighting.


Sadler's Wells Family Weekend

Friday 15 & Saturday 16 April


Children and their families are invited to take part in Family Weekend, a jam-packed festival including performances, workshops, games and arts and crafts activities.


The Lost Happy Endings
Friday 15 & Saturday 16 April
Tickets: £12 - £18

balletLORENT, the acclaimed Sadler's Wells National Partner Company based in Newcastle and run by Liv Lorent, returns to Sadler's Wells this Easter as part of Family Weekend, with an original story by former poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy.


The Lost Happy Endings features 18 famous fairy-tale characters including Snow White, Pinocchio, Cinderella and Goldilocks.  The engaging new production takes audiences deep into the forest to meet Jub, a fearless girl with six fingers on each hand, who has been tasked with guarding all the happy endings.  The show has an original score composed by Murray Gold, with set design by Neil Murray and costume design by Nasir Masher.  It is narrated by Joanna Lumley.


A Sadler's Wells Co-Production


The Lost Happy Endings is part of Family Weekend 2022.

This performance contains haze and lighting effects. Suitable for ages five and above.

balletLORENT is a Sadler’s Wells National Partner Company 

Xenia Aidonopoulou          LILIAN BAYLIS STUDIO                                
and Georgia Tegou                                   
Friday 15 & Saturday 16 April 
Tickets: £8

Come with us on a magical journey into the deep blue sea in this multi-sensory dance theatre piece for babies aged 0 to 24 months and their grown-ups. 


A ballerina wakes from a dreamy sleep and finds herself in the ocean, a comforting world of blue lights and bubbles. As she explores her gorgeous new home, she meets an octopus. The pair quickly form a loving friendship beneath the waves, dancing a duet to a twinkling soundtrack that features some familiar melodies.

Underwater is part of Family Weekend 2022.



Paco Peña
Wednesday 20 April – Sunday 24 April
Tickets: £15 - £55

This new production reunites Paco Peña and his long-term collaborator, director Jude Kelly, for an exploration of artistic wisdom and the fearlessness of youth in search for new expression.  Solera features both young and mature performers, demonstrating that age is an essential element in the process of turning raw artistic talent into a refined art-form.

Andalucía, in Southern Spain, has for many lifetimes produced fine wines in a system that stacks oak barrels in several layers. Young wine enters the highest barrel and given time flows down, nurturing its best qualities, until what remains is a delicious wine that can only be achieved with age. The mature solera of the older generations enriches and refines the best qualities handed down to the young. Flamenco is not a written tradition, but one handed down from one generation to the next, constantly striving to find different ways to express; the best of performances will incorporate part of what has been created before by the great practitioners of the past. 


Chichester Festival Theatre
South Pacific 
Wednesday 27 July – Sunday 28 August
Tickets: £15 - £100

Chichester Festival Theatre’s critically acclaimed, landmark production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific is brought thrillingly to life in an epic new five-star production directed by Chichester Festival Theatre’s Artistic Director Daniel Evans.


This powerful love story, set on a South Pacific island during World War ll, features a sensational cast of over 30 led by Julian Ovenden and Gina Beck, accompanied by a full orchestra.


Boasting one of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s most memorable scores, this much-loved Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical features songs such as Some Enchanted Evening, I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair and Bali Ha’i.




Covid Safety   
In order to help artists, audiences and staff members to feel safe and enjoy these performances, Sadler’s Wells has introduced a series of safety measures and is closely following all UK Government guidance in presenting these events. Ticket bookers will be sent full information about all coronavirus safety measures in advance of the performance, so that they may plan accordingly and feel as secure as possible during their visit. These guidelines are also available on Sadler’s Wells’ website via the following link, which we keep updated with the latest information, as soon as we have it. If these performances are unable to be presented due to changes to the UK Government’s coronavirus restrictions, customers will be contacted as soon as possible and given the option to receive a full refund. Sadler's Wells, alongside all companies performing in upcoming events, have also followed recommended UK Government protocols in order ensure the safety of all artists and crew involved by creating performances in a covid-secure environment.    


About Sadler’s Wells 
Sadler's Wells is a world-leading dance organisation. We strive to make and share dance that inspires us all. Our acclaimed year-round programme spans dance of every kind, from contemporary to flamenco, Bollywood to ballet, salsa to street dance and tango to tap. 

We commission, produce and present more dance than any other organisation in the world. Since 2005, we have helped to bring close to 200 new dance works to the stage, embracing both the popular and the unknown. 

Each year, over half a million people visit our three London theatres - Sadler’s Wells Theatre, Lilian Baylis Studio and Peacock Theatre. Millions more attend our touring productions nationally and internationally or explore our digital platforms, including Sadler’s Wells Digital Stage. In 2023 we’re opening a fourth London venue in Stratford’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Sadler’s Wells East will house a 550-seat mid-scale theatre, as well as facilities for the Choreographic School and Hip Hop Theatre Academy.  

Supporting artists is at the heart of our work. We have associate artists and companies, which nurture some of the most exciting talent working in dance today. We host the National Youth Dance Company, which draws together some of the brightest young dancers from across the country. Sadler’s Wells Breakin' Convention runs professional development programmes to champion and develop the world’s best hip hop artists, as well as producing, programming and touring groundbreaking hip hop performances.  

Around 30,000 people take part in our learning and engagement programmes every year. We support schools local to our theatres in Islington and Stratford, designing experiences for children and young people to watch, explore and critically engage with the arts. We also run Company of Elders, a resident performance company of dancers aged over 60 who rehearse with renowned artists to make new work for public performances locally, nationally and internationally. 

Sadler’s Wells is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation.  

Stay up to date with everything Sadler’s Wells on social media 
Facebook: @SadlersWells 
Twitter: @Sadlers_Wells 
Instagram: @sadlers_wells 
YouTube: Sadler’s Wells Theatre 


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