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Press Release: Sadler’s Wells Announces Well Seasoned, Celebrating Black Dance

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Sadler’s Wells Announces Well Seasoned, Celebrating Black Dance


Sadler’s Wells celebrates Black dance in 2022, in Well Seasoned.

Well Seasoned was designed by Sadler’s Wells’ Artistic Director and Chief Executive Alistair Spalding and Artistic Director of Breakin’ Convention Jonzi D, to platform work by both UK-based and international Black dancemakers.

Jonzi D said: “Well Seasoned is a flava full celebration of work from the African diaspora and beyond. As a statement of intent, we want to present the artistic diversity of People of Colour, particularly from the Black community. Our programme will reflect London’s cultural melting pot. A nourishing blend of local and global dance theatre makers, presenting work that is vibrant, challenging and delicious!

Alistair Spalding said: We wanted to highlight dance made by Black artists to celebrate them and to share with our existing and new audiences that this is happening at Sadler’s Wells. This is not a one off but an indication of a direction of travel for our venues and you will see more of the work of these amazing performers and choreographers in future seasons. We hope this selection of works in Well Seasoned gives a taste of the wonderful variety of dance being created by Black artists in the UK and beyond.”

Well Seasoned includes work by Anthony and Kel Matsena, L’Atisse Rhoden, Johannes Radebe and Breakin’ Convention, as well as Sadler’s Wells Production TRAPLORD by Ivan Michael Blackstock, and Botis Seva’s BLKDOGon tour, co-produced by Sadler’s Wells.

Botis Seva said: “It’s great to see Sadler’s Wells upholding its promise to platform and champion more artists of colour in its programming, it finally reflects the breadth of ideas and artists in the UK and beyond! The artists featured as part of Well Seasoned are not just change makers of colour but they are change makers full stop! We’ve still got a way to go, but Well Seasoned is certainly a huge acknowledgement of the need for inclusivity and better visibility.


L’Atisse Rhoden said: "Shining a light on Black dance artists allows new audiences to experience their work. It also acts as a much-needed voice in theatre when sharing opportunities can be limited for Black creatives."

Johannes Radebe said: “The Well-Seasoned programme acknowledges the existence of minority groups in the real world, influencing societies openness and understanding of others which makes for a better world for all. The Peacock Theatre is where I made my debut in the West End with Burn the Floor. I cried when I found out that this township boy was going to be debuting his own show there.”

Sadler’s Wells Digital Stage will feature exclusive commissions and world premieres celebrating and profiling Black dance in an exciting programme online. Details to be announced.


Akeim Toussaint Buck, Acosta Danza, TRAPLORD, Phoenix Dance Theatre, BLKDOG and Johannes Radebe are already on sale. 


Spoken Movement, Breakin’ Convention, Matsena Productions/ House of Absolute, L’Atisse Rhoden, and Impact Dance are on sale from Monday 31 January at 10 am via https://www.sadlerswells.com,  Booking opens to members on Friday 28 January.   


NYDC will be on sale at a later date, to be confirmed.

Well Seasoned performance details are below.



Wild Card: Akeim Toussaint Buck                                     LILIAN BAYLIS STUDIO 
Radical Visions                                                                     UK PREMIERE
Thursday 20 & Friday 21 January 
Tickets: £17  

Wild Card returns with more offerings from a new generation of artists, invited to curate their own night. This January, Sadler’s Wells welcomes Akeim Toussaint Buck to the Lilian Baylis Studio to present his Wild Card, Radical Visions.  
Featuring live music, film and powerful performance, the evening showcases artists who work with the themes of social transformation and diasporic identity, to celebrate the resilience and joy of their communities whilst highlighting the oppression and trauma they face. The evening features work by Fubunation and Alethia Antonia, alongside the film Windows, Toussaint Buck's cinematic reimagining of his acclaimed solo Windows of Displacement, exploring race, identity, unity and power. 

Co-produced by Sadler's Wells and Akeim Toussaint Buck. 



Dance Consortium presents Acosta Danza   
100% Cuban                                                            UK PREMIERE
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 presents Paysage, soudain, la nuit by visionary Swedish choreographer Pontus Lidberg; Impronta by Spanish choreographer Maria Rovira; the UK premieres of Hybrid, by the award-winning choreographer Norge Cedeno and 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   


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, TRAPLORD is 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



Phoenix Dance Theatre                                                        PEACOCK 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 ChaosSignal by 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 


Johannes Radebe                                                                             PEACOCK THEATRE   
Friday 1 – Saturday 2 April     
Tickets: £18 - £65   
Strictly Come Dancing sensation and international champion, Johannes Radebe, comes to the Peacock Theatre for the London premiere of his debut tour, Freedom. This is a celebration of the dances that you love, with Johannes’ signature flair and energy.


From ballroom to Latin, the company will perform to classic dance arrangements, South African rhythms and party anthems. Johannes will take you on his journey from growing up in South Africa, to travelling the world, winning competitions and starring in Strictly’s most memorable numbers.  



Spoken Movement / Kwame Asafo-Adjei
Family Honour 
Tuesday 12 – Wednesday 13 April 
Tickets: £20 - £25 

A young girl, bound by the demands of tradition, religion and family, confronts her past rebellion against these pressures. Through a brilliantly unique meeting of hip hop and theatre, Family Honour asks how far one would go to uphold family expectations and whether it’s truly honourable to do so or just another traditional taboo?


From internationally award-winning choreographer Kwame Asafo-Adjei, witness this raw exploration of family and personal trauma, putting you in the front seat for tense, honest confrontations that go generations deep. Originally a duet, the work won France’s prestigious Danse Élargie in 2018. Now it is expanded for the Sadler’s Wells stage as a full-length ensemble production. 

A Spoken Movement Production, co-produced by Sadler’s Wells, Dance City and Theater Rotterdam



Breakin' Convention International Festival of Hip Hop Dance Theatre
Saturday 30 April – Sunday 1 May 
Tickets: £15 - £40 

Sadler’s Wells’ annual festival of hip hop dance theatre is back for its 19th year, platforming cutting-edge dance rooted in the streets and presented on stage. Expect bright lights, loud music and colourful costumes coming together in an annual Sadler's Wells event that will excite and entertain the whole family.

Breakin' Convention is far more than just a show - arrive early for activities in the foyers, including live DJs, dance circles, have-a-go graffiti, popular improvisation-based warm-up show Freestyle Funk Forum, workshops with the artists and much more.

Line-up to be announced spring 2022. For more information, see breakinconvention.com.



Matsena Productions / House of Absolute 
Shades of Blue / Warrior Queens                            WORLD PREMIERE
Friday 6 – Saturday 7 May 
Tickets: £20 - £25 

Experience first-hand the next generation of leading London choreographers in this double bill which touches on both a social movement and cultural heritage. Shades of Blue is a work from Matsena Productions that beats to the tune of change, in which performance and protest clash and mould together. With thunderous choreography powerful text and a slick score that will not only make you rethink your position in society but celebrate a stronger future which we all have a part in building.


Originally debuted at Breakin’ Convention 2016 and inspired by the legendary folk myth of Hua Mulan and Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, Warrior Queens delves into the ancestry and lineage that got us to where we are now. Choreographed by House of Absolute Creative Director Julia Cheng, this work explores the different forms of yin yang identities and the adversity of the modern-day warrior. Embedded in a live musical soundscape with musicians from London’s Philharmonia orchestra. 

Shades of Blue contains a scene of violence and racism. 



L’atisse Rhoden                                  LILIAN BAYLIS STUDIO
L CASA                                            WORLD PREMIERE
Thursday 19 – Friday 20 May 
Tickets: £17 

Sadler’s Wells New Wave Associate L’atisse Rhoden presents a night of new digital works. Inspired by personal narratives and shifting perspectives, Bom Dia! and Dutopia both explore the contrast between reality and dream-like surrealist worlds. 


As part of the evening, L’atisse invites NAVA LDN to curate NAVA Café. Designed by Russell Royer, this pop-up brings communities together in a comfortable and collaborative environment, through a shared love of hip hop and neo soul. L’atisse is co-founder of NAVA LDN alongside Stefan X. Expect beats, moves and good vibes. 



Impact Dance                    PEACOCK THEATRE
Chapter 25+1                   UK PREMIERE    
Saturday 25 June 
Tickets: £18 - £40 

Join one of the UK’s most innovative dance organisations in celebrating its 26-year journey with a night of bite-sized extracts of excellence inspired by hip hop culture. The company performs old and new works alongside 10 stand-out companies and artists who have been a part of their incredible journey. In addition, there will be a special tribute to the 2006 Pet Shop Boys Cubism world tour, choreographed by Impact Dance Artistic Director, Hakeem Onibudo. 

Featuring: ACE Youth, BOP Jazz Theatre Company, Boy Blue, Far From The Norm, FFI of Impact Dance, Fusions Elite, Impact Youth, Myself UK Dance, REDO (HOL), Reading School of Dance, The Urdang ACS, and ZooNation Youth Company.  



And on tour…

Botis Seva’s BLKDOG  

BLKDOG is Botis Seva’s Olivier award-winning haunting commentary on surviving adulthood as a childlike artist. A genre-defying blend of hip hop dance and free form antics, BLKDOG explores the inner battlefield of an ageing artist trying to retain his youth.   
With music from long standing collaborator Torben Lars Sylvest and performed by Botis’ powerhouse company Far From The Norm, BLKDOG searches for coping mechanisms in the ultimate hunt for acceptance.


BLKDOG is touring internationally with dates in the USA as well as the UK, including dates in Nottingham, Oxford, Poole, Saffron Walden and Guildford.   

A Sadler’s Wells Co-production 

Coming soon…


NYDC 2022 – Alesandra Seutin


Following the success of 2021’s Speak Volumes, National Youth Dance Company (NYDC) once again collaborates with internationally renowned choreographer Alesandra Seutin. 30 outstanding young dancers present a new contemporary work, exploring the relationship between movement, voice and music. 


NYDC has established a reputation for producing high-quality, critically acclaimed productions by leading choreographers including Botis Seva, Russell Maliphant, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Sharon Eyal, Damien Jalet, Michael Keegan-Dolan, Akram Khan and Jasmin Vardimon.

National Youth Dance Company is run by Sadler’s Wells and supported using public funding by Department for Education and Arts Council England.



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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