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Press Release: Young Associates Mixed Bill in the Lilian Baylis Studio on Wednesday 22 - Thursday 23 November 2023

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Young Associates
Mixed Bill

Lilian Baylis Studio, EC1R 4TN
Wednesday 22 - Thursday 23 November 2023
Tickets: £15

Ticket Office: 020 7863 8000 or www.sadlerswells.com

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From left to right: BLUE MAKWANA, Elisabeth Mulenga, Maiya Leeke, and Roseann & Sula

Image credit: Jack Thomson

Sadler’s Wells presents the first public sharing of new work by the 2023/24 Young Associates BLUE MAKWANA, Elisabeth Mulenga, Maiya Leeke and Roseann & Sula in the Lilian Baylis Studio this November. The evening comprises four duets created by the young choreographers and showcases each dance artist’s distinct and diverse voice as they take the next step in their choreographic careers. 


The Young Associates programme also aims to support young creatives alongside the choreographers. Lighting Designer Amelia Hawkes will create an exciting and atmospheric lighting design to complement the new voices being represented on stage. 

The new cohort includes Maiya Leeke, whose
 work is rooted in her background as a jazz saxophonist and discovering a physical language of hope. She was a finalist on BBC Young Dancer in 2022 and was a dancer in Greta Gerwig’s box-office record-breaking film Barbie.

BLUE MAKWANA is a London-based choreographer who fuses different dance styles to focus in on specific stimulus such as hairstyles and how they’re portrayed in the media. MAKWANA was in the fourth cohort of National Youth Dance Company (NYDC).

Elisabeth Mulenga is a dance artist whose work is at once unflinching, tender, and intimate, and takes inspiration from film directors to explore the human psyche. Mulenga is an alumnus of the eighth cohort of NYDC and won the Choreographic Innovation Award in the final of BBC Young Dancer 2022.

Roseann & Sula
 are a dance theatre duo who draw on phenomenological research to create work about the human experience, with a particular focus on the intersections of gender politics, Scottish identity, religion and class.

The Young Associates programme supports talented 18-24-year-olds and 18-30 for d/Deaf and disabled choreographers for two years, providing a crucial first step into their career as choreographers. The young artists will develop their practice over the course of the programme, and these presentations in the Lilian Baylis Studio will be followed by performances at Sadler’s Wells East in autumn 2024. 

Additionally, each Young Associate has worked alongside the photographer and filmmaker Camilla Greenwell to create a moving portrait that gives an insight into the artists’ individual styles and choreographic identities. These films will be released on Sadler’s Wells Digital Stage ahead of the performances in the Lilian Baylis Studio on Monday 6 November here: 

Lucy Clarke-Bishop, Producer for Young Associates said: We are proud to support these exciting emerging artists as part of the Young Associates Programme. Each of them brings a unique perspective on dance and performance and the Lilian Baylis Studio works will be an opportunity to proudly introduce them to our audiences.”


Listings Information
Young Associates  
Young Associates – Mixed Bill 
Lilian Baylis Studio, EC1R 4TN 
Wednesday 22 - Thursday 23 November
Tickets: £15 
Ticket Office: 020 7863 8000 or 

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 more than 200 new dance works to the stage, embracing both the popular and the unknown. Our acclaimed productions tour the world. Since 2005 we’ve produced 64 new full-length works and performed to audiences of more than two million, touring to 51 countries.   

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.  


Sadler’s Wells East  

In 2024 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 new Rose Choreographic School and the hip hop theatre training centre, Academy Breakin’ Convention.  

Sadler’s Wells East joins the rich cultural heritage of Stratford, opening in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park as part of the East Bank development alongside the BBC, UAL’s London College of Fashion, UCL and the V&A. Sadler’s Wells East will support artist development and training, and the creation of new work. It will build the infrastructure for dance and make it accessible to more people. Sadler’s Wells East will house a flexible theatre presenting a wide variety of dance performances. Community will be at the heart of Sadler’s Wells East with a large open foyer that can be used by everyone as a meeting or performance space. There will also be dance studios and world-class dance facilities for dancemakers to train, create and rehearse productions. 


Supporting artists 

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.   


Learning and community links 

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    


About Young Associates 
The Young Associates programme supports talented 18-24-year-olds and 18-30 for d/Deaf and disabled choreographers for two years, providing a crucial first step into their career as choreographers.

The programme recruits four young artists from a range of dance styles who are selected for their potential to become the next generation of dance makers. The Young Associates will be supported by Sadler’s Wells over a period of two years and receive a tailored programme of professional development. They will also be provided opportunities to collaborate with other young artists and to develop and present new work in the form of two commissions within the Sadler’s Wells artistic programme. The Young Associates will also receive mentoring and training from Sadler’s Wells teams and a wide range of artists including the organisation’s Associate Artists, as well as financial support in the form of bursaries and commissioning fees.

About Maiya Leeke

Maiya Leeke is a London based choreographer, performer, and teacher whose work reflects her background as a jazz saxophonist and a contemporary dancer. Leeke is an alumnus of NYDC’s ninth cohort and has an MA from Northern School of Contemporary Dance where she danced with Candoco Dance Company. Leeke was a finalist in BBC Young Dancer 2022. Her artistic practice continues to be influenced by her research with Hawk Dance Theatre, Mimbre, and Alleyne Dance. Her choreography is rooted in exploring the physical language of hope and freedom of her voice.

About Elisabeth Mulenga
Elisabeth Mulenga is a London based dance artist. Mulenga was born in Birmingham and is of German and Zambian heritage. Her choreography comes from a practice of sensitivity and awareness, aiming to highlight a range of lived emotional experiences. Her choreographic choices are also influenced by her spirituality and cultural identities.


Mulenga is an alumnus of NYDC’s eighth cohort and trained at Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance. Mulenga has performed in works by Thick & Tight, Jessica Nupen, Magnus Westwell, Kennedy Junior Muntanga, Ivan Michael Blackstock, Gianna Gi and Russell Maliphant. In April 2022, she competed in the Grand Final of BBC Young Dancer 2022, winning the Choreographic Innovation Award for her solo Eli, Eli, Lama Sabachthani?.

BLUE MAKWANA is a London based choreographer and performer whose work ranges from focusing on a specific stimulus, to being abstract, with appreciation of movement expression and tone. MAKWANA is an alumnus of NYDC’s fourth cohort. Having trained in contemporary dance, ballet, jazz, commercial and musical theatre, MAKWANA aims to utilise her versatile skill set and incorporate elements of fusion in her work.

Often using the skull and hair as a focal point in her personal work, she aims to show appreciation and acknowledgement of a range in hairstyle choices and experiences, and how they're portrayed in the media. Her choreographic goal is to focus on the dancers she works with, exhibiting their strength in continuously evolving and entertaining work.

About Roseann & Sula 
Roseann & Sula are choreographers based in London. Both originally from Scotland’s central belt, they come together to create work that lives in a leaded yet tender landscape. They are founding members of Tough Boys Dance Collective, and have presented work across black box theatres, night clubs, and site-specific spaces.

Roseann Dendy is an artist from the outskirts of Glasgow. They are working in contemporary and hip hop to find a vocabulary that feels visceral and honest to their body. They make work motivated by their upbringing, looking at their working class experience and their relationship with gender coding and toxic masculinity.

Sula Castle is a movement artist from Edinburgh. Working across contemporary dance and visual art, their work aims to obscure traditional form and platform bold aesthetics to challenge high-art expectations. Understanding notions of ‘community’ - both in relation to the social structures we are born into and the ones once we choose to inhabit - are crucial to the way that Sula engages with the art world.

Pulling from phenomenological research, Roseann & Sula’s work is fundamentally about the human experience and its intersections with gender politics, Scottish identity, religion, and class.




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