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Sadler’s Wells’ Spring 2020 season

Posted on September 19, 2019

Sadler’s Wells has announced its Spring 2020 season, featuring three world premieres, seven UK premieres, and 12 Sadler’s Wells productions and co-productions, as well as a host of new creative partnerships involving artists from all over the world.

Sadler’s Wells’ artistic director and chief executive, Alistair Spalding, said: “The season features great new collaborations, such as Kate Prince’s Message In A Bottle, our new production set to the music of Sting, and a groundbreaking double bill co-produced with the Pina Bausch Foundation and Senegal’s École des Sables, including Bausch’s version of The Rite of Spring set on dancers from across the African continent as well as a new work, common ground[s].”

In its UK premiere, Bluebeard, the early monumental masterpiece from dance theatre visionary Pina Bausch, is staged for the first time in more than 25 years, from February 12 to 15. Originally created in 1977, the restaging is led by rehearsal directors Helena Pikon and Barbara Kaufmann and original cast members Jan Minarik and Beatrice Libonati.

Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch in Bluebeard. Photograph by Maarten Vanden Abeele.

The stage, littered with leaves, is occupied by a man compulsively playing and replaying passages of Béla Bartók’s short opera on Bluebeard and his inquisitive wife, Judith. They delve into a world of clashing men and women, taboos and transgressions.

Bausch’s seminal 1975 work, The Rite of Spring, will be danced by a newly assembled company of dancers from African countries later in the season, in a double bill from May 17 to 20. In common ground[s], Germaine Acogny, “the mother of contemporary African dance” and founder of École des Sables, unites with Malou Airaudo, a former member of Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch who has performed central roles in many of Bausch’s pieces. Inspired by their experiences and history as choreographers, professors and mothers, this work created and performed by these remarkable women reflects their common ground.

Message In A Bottle receives its world premiere at Sadler’s Wells’ West End venue The Peacock from February 6 to March 21 ahead of a UK and international tour. The production marks the first collaboration between the theatre and Universal Music UK, with songs including “Every Breath You Take”, “Roxanne”, “Walking on the Moon” and many more.

Another collaboration sees the joint creators of Betroffenheit, writer Jonathon Young and Sadler’s Wells associate artist Crystal Pite, reunite again with Pite’s company, Kidd Pivot, to turn their minds to the comic play The Inspector General (known as “Revizor” in Russia), in a new co-production with Sadler’s Wells.

Taking Nikolai Gogol’s 1836 farce as a starting point, Pite and Young revise an archetypal comic plot to serve as the basis for choreography in a hybrid of contemporary theatre and dance. In Revisor, which has its UK premiere performances at Sadler’s Wells from March 3–5, eight Kidd Pivot dancers embody the recorded dialogue of some of Canada’s finest actors, exploring conflict, comedy and corruption in the potent relationship between language and the body.

Nico Muhly’s pioneering music, played live by Britten Sinfonia, is the subject of a new Sadler’s Wells production, in a triple bill from Julie Cunningham, Michael Keegan-Dolan and Justin Peck. The latest in the Composer Series, which partners contemporary composers with choreographers to create new works, it receives its world premiere at Sadler’s Wells from March 19–21.

For more of the Spring season, including performances by Alina Cojocaru, the BalletBoyz, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan, English National Ballet, Phoenix Dance Theatre, Northern Ballet and Richard Alston Dance Company, go to sadlerswells.com. Tickets for the Spring 2020 season are on public sale from October 14 from 9am via sadlerswells.com and 020 7863 8000, and in person at 10am. Booking opens to members from October 7.

Main image: Mohamed Y Shika at École des Sables. Photograph by Abdoul Mujyambere.

Nicola Rayner was editor of Dance Today from 2010 to 2015. She has written for a number of publications including The Guardian, The Independent and Time Out Buenos Aires, where she cut her teeth as a dance journalist working on the tango section. Today she continues to dance everything from ballroom to breakdance, with varying degrees of success. Her debut novel, The Girl Before You, is out now as an ebook and available on Amazon, with the paperback following on August 22.

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