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Sadler’s Wells launches 2011 Global Dance Contest

Posted on February 1, 2011

The Sadler’s Wells online Global Dance Contest has just opened. Now in its third year, the web-based competition uses YouTube to find new dance talent.

Contestants should create and film their own original piece of dance, from 30 seconds to five minutes in length, and upload it onto the competition website, Entries must be submitted by June 30. The competition is open to all dancers and choreographers over the age of 18.

The videos will be judged by a panel of arts figures, chaired by Sadler’s Wells’ artistic director Alistair Spalding, to create a shortlist of ten. The final winner will be chosen by public vote.

The winner receives £2,000, and will be brought to London, from wherever they live, to perform alongside leading artists at Sadler’s Wells Sampled, the theatre’s acclaimed dance taster weekend. They will receive support and guidance from the theatre in transferring the work from screen to stage. At the end of the four-year project in 2012, all the winners will perform their work in London, during the Olympic year.

In 2009, the first year of the contest attracted 170 applicants from 34 different countries, with Taiwanese choreographer Shu-Yi Chou a much-praised winner. In 2010, 23-year-old British choreographer James Wilton beat 362 competitors from 30 countries with his work The Shortest Day, a contemporary quartet performed to music by metal band Mastodon.

Sadler’s Wells’ artistic director Alistair Spalding said: “Last year’s competition saw a surge of interest with hundreds of entries from all over the world. The range of work was quite incredible and proves that the Global Dance Contest has built on the success of the inaugural 2009 competition. It’s clear that dance is engaging a massive cross-section of people around the world, and the level of talent and ability out there is huge. I’m very much looking forward to seeing this year’s entries, and welcoming the winner to Sadler’s Wells in 2012.”

Picture: The Shortest Day, winning entry in the 2010 contest. Photograph: James Wilton

Zoë was born in Edinburgh, and saw her first dance performances at the Festival there. She is the dance critic of The Independent, and has also written for The Independent on Sunday, The Scotsman and Dancing Times. In 2002, she received her doctorate from the University of York for a thesis on “Nationhood and epic romance: Ariosto, Sidney, Spenser”. She is the author of The Royal Ballet: 75 Years and The Ballet Lover’s Companion.

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