Sadler’s Wells

Form & Content

A book, physically cut from the pages of another, is the inspiration behind Wayne McGregor’s “Tree of Codes.” Much like the Jonathan Safran Foer book with which it shares its title, McGregor’s work is an experiment in the arrangement of form and content.

Sensing Loss

A room, its furniture haphazardly stacked. The armchair lies toppled, the door, placed flat like a table-top, is reimagined as a bed; the cupboards become miniature doorways or upstairs windows through which the company climb.

A Language for Life

Sambas, waterslides, live chickens on stage—nobody does dance theatre like Pina Bausch. The late choreographer’s Wuppertal-based company has just wrapped up a tour of “Masurca Fogo,” created during a three-week residency in Lisbon in 1998 as part of her World Cities series, a collection inspired by the cultures of various urban locales, from Rome to Budapest to Los Angeles.

Sadler’s Wells Sampled

For the past decade, Sadler’s Wells has kicked off each year with “Sampled,” a two-hour tasting menu of the London dance house’s diverse programming. The show is aimed at new and existing audiences alike, and features snippets from both past commissions and upcoming premieres.

Dreamscapes

“The Peony Pavilion,” a 16th-century play written by Tang Xianzu during the Ming Dynasty, is one of the most famous love stories of Chinese literature. Originally performed as a 20 hour-long Kunqu opera, the National Ballet of China have created a considerably condensed version that has become one of the key works in their repertoire.

Breaking Point

The dancers and musicians gather on the stage, the chorus of their voices rising through the auditorium. There’s a Middle Eastern influence to their music, a complex layering of sound that comes from the diversity of styles choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui has brought together. Each of his dancers and musicians are experienced in different disciplines and this crossing of skills provides a rich palette for Cherkaoui to draw from. The result is a carefully crafted work that emerges from a maelstrom of music, movement, voice and image.

Liar, Liar

From the opening moments, Jasmin Vardimon's “Pinocchio” resonates with the kind of magic you only encounter in theatre. One after the other the performers rise from the floor, hand in hand, their bodies straight and stiff, mechanically tipping in turn like the wooden figurines of an old town square clock. It’s an enduring image of this show—and it is one of many.

Ritual & Rhythm

A fast ticking rhythm counteracts the slow, hyperextended movements of a solo dancer. Her back to the audience she moves with creeping extensions, her articulate body creating enticing distortions. Eventually a man enters and parades in circles around her, the statuesque stillness of his slow walks the antidote to her rippling, insect-like contortions.

After the Rain

Alvin Ailey are presenting three varying programmes of work at Sadler's Wells, giving their London audience a select taste of their vast repertoire. While the first programme of their Sadler's line up presents a somewhat mixed bill, the dancers of this company remain at the top of their game.