Welcome! This is your first free article. Get more free articles when you sign up with your email.


“Promising new commissions”

Sadler’s Wells celebrates the 20th anniversary of its transformation into a purpose-built dance house with a promising triple bill of new work by up-and-coming UK choreographers.

It’s a bold event that casts aside the pale, male and stale dancing shoes that so often dominate main stage choreographic commissions in favour of fresher voices. 

Botis Seva’s physical language is vital and arresting, stretching hip-hop into nebulous psychological terrain. In BLKDOG, based on journalist Sally Brampton’s memoir of depression, six grey-hooded dancers jolt and surge to hefty bass and a scrambled soundtrack amid ominous lighting.

They squat and scuttle on their haunches like motorised agents of misery, while their gasping breaths suggest the panting of the titular canine, a being that’s both companion and curse. Some of the woofing and recorded text is a little on the nose, and the piece could be shorter, but Seva’s onto something remarkable. 

So too is Alesandra Seutin, who blends the grounded angularity of contemporary dance with traditional African movement. Boy Breaking Glass, based on a poem by Gwendolyn Brooks, is a study of frustration and marginalisation for seven dancers that culminates in a full-bodied articulation of communal joy, a burst of bright light and locomotion.

There’s less of the latter in Julie Cunningham’s m/y. Admirable in its attempt to transcend patriarchal structures, it’s a diffuse and austere piece that’s difficult to engage with. There are striking moments of ferocity and intimacy though, including a six-strong, casually spread-legged tableau that’s like a female reframing of the Origine du Monde.

As Sadler’s Wells hits 20, meet the emerging choreographers shaping its future


Related to this Review

Everything That Happened and Would HappenEverything That Happened and Would Happen

Production Details
Production nameReckonings
VenueSadler's Wells
StartsOctober 11, 2018
EndsOctober 13, 2018
Running time1hr 55mins
ComposerNell Catchpole, Torben Lars Sylvest, Tunde Jegede
ChoreographerAlesandra Seutin, Botis Seva, Julie Cunningham
Costume designerAlexa Pollman, Kimie Nakano, Ryan Dawson-Laight
CastEleanor Perry, Ezra Owen, Hannah Burfield, Jordan Douglas, Joshua Nash, Julie Cunningham, Sara Ruddock, Seira Winning, Stephanie Mcmann
ProducerSadler's Wells
VerdictSadler’s celebrates its 20th anniversary with a trio of promising new choreographic commissions
Add New Comment
You must be logged in to comment.
Anna Winter

Anna Winter

Anna Winter

Anna Winter

Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue

Invest in The Stage today with a subscription starting at just £3.98
The Stage
© Copyright The Stage Media Company Limited 2020
Linked In