Sadler’s Wells exciting socially distanced season sees dance back on stage

Sadler’s Wells has unveiled a special new season of live dance and digital content for Autumn 2020, including performances for socially distanced audiences at Sadler’Wells Theatre and new additions to their Digital Stage In Focus:

  • Live dance with more performances for socially distanced audiences, Christmas dates, and performances from a stellar line-up of Sadler’s Wells associate companies and artists, including English National Ballet, Alexander Whitley Dance Company, Breakin’ Convention and Ballo Arthur Pita
  • English National Ballet returns for its first performances since lockdown with world premieres featuring choreography by Arielle Smith, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Russell Maliphant, Yuri Possokhov and Stina Quagebeur
  • Alexander Whitley Dance Company’s new work Overflow receives its London premiere in November, following earlier cancellations due to the coronavirus pandemic
  • Breakin’ Convention returns to Sadler’s Wells with Social DisDancingfeaturing new performances from Boy Blue, AIM and Jamaal O’Driscoll
  • Ballo Arthur Pita’s magical The Little Match Girl returns for the festive season, staged in Sadler’s Wells Theatre
  • Digital Stage In Focus continues online featuring collaborations with world-leading dance companies ZooNation: The Kate Prince Company and Candoco Dance Company
  • New documentary charting the National Youth Dance Company’s special Sadler’s Wells residency
  • Sadler’s Wells first Virtual Gala
  • Tickets for all performances available via priority booking from 12 October and on public sale from 15 October

Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist, Sidi Larbi CherkaouiLaid in Earth is a “torn apart” quartet. It is set to Purcell’s famous aria from Dido and Aeneas – sung live by mezzo soprano Flora McIntosh, as well as new electronic music composed by Olga Wojciechowska.

Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist, Russell Maliphant creates ever shifting choreography and uses light as an integral partner in the creative process. He collaborates on this project with video artist Panagiotis Tomaras and with commissioned sound design by Dana Fouras.

A former principal dancer with the Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet and San Francisco Ballet, world-renowned choreographer Yuri Possokhov works with a UK company for the first time. His piece for four dancers, 7, is based on Vasily Grossman’s great novel, Life and Fate, about a Russian family caught in the Second World War and is set to Shostakovich’s Piano Trio No1 which is performed live by musicians of English National Ballet Philharmonic.

In Take Five BluesStina Quagebeur’s choreography responds to two of her favourite pieces of music, Bach’s Vivace and Paul Desmond’s jazz standard, Take Five – both performed live in arrangement’s by English National Ballet Music Director Gavin Sutherland.

Arielle Smith’s Jolly Folly is fast-paced, surprising, and energetic, driven by Latin and jazz-infused covers of Tchaikovsky, Strauss and Mozart by the Klazz Brothers’. English National Ballet gives four performances from 19 – 21 November.

Sadler’s Wells New Wave Associate Alexander Whitley and his company return to the main stage with performances of new work Overflow from 27 – 28 November, receiving its London premiere, following the cancellation of its original run in April 2020 as part of Sadler’s Wells Digital Edition due to national lockdown. Known for his adventurous use of technology, Whitley’s Overflow considers how our desires, fantasies and vulnerabilities are powerfully influenced by social platforms and explores what lurks beneath our compulsions to check, share and like.

Breakin’ Convention takeover in December, presents its first live events since lockdown and the cancellation of the 2020 Festival. Hosted by Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist and Breakin’ Convention Artistic Director Jonzi DSocial DisDancing is a mini-festival of new work showcasing the best of hip hop dance. The evening features performances from AIM, the high-energy all female popping crew; a London premiere for Jamaal O’Driscoll, featuring b-boy Marius in a duet exploring duality and mental clarity; and a world premiere from renowned East London company and Breakin’ Convention favourites, Boy Blue. The event will also feature film screenings, including a showing of Jonzi D and jessica Care moore’s recent work, the powerful Our Bodies Back, a riveting dance film that speaks out against anti-Black racism and honours the lived experiences of Black women past and present. Breakin’ Convention Social DisDancing runs 11 – 12 December 2020.

Christmas returns to Sadler’s Wells with performances of Ballo Arthur Pita’s magical family favourite The Little Match Girlfollowing five hugely successful Christmas seasons in the Lilian Baylis Studio. Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s classic story, director and choreographer Arthur Pita presents a beautiful reimagining of The Little Match Girl through dance, song and Frank Moon’s atmospheric music performed live on stage. On an icy cold Christmas eve in an imaginary Italian town, the little match girl wanders the streets with just one final match to keep her warm. Along her journey she encounters kindness and cruelty, in a timeless fable about family, friendship and hope. The Little March Girl runs across the festive season from 17 – 27 December, this time in Sadler’s Wells Theatre to allow social distancing for audiences to take place.

These events follow Sadler’s Wells’ first public socially distanced performances since lockdown, presented by Birmingham Royal Ballet at the end of October. Performances of Lazuli Sky, a new programme inspired by socially distancing and the first commissioned by Carlos Acosta in his new role as Artistic Director, run from Thursday 29 to Saturday 31 October 2020, in Sadler’s Wells Theatre. Further information about all performances and ticket sales are available from

Sadler’s Wells also extends its digital offering, with further details of Digital Stage In Focus announced today. This new series, featuring Sadler’s Wells in collaboration with three world-renowned dance companies, began in September with Sadler’s Wells Hofesh Shechter Company, a hugely successful partnership that drew more than 1.4 million views globally.

Each collaboration features a digital screening of a full-length performance made available for seven days; a Get Into Dance Workshop, which is a 30-minute introductory level session devised by each company in its own distinct dance style; and a bespoke piece of digital content created especially for this series. Digital Stage In Focus is free for all audiences with content released via the Sadler’s Wells website, Facebook page