Interview: Emma Gladstone, Sadler's Wells [BDE 2012]

Tuesday 24 January 2012

Emma Gladstone

Emma Gladstone is Artistic Programmer and Producer at Sadler’s Wells. She leads the Jerwood Studio at the theatre which was set up to develop creative opportunities for dancers and choreographers to experiment and take risks. Once a dancer with Matthew Bourne’s Adventures in Motion Pictures and Lea Anderson’s Cholmondeleys, she went on to become Associate Director of The Place – and joined Sadler’s Wells in 2005.

“This year is the first time British Dance Edition is being curated by a consortium of London venues and organisations. Sadler’s Wells is one of the eight responsible for putting together the programme. We asked for suggestions from all the members in the National Dance Network and put our own suggestions forward; a very, very long list that became a shorter and then a final short list that demonstrates the range of British dance.

“The triple bill ( Sadler’s Wells, Thu 2 & Fri 3 Feb ) is something that we’re doing specially for British Dance Edition that we wouldn’t do otherwise, so that gives people who aren’t from London a wonderful chance to see something they haven’t seen before. It’s a really great mix of classic contemporary work and some excellent new work by two of our Associates (Wayne McGregor and Hofesh Shechter), and it gives people a very special chance to see the wonderful Set and Reset/ Reset by Candoco. On the Sunday (5 Feb) there’s the first chance to see Rodin, the new work by Russell Maliphant (another of our Associates) – but its return tickets only for that show now.

“ It’s taken a long time and a lot of discussion so I’m excited to see how others consider the work that we’ve selected and programmed. I put Hofesh’s work ( The Art Of Not Looking Back) on a while ago and I’m looking forward to seeing that again. Its quite a tough piece of work, in structure and in subject matter, but it was well received before, and reminds me how important it is to be ambitious for our audiences. I’m also really happy that this BDE includes work for young audiences. There’s a company called Champloo , really interesting hip hop guys. They’re doing good work – not just for children in fact – and they’re interesting artists, definitely ones to watch. Well produced, professional work for children and young people is a growing area of work in the UK – we are finally catching up with mainland Europe as seeing it as art and not just educational.

“In our area of London there’s a whole range of work happening as Sadler’s Wells and The Place are both catalyst buildings for professional and education and participatory work. But in fact all the partners involved have a lot of work going on in their own programmes, and not just in the theatres. Generally as programmers we’re paid to take decisions on our own, so it’s very enjoyable to sit and discuss work with colleagues, with people whose opinion I respect and who know the field.

“Should people overload on dance then there’s a lot of good theatre going on in London at present, including the RSC’s prize winning musical Matilda, and One Man Two Guvnors, the play that was at The National and has now transferred to the West End, that’s fantastic. I don’t know if they’ll get into the Leonardo exhibition at the National Gallery but it is extraordinary. And finally on the music front there is Hip Hop Karaoke at The Social in W1 every night except Sunday (worth a try?!) or Roots Manuva at the Roundhouse on Sat 4 Feb.”

British Dance Edition
Thu 2 – Sun 5 Feb 2012

Interview: Lise Smith

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