News: New Chief Executive and Artistic Director for Sadler’s Wells

Friday 29 October 2004

Alistair Spalding has been appointed Chief Executive and Artistic Director of London’s landmark dance house. He has been in the post on an Interim basis since the departure of Jean Luc Choplin in March.

He joined Sadler’s Wells in February 2000 as Director of Programming. Over the last four years audiences have increased by nearly 30,000 a year to 450,000 annually. Alistair Spalding has presented international and UK companies of the highest quality including Pina Bausch, Mark Morris Dance Group, Michael Clark, Ballett Frankfurt, Sylvie Guillem and the Ballet Boyz, La La La Human Steps, Netherlands Dance Theatre 1 and 2, Dutch National Ballet, Alvin Ailey and New Adventures at Sadler’s Wells. At the Peacock Theatre he has utilised the full potential of the space to present a successful programme of commercial dance productions, which cater for a wider audience.

This May, he presented London’s first festival of hip-hop dance. Breakin Convention was a sell-out weekend which brought 250 performers to Sadler’s Wells from all over the world and saw international stars mixing with community dance groups in a highly successful event, sponsored by Bloomberg.

Announcing the new appointment, Paul Cullington, Acting Chairman of the Sadler’s Wells Trust said, “We are immensely impressed by the quality of Alistair’s artistic programme, which brings together a clear vision for the theatre, a passion to bring dance of the highest quality to a wide audience, and an astute business sense.”

Alistair Spalding said, “Sadler’s Wells is a unique theatre, with a wonderful and distinctive atmosphere. It is tremendously rewarding to bring the work of the best companies and choreographers in the world here for London audiences. The whole Sadler’s Wells team shares a great excitement about the future, and it’s an excitement I know we will communicate to reach new audiences for dance.”

Prior to joining Sadler’s Wells, Alistair Spalding was Head of Dance and Performance at the South Bank Centre in London (1994 to 2000). There he developed both the presentation and commissioning of national and international dance and performance companies. He has developed strong co-producing relationships with DV8, Alain Platel, Jonathan Burrows, Javier de Frutos and Rosas Dance Company. Alistair Spalding was a member of the Arts Council of England Dance advisory panel between 1995 and 2003 and is an external advisor on the City University Validation Board for the Laban Centre London degree courses. He is currently the Chairman of Dance UK.

Sadler’s Wells won the Visit London Nightlife Award recently.

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