News: New Commissions award for Sadler's Wells

Friday 17 August 2012 by Carmel Smith

The Monument Trust, a Sainsbury Family Charitable Trust, has awarded £600,000 to support the commissioning of new work at Sadler’s Wells.

One of the first productions to benefit from the award -the most substantial the theatre has received to date – is a new commission from balletLORENT for a large scale collaboration between choreographer Liv Lorent, Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, composer Murray Gold (Doctor Who, Shameless, Torchwood) and costume designer Michele Clapton (HBO’s Game of Thrones).

Following a period of research and development within Sadler’s Wells’ Jerwood Studio programme – generously supported by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation, Sadler’s Wells and New Writing North commissioned Newcastle-based choreographer Liv Lorent to create a contemporary version of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale Rapunzel for the theatre’s main stage in March 2013.

Rapunzel will be Carol Ann Duffy’s first collaboration for dance, following previous experience of writing for the stage. Writing a new version of the classic story, she says: “Fairy tales are both strange and familiar, frightening and reassuring, and provide a map of childhood which we can still use as adults to remember who we are. Their re-telling and reinterpretation is part of the lifeblood of literature”

The cast will include eight professional dancers, young children and narration by actress Lesley Sharp. Liv Lorent says: “Most of us remember Rapunzel’s hair and the tower, but we’re a bit hazy on the rest of the story. It has been told again and again and reinterpreted for children of today through versions like Disney’s Tangled, but we’re telling an older, slightly darker version, more akin to its Grimm tale origins. We’ve included a part of the story which is usually neglected and will be telling it through the eyes of different characters.”

Future new Sadler’s Wells commissions are planned for a host of Associate Artists of the theatre – Jasmin Vardimon, Hofesh Shechter, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Resident Company Wayne McGregor|Random Dance as well as other artists with whom Sadler’s Wells has worked, including Michael Keegan-Dolan and Daniel Linehan.

Sadler’s Wells Chief Executive and Artistic Director Alistair Spalding said: “We are extremely grateful to The Monument Trust for its recognition and endorsement of our commissioning policy. This generous grant is a significant boost allowing Sadler’s Wells to maintain its commitment to supporting artists to create new work, which in addition to developing new talent, lies at the heart of our vision for dance.”

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