News: On stage, on screen, on-line

Tuesday 16 September 2008

Sadler’s Wells Theatre yesterday launched three significant developments in film and digital media which will bring the dance it presents at it’s London venues to world-wide audiences.

In partnership with production and distribution company Axiom Films, Sadler’s Wells on Screen will film several of the widely acclaimed productions which have been made at the theatre since it became a production house in 2005, for release on DVD. The first in the series features *zero degrees*, the highly acclaimed collaboration between dancer/choreographers Akram Khan and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, with composer Nitin Sawhney and artist Antony Gormley. As well as the filmed performance, the DVD includes interviews with the collaborators and other background material. It will be available in November.

“As an international venue, we’re always looking for new ways to bring the work produced, created and performed here to wider audiences, whether through touring, via the web, or on film” says_ Alistair Spalding, Artistic Director and CEO of Sadler’s Wells. “
In recent years Sadler’s Wells has created several hugely successful productions that have toured the world to critical acclaim and packed theatres. zero degrees is a prime example, and making it available on DVD is a fantastic opportunity for the theatre to bring its work to a wider public. In doing so we’re also developing a record of the work that Sadler’s Wells now produces.”_

Sadler’s Wells on Screen productions are being directed by Deborah May, whose work across music, dance and film includes the performance sequences in Deborah Bull’s BBC2 series The Dancer’s Body and Simon Rattle’s series on 20th century music. Sutra, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s collaboration with the monks of China’s Shaolin Temple and Antony Gormley, premiered earlier this year and Sacred Monsters the 2006 collaboration between Sylvie Guillem and Akram Khan have also been filmed and will be available soon on DVD.

A much wider array of dance on screen will also be available on Sadler’s Wells website – with the introduction of a new web video player, going live from October. The website has featured clips of performances for years, but the new player will allow the theatre to present interviews, features, behind the scenes footage and archive film. The player will launch with an in-depth interview with William Forsythe, one of the most significant choreographers working in dance today.

A new website for Breakin’ Convention, the annual international hip hop dance theatre festival produced at Sadler’s Wells, will be launched in November. With Arts Council England support, Breakin’ Convention is expanding to become a year round programme including national touring, partnerships with regional venues and dance agencies to create a network of Breakin’ Convention Hubs, developing work with local hip hop dance, music and visual artists; producing year-round professional development courses for UK hip hop dance theatre companies, choreographers and artists and commissioning new work. The new website will support all this additional activity and includes a specialised social-networking element, allowing users to create their own profiles and post videos and photos as well as details of their own related events. Director of Marketing and Communication at the theatre, Kingsley Jayasekera comments; “Sadler’s Wells has long embraced cutting edge technology and our website is a leader in its field. It accounts for 65% of our ticket sales and currently hosts just under 200 video clips, the most popular of which has been seen up to 61,000 times. Social networking via the web has become increasingly significant in recent years, and with the Breakin’ Convention website offering that additional opportunity to its users, it promises to be a ground-breaking site within the arts.”

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