News: Sadler’s Wells announces 21 new artists for Summer University

Friday 7 August 2015 by Clare Evans

Sadler's Wells
Photo: Morley Von Sternberg

Sadler’s Wells today announces the 21 UK-based dance professionals who have successfully gained a place on the theatre’s Summer University (14 – 27 September 2015) via an open application process. The 21 dance makers and artists form the second cohort of participants attending the Sadler’s Wells Summer University over the next four years.

The 21 artists chosen for the Second Edition are:
Adrienne Hart, Alesandra Seutin, Alexandrina Hemsley, Antonio de la Fe, Charlotte Spencer, Dan Daw, Eva Recacha, James Cousins, Joe Moran, Katerina Paramana, Katye Coe, Kwame Asafo-Adjei, Marquez & Zangs (Mariana Lucia Marquez & Emma Zangs), Neil Callaghan, Nicola Conibere, Patricia Okenwa, Pepa Ubera, Stefan Jovanovic, Stephanie McMann, Theo Clinkard.

Guest speakers for the first year of the Second Edition include Art Angel Director Michael Morris, Dramaturg and Performance Theorist Bojana Cvejic and Tate Modern Curator, Catherine Wood.

Directed by one of the most respected choreographers working in Europe today, Jonathan Burrows, in collaboration with Eva Martinez, Artistic Programmer for Sadler’s Wells, the first edition of the project ran between 2011 and 2014, supporting 15 dance artists from a wide range of dance styles and practices. This first edition was funded by Jerwood Charitable Foundation, who have continued their support into this second edition.

Summer University takes the shape of a two-week intensive period every summer with the same group of artists. Exceptionally, this first year takes place in September.

The four-year programme is aimed specifically at dance artists who have been active in their field yet are at the earlier stages of their career as dance makers, a crucial stage in their development. The recipients all have a distinctive approach to choreographic practice across a wide range of choreographic backgrounds. As a group, they represent a diverse gathering of artists that bring their existing experience as performers, teachers, academics and self-producers, and aim to further their contribution as dance makers.

The artists taking part are encouraged to extend their perspective on what constitutes choreographic practice. The intensive fortnight involves sharing work, hearing talks, exploring methodologies and philosophies of performance making and extending their own practice through peer exchange and focused interventions. With additional input from international guest speakers and workshop facilitators spanning dance, theatre, visual arts, philosophy and artistic development, the Summer University focuses on compositional and choreographic processes and how to sustain a creative career as a dance artist today.

Summer University Director Jonathan Burrows says the 21 participants can expect an intensive two weeks of studying theirs and other dance artists’ practices as a preparation for creating new work. “Rather than experiment, the idea is to clarify what has been done and push that towards what might also be possible. The impact of this work when repeated over a number of years has a greater chance of spreading beyond the initial group of participating artists, and slowly shift approaches to choreography.” , says Burrows.

Sadler’s Wells Artistic Programmer Eva Martinez says, “Summer University was born out of Sadler’s Wells’ desire to nurture artists in a more sustained way at specifically crucial stages of their development. Its first edition revealed just how much the artists benefit from an ongoing dialogue with each other over several years and with the theatre also. It has created a real sense of generational change and an unusual peer support network reaching beyond traditional artistic differences, thanks to the unique perspective Jonathan brings to this process. We are now embarking on a new journey with a bright and ambitious group of dance makers, academics and performers stemming from across the spectrum of dance made today, driven by a shared aspiration to expand the confines of our art form.”

The Summer University programme is part of a range of initiatives Sadler’s Wells offers to support and develop choreographers and dancers at varying stages of their practice. This includes the National Youth Dance Company which, funded jointly by Arts Council England and the Department for Education, draws together some of the brightest young talent aged 16-19 from across the country, to work with the theatre’s internationally renowned Associate Artists. There’s also Wild Card, which invites emerging choreographers and producers to curate an evening of work for Sadler’s Wells’ Lilian Baylis Studio, offering them production, technical and marketing support as part of the process. Sadler’s Wells’ New Wave Associates programme, established in 2012 and supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, offers the next generation of artists a structured programme of support, by directing them to opportunities that will further develop their careers and through a commitment to commission and show original new work by each of them.

Completing the continuum of support, Sadler’s Wells’ 16 Associate Artists, three Resident Companies and Associate Company, are offered opportunities to work alongside collaborators and dancers, and develop concepts and ideas for large-scale productions which the theatre commissions and co-produces.

Summer University is supported by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation and is made possible thanks to funding through the Leverhulme Trust Arts Scholarship

Find out more about Sadler’s Wells’ Summer University and other initiatives: www.sadlerswells.com

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