News: Sadlers Wells launches the Jerwood Studio

Thursday 22 December 2005

Sadler’s Wells Theatre is launching The Jerwood Studio – a new programme that will develop creative opportunities for dancers and choreographers to experiment and take risks. It has been made possible by a donation from the Jerwood Charitable Foundation – £120,000 per year for three years – the biggest non-capital award ever donated by the charity.

Announcing the new initiative Alistair Spalding, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of Sadler’s Wells said: The Jerwood Studio at Sadler’s Wells is a laboratory where dance can stretch its legs; a place where artists can dream a little about big ideas. Immediate results are not the point. It’s about giving artists the freedom to experiment and the freedom to fail. It supports my desire to make Sadler’s Wells a powerhouse for dance creativity, in the tradition of Lilian Baylis and Ninette de Valois’.

While the studio may lead indirectly to the creation of ground-breaking new work – thus playing a role in the theatre’s mission to develop a new generation of British-produced dance work – the emphasis of the studio is firmly on research and development, allowing emerging and established artists the rare freedom to explore an idea with collaborators and dancers before any rehearsal period begins. The emphasis throughout is on collaboration with other art forms including visual arts, theatre and music.

Roanne Dods, Director of the Jerwood Charitable Foundation added: ‘For artists to develop and mature they need time within a creative and structured environment to nourish themselves, study their craft and take risks. Jerwood is committed to the creative development of artists across the visual and performng arts, with high rates of success in generating exciting new work. The remarkable team at Sadler’s Wells under Alistair Spalding will create a thrilling environment for producing evermore exciting choreography’

Artists involved in the Jerwood Studio at Sadler’s Wells will include: Isaac Julien and Russell Maliphant working on a dance film project; Nitin Sawhney, Sue Buckmaster and acclaimed Kathak dancer and choreographer Gauri Sharma Tripathi working on the development of a dance theatre interpretation of the Mahabharata; and choreographer Maresa von Stockert and theatre-rites working on a new movement led collaboration.

Sadler’s Wells ends 2005 on a high. The transformation from receiving to producing house is well underway, with the appointment of several associate companies and artists. Matthew Bourne, George Piper Dances, Jonzi D, Akram Khan and Russell Maliphant have all made the North London theatre their base – joining Random Dance, the resident company and Rambert, long term associate company. This season has seen record sales and an unprecedented year-end surplus.


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