Latest in contemporary ballet at Sadler’s Wells

Northern Ballet Casanova Photo by Guy Farrow

Sadler’s Wells, renowned for its year-round Ballet with attitude programme, is a hub for showcasing the vibrancy and diversity of contemporary ballet creations.

This year, audiences are in for a treat as some of the most celebrated choreographers bring their unique interpretations of timeless classics to the stage, offering a fresh perspective on traditional ballet narratives.

Innovations on Stage

Carlos Acosta’s Carmen: The stage at Sadler’s Wells Theatre will witness the UK premiere of Carlos Acosta’s Carmen, where the legendary dancer himself embodies the role of the Bull, symbolizing fate and destiny in this reimagined tale. The sparse yet powerful setting lays bare the universal themes of the story, promising a captivating experience for the audience.

Akram Khan’s Giselle: Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist Akram Khan presents a bold reimagining of Giselle, transforming this beloved romantic ballet into a gripping narrative of love, betrayal, and redemption. This acclaimed production by English National Ballet makes a triumphant return to the Sadler’s Wells stage after five years, offering a fresh take on a classic.

Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake: Closing the year with a groundbreaking production, Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake celebrates its 30th anniversary UK tour at Sadler’s Wells Theatre. Known for its innovative portrayal, this genre-defining performance replaces the female corps-de-ballet with a compelling male ensemble, redefining the essence of this iconic ballet.

Pushing Boundaries

Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Luna: Birmingham Royal Ballet presents Luna, a new work inspired by the pioneering women of Birmingham, exploring contemporary themes through an all-female international creative team. This groundbreaking piece promises a fresh perspective on ballet, orchestrated by a diverse group of choreographers and musicians.

National Ballet of Canada’s Frontiers: Choreographers of Canada: The National Ballet of Canada presents Frontiers: Choreographers of Canada, featuring works by leading Canadian choreographers. From Crystal Pite’s profound exploration of human limitations to James Kudelka’s evocative love story set to Beethoven’s music, this triple bill showcases the rich tapestry of Canadian ballet talent.

Family-Friendly Tales

London Children’s Ballet – The Secret Garden: For young audiences and families, Sadler’s Wells’ Peacock Theatre hosts The Secret Garden by London Children’s Ballet, a heartwarming tale inspired by Frances Hodgson Burnett’s novel. This summer production invites viewers on a journey of overcoming fears and discovering happiness through enchanting choreography.

The Snowman: During the festive season, the Peacock Theatre welcomes back the narrative ballet The Snowman, a timeless story of friendship between a young boy and a magical snowman. Directed by Bill Alexander and choreographed by Robert North, this production captivates audiences with its enduring charm.

Classic Revivals

Northern Ballet’s Romeo & Juliet: Northern Ballet presents a compelling rendition of Romeo & Juliet, a critically acclaimed production that brings to life the tragic love story of star-crossed lovers. With their unique storytelling prowess, Northern Ballet promises an unforgettable experience for audiences this May.

Birmingham Royal Ballet’s La Fille mal gardée: La Fille mal gardée by Birmingham Royal Ballet offers a delightful blend of classical ballet and comedic flair, shedding light on the humorous dynamics of mother-daughter relationships. This comical classic showcases the company’s mastery in blending spectacle and humor on stage.

Accessible Ballet Experience

Apart from live performances, Sadler’s Wells extends the ballet experience to digital platforms through the Sadler’s Wells Digital Stage. Offering dance workshops, intimate portraits of ballet dancers, and school resources, the Digital Stage aims to demystify ballet for audiences of all ages, making this art form more accessible and engaging.

In the words of Sadler’s Wells Artistic Director and Co-Chief Executive, Sir Alistair Spalding CBE, “Ballet with attitude breaks down barriers, showing that it can be a dance form for everyone.” Whether enjoying classic tales, contemporary adaptations, or new works, audiences are invited to immerse themselves in the magic of ballet at Sadler’s Wells, both on stage and online.

Here’s all the ballet that’s on to get excited for…

Romeo & Juliet             
Tuesday 28 May – Saturday 1 June  
Tickets from £15 

Carlos Acosta’s Carmen                      
Tuesday 2 – Saturday 6 July 24
Tickets from £15  

The Secret Garden 
Thursday 4 July – Sunday 7 July 
Tickets from £18 

Wednesday 11 – Saturday 14 September  

Tickets from £15 

Akram Khan’s Giselle              
Wednesday 18 – Saturday 28 September 
Tickets from £15