Sadler’s Wells Launches New Artist Development Programmes
Sadler’s Wells has launched a range of artist development initiatives with a focus on practice rather than performance-based outcomes, including artist-led programmes, a mentoring scheme and programmes for South Asian dance practitioners and disabled artists.
Devised by Sadler’s Wells Associate Artistic Director Rob Jones the programmes are designed to have a broad reach supporting a range of choreographic styles.
Rob Jones said, “We want these programmes to be spaces where we can have a consistent dialogue with developing choreographers and dance artists. The majority of our programmes are open call outs, and some are targeted in recognition of underserved areas of the dance ecology. These initial strands are focused on holding space for development without the pressure of production-based outcomes.”
In the mentoring programme, 10 early-career choreographers or dance artists will be paired with an established choreographer from the Sadler’s Wells network to explore a specific creative question, provocation or idea. The programme will offer a sounding board and support network, delivered through six one-hour mentoring sessions held online over the course of a year. Mentors include Ivan Blackstock, Claire Cunningham, Dan Daw, Gregory Maqoma, Seeta Patel, Crystal Pite and Charlotte Spencer.
The South Asian Dance Development Programme is a two-year programme launched after a consultation process with professionals from the South Asian Dance Community. It is for emerging choreographers whose practice is based in a South Asian dance style –from Kathak, to Odissi, to Bollywood – and will take place through a range of creative exchanges, skills sharing, peer-led learning and mentoring support. They will be delivered in partnership with Akademi.
Time and Space Commissions offer three more established choreographers £7,000, studio space and producing support, with no pressure to deliver a production at the end of the process. The aim is for these commissions to act as a catalyst for a choreographer’s development, enabling them to achieve a step change in their practice. They are open to artists from a range of choreographic styles who want to create bold work and have already made at least three professional productions.
The Disabled Artist Programme is a rolling programme focused on practice development opportunities for disabled artists. Participants will be invited to join a practice-based session each month, collaborating with artists who have worked on Sadler’s Wells’ stages. Through holding a consistent space for the disabled dance community in London, Sadler’s Wells hopes to cultivate deeper relationships and support the development of disabled dancemakers.
There will be a programme of bi-monthly artist-led sessions, with an open call for dance artists and choreographers to create and lead a practice-based session for other artists. Each session will be hybrid, so artists not based in London or near Sadler’s Wells can attend online. Each selected artist will receive a fee to create a session for other artists to interrogate and share ideas with a wider dance ecology.
In addition, recorded seminars and workshops from the Choreographic School and Hip Hop Theatre Academy at Sadler’s Wells East will be made available online, as a resource for dance practitioners.
Rob Jones joined Sadler’s Wells as Associate Artistic Director in August 2022. Having worked with organisations including Dance Umbrella, Battersea Arts Centre (BAC), The Albany, World Stages London, Roundhouse, Brighton Dome and Brighton Festival, he has a wealth of experience delivering engaging multidisciplinary performances. As Associate Artistic Director he leads the programming team, supports the strategic planning of the future artistic programme, and commissions work across all Sadler’s Wells’ stages.
He added: “We’re really excited to have a different kind of conversation with the dance ecology and this first step will build a strong a foundation for the work Sadler’s Wells is doing to support the future of choreographers and dance artists.”
To find out more and to apply, please visit sadlerswells.com