Feature: What's your dream Sadler's Wells Sampled line-up?

Friday 15 December 2017

Sadler’s Wells Sampled returns in February 2018 with a chance catch an eclectic mix of extracts from some of the most exciting dance works around, performed by the world’s best ballet dancers, breakers, flamenco stars and contemporary mavericks.

To celebrate, we asked some of the artists taking part what their dream Sampled line-up would be, and who they’re most looking forward to seeing perform in 2018.

Nafisah Baba

Nafisah Baba

Alvin Ailey

Ailey has been my inspiration since I started dancing. As a little girl, I remember my Mum taking me to see them perform in London and that memory has always stayed with me. Seeing myself represented, doing something I always dreamed of doing, was so important for me, especially at that age and reminded me that anything is possible (it still does!). The company, and some of the individual dancers are still a huge inspiration for me. Watching them at Sadler’s Wells last year was a dream come true. Just hearing the Revelations music gave me goosebumps.

Balletboyz – Fourteen Days

I recently watched BalletBoyz perform at Sadler’s Wells and I was absolutely blown away with the skill and performance of the company. Playing with the theme of the concept of balance and imbalance, I thought the choreography was genius, especially the duet ‘Us’ – I actually don’t think I was breathing throughout. I was so tempted to come back to watch again another day (I wish I had done!)

Botis Seva

I performed alongside Botis Seva at a Sadler’s Wells gala, Material Movement in November. They are incredible dancers – the musicality, passion and movement quality of the dancers was unbelievable. I didn’t know too much about them before, but since watching them perform I haven’t stopped googling to see when their next performance is. Watching them dance made me think about the possibilities of movement and how much I could learn from watching them.

I’m so excited to seeing Humanhood and NDT2 perform. I couldn’t just pick one! These companies couldn’t be more different from each other but I definitely admire them. I’ve always wanted to see Humanhood live but never had the chance to, so I can’t wait to watch and be inspired! The same goes with NDT2 – I watched their performance when they came to Sadler’s in May and I was blown away (as expected!).


Welly O’Brian of Candoco

Sue Smith (Siobhan Davies)

Sue is a founding member of Candoco and made the first piece of professional work I performed in, a duet called Tonic. I learned such a lot from this experience and Sue’s approach to choreography. Teaching and working with people has taught me such a lot.

Javier de Frutos

Javier was one of the first choreographers I ever worked with. He gave me a real introduction to the huge possibilities of choreography. His sharp eye for detail and the level of research he takes on for every piece he makes has really informed how I work in dance.

Daisy and Violet Hilton

Daisy and Violet Hilton were twins born in my home town of Brighton and sold to perform in vaudeville shows in America. In my own choreographic practice, I became really intrigued by these sisters and what it meant for them to be disabled performers. It was important to me to bring something of their lives into my dancing and research. I would love to be able to speak with them now.

I am really excited to be performing alongside such a diverse group of great artists as part of Sampled at Sadler’s Wells, I couldn’t possibly pick just one. What I particularly enjoy is the opportunity to bring new work including a range of genres, styles and dancers to audiences that might not otherwise see them.


Rudi Cole and Julia Robert of HumanHood

Our Sampled line-up would be a mix of choreographers whose work we think is diverse in style and aesthetic, thought provoking and high quality.

Australian Dance Theatre be yourself

This piece is extreme on the physicality.

TAO Dance Theatre 5

For the simplicity.

Wayne Mcgregor/Royal Ballet Infra

For the composition.

We would also invite traditional dance companies from around the world – folk from Slovakia, West African Dance, Native American ritual dance – to share the popular dances that humans still practice, and have done for many years. We feel this would give a sense of ‘source’, with representation of dance forms grounded in the culture and the origins as well as companies in today’s era, with works that are original, innovative and ground-breaking.

We are looking forward to seeing the BBC Young Dancer 2017. It’s always exciting for us to watch young talent and see how the next generation of dancers embody and apply their uniqueness into their practice and performance.

Nafisah Baba, Candoco and Humakind will be all be performing as part of Sampled 2018.

Sadler’s Wells Sampled 2018
Sadler’s Wells
2 & 3 February

You can also catch Kelly’s suggestions of BalletBoyz Foutreen Days at Sadler’s Wells 26 – 28 April 2018.

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