Sadler’s Wells Young Associates present their Mixed Bill world premiere in the Lilian Baylis Studio on Tuesday 23 and Wednesday 24 November 2021, introducing audiences to the next generation of choreographers.
The Mixed Bill is the first live performance of work by the second cohort of Young Associates; Olive Hardy, Vidya Patel, John-William Watson, and Magnus Westwell. This evening of dance showcases the distinct and diverse creative voices of these young artists as they embark on their careers as choreographers.
Olive Hardy’s work is inspired by the notion of catharsis and is a piece for three dancers which plunges audiences into a shifting landscape where the physical body is always in flux. Hardy’s work is inspired by the churning of rocks in the ocean, cloud formations, the eye of the storm and the metamorphosis of insects. Hardy is collaborating with sound artist Samir Kennedy to use sound as a fourth ‘body’ in the piece. The score will explore how absence and presence of sound can shift how audiences witness movement on stage.
Vidya Patel’s Kathak work, When Life Gives You Melons is an ensemble piece featuring four female dancers with a wide range of experience in different dance practices including ballet, contemporary, bharatnatyam and kathak-nandita shankardass. The work explores the issue of female infanticide within South Asian culture, and how discrimination against women continues to evolve in different forms. Patel’s work hopes to encourage further conversations around women’s rights, and allow new, underrepresented voices to have a part in the conversation. Patel collaborates with Sarathy Korwar for this piece, who is a US-born, Indian-raised and London-based musician. He works predominantly in jazz and Indian classical music, with elements of hip hop, electronic music, and more.
John William Watson is inspired by surrealist movement and the medium of film for his work, This is not a penguin. This dance theatre duet is set in a remote research outpost in Antarctica and is a surrealist exploration of the life of a penguin told from the perspective of an arctic researcher. With knitwear design by Joshua Cartmell and sound design by Ethan Alexander, Watson’s work explores experiences many have faced during the pandemic, including isolation, morality and uncertainty about the future when faced with global catastrophe.
Magnus Westwell’s cinematic dance work immerses the audience in music which is produced by Westwell himself. The piece is for three performers including BBC Young Dancer 2015, Connor Scott. This dream-like work is set somewhere between an ethereal forest and an epic rave, with the movement and music inspired by Westwell’s experience of living, of being queer and of being neurodivergent. The work explores themes of queerness, gender expression, emotional expression, romance, communal revelry and transcendence. Westwell looks to find a place for the dancers to exist in between extremes. The original score will be produced by Westwell, performed by musicians Lucinda Chua, CJ Calderwood and Travis Yu. With fashion and costume design by Olybiyi Thomas, the creative team will collaborate to create a unique world for the dancers which mirrors the energy of the music.
The lighting designer for all four works will be Ryan Stafford.
Director of Learning and Engagement, Joce Giles, said: “It is fantastic that our current Young Associates are now able to present their work in front of live audiences for the first time. They have shown courage, commitment and creativity to continue developing their work as dance makers over the last two years and we are all excited to see their short works performed in the Lilian Baylis Studio.”
Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Sadler’s Wells, Alistair Spalding, said: “Sadler’s Wells is committed to supporting the artists of the future, and we are delighted to be presenting such a range of work by these four fantastic Young Associates.”