News / Art

Sadler’s Wells celebrates 20th birthday by commissioning 20 artists including Antony Gormley


Sadler’s Wells: Antony Gormley

World-leading dance organisation Sadler’s Wells announced today (1 February) that it is to celebrate it’s 20th anniversary by commissioning 20 world-class artists. Among them are Antony Gormley and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, who will explore concepts of icons and iconoclasm using over three tonnes of clay, while Howard Hodgkin is to collaborate with Yo-Yo Ma and Mark Morris to tell the story of the Middle Eastern Romeo and Juliet. Other artists scheduled to present new work produced and co-produced by Sadler’s Wells include Sharon Eyal and Akram Khan.

Alistair Spalding, the theatre’s artistic director and chief executive, stated in a press release: “At Sadler’s Wells we don’t just present dance performances, we make dance happen. We embrace all forms of dance here, reflecting the dance traditions of the world at the same time as reflecting the way the world is today. So it’s absolutely right that we celebrate our anniversary with “20 for 20”: 20 commissions representing the finest talent from all over the world and artists at every stage of their career.” The famous venue is the sixth building to stand on the Islington site since Richard Sadler first established the theatre in 1683, with the Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet and English National Opera having evolved from their time there. Since 2005, the theatre has brought over 150 new works to the stage with 1.7 million attendees.

2018 will also see other exciting projects from Sadler’s Wells. The theatre will produce four 30-minute artist-led films in partnership with the BBC, with each film introducing a different artist from a diverse range of backgrounds and styles. Meanwhile, the theatre will be moving forward with its planned venue in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The creative organisation has also named four young choreographers it will support as part of its new “young Associates” programme. The artists, who are all under 25, will receive advice and networking opportunities through the institution.


Sadler’s Wells: Antony Gormley


Sadler’s Wells: Howard Hodgkin


Sadler’s Wells: Howard Hodgkin


Sadler’s Wells: Natalia Osipova


Sadler’s Wells: Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui


Sadler’s Wells: Akram Khan