The Best Family Dance at Sadler’s Wells 2015

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Did I tell you one of my New Year thoughts (I don’t really do resolutions, too much disappointment and all that…) was to try and search out the best art-y & cultural events, and let you be the first to know. I don’t want you ever to miss out. That’s because you mean a lot to me, and I want you to be the one they talk about after the dinner party saying “…oh, you mean the fit and hilarious one, she’s/he’s really cultured and interesting”. So here goes…first up is the bill of dance shows from famous Sadler’s Wells, the world’s no.1 venue dedicated to international dance. (Don’t say you weren’t the first to know). NB. Click here to make all bookings, and follow my instagram as I just LOVE dance, and am always trying to get there and post about it.

Questions and Dancers : Saturday 7 February : LILIAN BAYLIS STUDIO : Age 8+

Question and Dancers is a double bill of new works for young people, bringing together new dance talent Sally Marie, nominated for the Critic’s Circle National Dance Award for new talent, and John Ross, winner of the New Adventures Choreographer Award. Sally and John each create an original short dance piece with final year students from the London Contemporary Dance School (LCDS), inviting feedback and questions after the show.

Sally Marie presents I am 8, a world in which children’s personal stories and dancers’ lives blend in a tale of discovery, spanning the ages between eight and 21. In There, There Stranger by John Ross, is set in a labyrinth where anything is possible, and the dancers go on a quest moving through darkness and light, from the scary to the absurd.

My First Ballet: Swan Lake : Thursday 2 – Sunday 12 April : THE PEACOCK : Age 3+

Following the success of their children-friendly adaptations of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Coppélia, English National Ballet and English National Ballet School return with a new addition to the My First Ballet series – My First Ballet: Swan Lake. With a narrator to help the young audience follow the story and a shortened version of Tchaikovsky’s music, these performances are created to make ballet accessible and enjoyable to children from the age of three upwards.

This unique collaboration between English National Ballet and English National Ballet School is created by English National Ballet’s Associate Artist George Williamson and performed by second year students from English National Ballet School. All the workshops were booked up when I last looked… this is such a hottie in the world of young ballet.

Varmints (part of the Family Weekend Event) : Friday 3 & Sat 4 April  : LILIAN BAYLIS STUDIO : Age 7+

Varmints is a rich visual piece of original dance theatre for young people and their families, choreographed by B-boy and Sadler’s Wells New Wave Associate Wilkie Branson, in collaboration with children’s theatre director Sally Cookson. Based on the award-winning book by Helen Ward with illustrations by Marc Craste, it tells the poignant tale of one small creature’s struggle to preserve a world in danger of being lost forever.

Following a successful 2013 tour, Varmints returns to the LBS with a specially added interactive post show discussion in which the audience can meet the cast and discover more about the show.

Aracaladanza present Constelaciones  : Saturday 4 April  : SADLER’S WELLS : Age 4+

Aracaladanza has been a favourite at Sadler’s Wells since the award-winning company’s Family Weekend debut in 2008. Constelaciones is a new piece, inspired by the work of Barcelona born painter Joan Miró. A national icon in Spain and one of the 20th century’s most celebrated artists, Miró is known for his surrealist and experimental approach to his art. Constelaciones is a cocktail of colours, shapes and games, inviting the audience to explore the colourful universe Miró composed with his paintings.

Snow White : Thursday 23 – Sunday 26 April : THE PEACOCK : Age 3 and above

With a cast of 55 talented dancers, aged nine – 16, London Children’s Ballet returns to the West End with a production of Snow White based on the original Grimms’ fairy tale. The ballet includes an original musical score performed by a live orchestra. Founded in 1994, London Children’s Ballet gives talented young dancers the opportunity to perform as part of a professional ballet production. They have an extensive repertoire of 14 ballets, including The Secret Garden, A Little Princess, Ballet Shoes and Rumpelstiltskin.

International Festival of Hip Hop Dance Theatre : Saturday 2 & Sunday 3 May : SADLER’S WELLS : All Ages

Sadler’s Wells’ critically acclaimed international festival of hip hop dance theatre, Breakin’ Convention, is back, with performances from UK and international companies. Now in its 12th year, this hugely popular Sadler’s Wells Production is hosted and curated by Associate Artist Jonzi D. Breakin’ Convention also sees Sadler’s Wells’ foyer transformed with live DJs, freestyle dance jams, graffiti exhibitions, and workshops from top international artists. Tickets are just £20 or £15 standing.

New Art Club  : Hercules : Friday 24 & Saturday 25 July : THE PEACOCK : U5’s admitted

New Art Club are pioneering artists, comedy theatre makers and choreographers Pete Shenton and Tom Roden. The duo won the Edinburgh Spotlight Best Comedy Award in 2010 and regularly perform at Soho Theatre and at comedy and dance festivals around the UK. Hercules is a new family production combining elements of pantomime, dance, cabaret and comedy. This unique take on the Hercules story is based on the 12 Labours and features a choreographed wrestling match; a Paso Doble bullfight; a battle with a multi headed dancing monster; a hula-hooping queen of the Amazon and much more.

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