Sadler’s Wells makes its debut on the National Theatre River Stage, London’s largest free outdoor arts festival, with a weekend of dance performances and family workshops ranging from hip hop to flamenco.
Breakin’ Convention kicks off the festival with Freestyle Funk Forum, an hour of improvised theatre that is hip hop’s answer to ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’. Performances of dance, beatboxing, turntablism and rap are followed by impromptu dance workshops and a DJ set.
Saturday’s programme features a wide range of family workshops, including yoga, lindy hop, and flamenco, as well as an inclusive ballroom workshop by Step Change Studios, who also perform excerpts fromFusion, the UK’s first ballroom showcase for disabled and non-disabled dancers, which recently premiered at the Lilian Baylis Studio at Sadler’s Wells.
Vidya Patel & Shammi Pithia present their new work Converse for the first time, an extraordinary conversation between Kathak dance and contemporary music. In a journey of solos and duets, these artists connect with inherited traditions and emerging modernity.
Dotdotdot Dance, the UK-based flamenco dance company co-founded in 2014 by Magdalena Mannion, Noemí Luz & Yinka Esi Graves, present live music and a variety of works including When Viola Met Margas andInto Being, challenging conventional perceptions of flamenco with a contemporary approach and striking visual imagery.
Sunday includes a collaborative Let’s Make a Dance workshop by Tim Casson’s interactive dance performance The Dance WE Made; a performance by the Company of Elders, Sadler’s Wells’ inspirational resident company of over-60s performers; and Ceilidh Liberation Front, London’s most radical ceilidh band.
River Stage runs from Friday 13 July to Sunday 12 August and all events are free. More details are available on the. Image credit: Breakin_ Convention – Freestyle Funk Forum (c) Owen Ling