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Monday, 20 February 2017

Dance Sampled, Sadlers Wells, London


Dance Sampled is an opportunity to showcase the vast diversity of the dance sector from around the world to the UK for you to enjoy all in one night, for a special low price. Having been a regular production at Sadlers Wells since 2007 I was delighted to be asked to join other theatre bloggers down to London to get a flavour of it before it arrives at the Birmingham Hippodrome next month.

It's the best introduction in for people to see the strength in both companies and artists from around the world, allowing access to styles of dance that we haven't been able to experience before. It's important as part of Hippodrome's aim to be able to bring both diverse and dynamic theatre to it's stage that is accessible to all their audiences, so when it arrives in Birmingham in March it will be presented at a reduced cost. This means that it's perfect in encouraging more people to attend something that is right on their doorstep as participate in some fantastic workshops with sector professionals.

Sadlers Wells is one of my favourite venues within the UK, especially as it is the centre of dance in our country. It is renowned as one of the world's leading dance venues, especially as it combines both being a space for visiting companies as well as a producing house. It's stage is just as impressive and full of a great atmosphere as the great rehearsal facilities it has on site. 

On our visit to Sadlers Wells in London, we got an experience of what they offered as part of the Dance Sampled programme for ourselves. As part of their individual programme they provide workshops in all styles of dance, for everyone at every level of ability as well as some fantastic exciting live performances within all levels and various spaces within the building before the evenings production. 







We had access to the likes of a Ballet workshop with the English National Ballet which is always so memorising to watch as the participants went through a series of techniques using the barre as well as travelling through the studio space. We got a flavour for Buenos Aires when we had a go at the tango with Julia Hiriart Urruty & Claudio González who guided us through the basic movements of a traditional tango. It was so much fun learning a new style of dance and figuring out how to coordinate with my feet, partner and the other participants in the room. They were so slick in their demonstrations of the style, making it look effortless as they glided through the room. 

The last workshop was led by Iron Skulls Co, a company that are incredibly inspiring to watch. They combined break dancing techniques with well known contemporary choreographic elements to create a movement style which is very urban and fresh. The workshop really allowed the moving bodies to play with their own individual styles, as well as incorporating ideas given to them by Iron Skulls Co. There was a real flavour in experimenting from the ground up with improvisation and use of music to help influence the pace and fluidity at which the bodies moved within the space.   

It was so enjoyable to observe the different bodies in the space as they undertook a different style and made it work for their body, I felt exhausted by their energy and motivation to give it their all to the workshop. I would definitely be more engaged in undertaking tango classes now after participating in the workshop and felt it broadened my horizons about various dance styles. 

The show itself will be available at the Birmingham Hippodrome on Friday 3rd & Saturday 4th March, it will feature some great workshops with professionals as well as live dance performances from the likes of Richard Alston Dance Company, one of the world's leading ballet companies the Birmingham Royal Ballet, BBC Young Dancer finalist as well as a great asset to the work of Dance XChange, Vidya Patel and experimental dance company Iron Skulls Co. I have left a short inset of their work below to show what you can expect from this exciting dance company in March. 



thanks for reading,

*I was invited onto the Dance Sampled press trip by Birmingham Hippodrome, Birmingham. All views and words are my own. Some photos are provided by press. 



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