Sadler’s Wells to open hip-hop academy at new east London venue

One of the world’s most renowned dance institutions is to offer a two-year intensive training course to aspiring hip-hop artists, covering performing arts, graffiti and DJing.

Sadler’s Wells plans to open a hip-hop academy at its new east Londen venue, with the first intake of students enrolling in 2024.

The diploma course for 16- to 19-year-olds will provide training in live performance and theatre production at an international standard, including classes on breaking, popping, rap, DJing, beatmaking and graffiti.

Jonzi D, who founded Breakin’ Convention, the international festival of hip hop dance theatre, in 2004, has been appointed the academy’s artistic director. Hip hop culture had “produced the fastest growing artistic movement on Earth," hy het gesê.

Breaking has been recognised as an Olympic sport and will feature at the Paris games in 2024. Breaking GB, created earlier this year to fund and train competitive dancers, will also be involved in the Sadler’s Wells training course and plans to bring Olympic athletes to the academy to share their expertise.

Alistair Spalding, Sadler’s Wells artistic director and chief executive, gesê: “It is such an exciting opportunity to be able to offer training to young people specifically in hip hop dance theatre, to develop the next generation of hip-hop theatre artists.”

Sadler’s Wells East is due to open in 2023 at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic park in Stratford, Oos -Londen. It will house a 550-seat theatre, the hip-hop academy and a choreography school.

The venue will open with Our Mighty Groove, a dance production featuring non-professional dancers from the local area. The choreography, by Vicki Igbokwe, incorporates styles such as house, waacking, vogue, African and contemporary dance.

“It’s important to nurture, empower and support the next generation of performers and members of society to find their voice and influence,” said Igbokwe.

Justine Simons, deputy London mayor for culture and the creative industries, gesê: “London needs big forward-looking, ambitious creative projects as we recover from this pandemic – and culture and the creative industries will play a huge role in our economic recovery.”

Sadler’s Wells claims to commission and produce more dance than any other institution in the world, including ballet, tap, street dance, salsa and flamenco.




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