Review of 'Sadler's Wells Sampled'


A great way to see a number of different dance styles, “Sadler's Wells Sampled” is now a yearly event. The experience goes beyond what is on the stage though with a number of live performances in the foyer as well as, this year, a number of films. The price is also amazing at about £15 a ticket.

This year the event we saw the following:

  • Contemporary - Wayne McGregor - Outlier, choreographed by Wayne McGregor - No idea what was really going on in this three-part piece originally created for the New York City Ballet but here performed by the contemporary dancers from “Company Wayne McGregor”. The plain stage often was populated with several groups of dancers performing fairly abstract movements with music to match. Enthralling and puzzling at the same time. They received a tremendous round of applause.
  • Tango - Duets danced by Julia Hiriart Urruty and Claudio González - With the popularity of “Strictly Come Dancing” this was a no-brainer to be appreciated by the crowd. Their first piece “Amor de Tango” was incredibly moving as an old man relives his memories in dance while their second “Decades Tangueras” was more traditional tango dancing but both had an ultra-modern edge with exquisite choreography.
  • Contemporary - Connor Scott - winner of BBC Young Dancer 2015, Solo, Get Up - A lot of fun but very brief. Connor shows incredible athleticism and made the crowd gasp on occasion. Someone to keep an eye on.
  • Kathak - Vidya Patel - finalist of BBC Young Dancer 2015, Duet, Khoj –The Search - Amazing dance from northern India staged by two young women with a three-piece band playing traditional instruments. Incredibly assured movements in the dance made this quite special to watch with only the singing being a slight jarring note for me (they used a microphone briefly to shout out phrases but as they walked away the phrases continued which was odd).
  • Contemporary dance and circus - The 7 Fingers - extract from TRIPTYQUE, Nocturnes, choreographed by Marcos Morau - An extract featuring a woman (very) restlessly watching television late at night on her bed. It quickly degenerates into a full-blown dance number when a number of other dancers come in and manipulate her body. A particular highlight is the mesmerizing use of glass balls in a bit of a show of juggling then the amazing athletic work on a small rotating platform on top of the night-stand. A lot of fun.
  • Ballet - Zenaida Yanowsky - Principal of The Royal Ballet, The Dying Swan, choreographed by Michel Fokine - A replacement for the Northern Ballet performing an excerpt from “1984”, this was an amazing performance that was riveting for every second of the very few minutes Zenaida was on the stage. Sheer perfection and utterly moving.
  • Hip Hop - The Ruggeds - world champion b-boy crew, Adrenaline - A rowdy end the evening with a dramatic display of modern day break-dancing. Some of the feats displayed were amazing though often it seemed they were repeating themselves. The large rubber balls used also seemed to add little to the performance. The light show at the end was absolutely incredible showing incredible sense of timing. Their style “flows” and feels very, very contemporary.

We arrived about half an hour before the performance so missed some of the things happening in the foyer but what we did see was refreshing and interesting. If you are coming, come early to have a look.

If you are at all interested in dance, go to one of these events. Absolutely incredible. If you don't like something, wait 10 minutes for the next. Videos at the start of each half are useful in explaining what you are about to see and I found the programme also a very valuable source of information (as well as the handout about what was going on in the foyer). I suspect from this we will be looking to attend one or more performances…


Review Date: 2016-01-29

Sadler's Wells Theatre

Location: London (England)

Address: Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4TN

Public Transport: TUBE Angel

Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7863 8000


Sadler's Wells is best known for hosting dance events. The main venue, “Sadler's Wells Theatre”, is very contemporary but can be crowded with limited staircases. Transport is also often an issue as it is a bit of a walk to the nearest tube station (TUBE Angel).