Ballet with attitude is Sadler's Wells ballet programme for all

Sadler’s Wells presents Ballet with attitude, a year-round ballet offer with work from all corners of the UK and beyond.

03 June 2024


Acosta Danza - Carlos Acosta’s Carmen

Sadler’s Wells presents Ballet with attitude, a year-round ballet offer with work from all corners of the UK and beyond:

  • Programme includes bold takes on canonical works alongside new productions from groundbreaking choreographers 
  • Ballet with attitude highlights leading companies from across the UK as well as acclaimed international artists 
  • Programme features work made by and for young people and families 
  • Audiences able to enjoy ballet across Sadler’s Wells stages in Angel and the West End and through online platform, Digital Stage
  • Tickets available from £18 for every show in Ballet with attitude programme

Sadler’s Wells year-round Ballet with attitude programme showcases the breadth and variety of ballet that is currently being created.  

This year on Sadler’s Wells Theatre stage, audiences can see some of the most acclaimed choreographers present their own innovative takes on timeless classics from the canon. Carlos Acosta returns with Sadler’s Wells International Associate Company Acosta Danza to present the UK premiere of Carlos Acosta’s Carmen. In this new full-length version, the story’s universal and timeless themes are laid bare in a sparse and powerful setting and Acosta himself takes on the role of the Bull, representing fate and destiny. Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist Akram Khan boldly reimagines Giselle, one of the greatest romantic ballets – a story of love, betrayal and redemption. This acclaimed production for English National Ballet returns to Sadler’s Wells Stage for the first time in five years. Closing the year with a genre-defining production still best known for replacing the female corps-de-ballet with a menacing male ensemble, Swan Lake by Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist Matthew Bourne celebrates its 30th anniversary UK tour with an annual eight-week stop at Sadler’s Wells Theatre. 

Ballet with attitude is a programme that offers the possibility to see new work from companies pushing the boundaries of the form. Birmingham Royal Ballet presents Luna, a new work inspired by the pioneering women of Birmingham that explores contemporary universal themes. It is orchestrated by an all-female international creative team, including choreographers Iratxe Ansa (Spain), Wubkje Kuindersma (Netherlands), Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist Seeta Patel (UK), Arielle Smith (UK), Thais Suárez (Cuba) and with music composed by Kate Whitley (UK). The National Ballet of Canada presents Frontiers: Choreographers of Canada a triple bill with works by three leading choreographers hailing from Canada. Angels’ Atlas is Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist Crystal Pites careful study of humanity’s limitations within a vast, unknowable world. Emma Portner’s piece, islands, is a sculptural duet for two women set to an avant-garde soundscape – including hip hop, dub and electric sampling. James Kudelka’s Passion is a love story set to the first movement of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Concerto for Piano where two couples evoke the complexities of passionate relationships through classical and contemporary ballet.

The Peacock Theatre, Sadler’s Wells home in the West End, plays host to two magical stories of friendship for young people and their families. Opening this summer, London Children’s Ballet presents The Secret Garden, inspired by Frances Hodgson Burnett’s novel, in which Mary Lennox overcomes her fears to unlock the door to happiness and safety. Erico Montes’ choreography is revived by Gemma Pitchley-Gale, the Rehearsal Director on the original 2013 production. Over the festive period, the narrative ballet The Snowman by Birmingham Rep, directed by Bill Alexander with choreography by Robert North, returns to the Peacock Theatre for its 27th year to tell the timeless story of a young boy who ties the strongest friendship with a Snowman who comes alive for one night. 
Much-loved ballet classics are represented in the Ballet with attitude programme, with Northern Ballet sharing its version of the infamous story of star-crossed lovers Romeo & Juliet, one of its most critically acclaimed productions, this May. Birmingham Royal Ballet presents Frederick Ashton’s comical classic La Fille mal gardée, in which spectacular classical ballet and slick comedy spotlight the jolly mire of mother-daughter relationships. And former resident company of Sadler’s Wells, last seen here almost 30 years ago, London City Ballet returns to the Sadler’s Wells Theatre as part of a world tour presenting acclaimed works, including star ballerina Alina Cojocaru in the revival of a Kenneth MacMillan work unseen in Europe for over 50 years.  

Ballet is also available to audiences through Sadler’s Wells Digital Stage with taster dance workshops demystifying the dance form, and the ‘Confessions of a Ballet Star’ series featuring intimate portraits of ballet dancers sharing the highs and lows of a career in dance. The Digital Stage also features school resources, with a dance film based on the stage adaptation of The Little Match Girl, a powerful fable about family, friendship and hope, by director and choreographer Arthur Pita. 
Sadler’s Wells Artistic Director and Co-Chief Executive, Sir Alistair Spalding CBE said: “We hope that Ballet with attitude breaks down barriers, and that the breadth of work on display shows that it can be a dance form for everyone. Audiences can come to have memorable times in our theatres getting acquainted with classic tales and their modern adaptations, and new works – while our online resources demystify the technique and terminology around ballet altogether."