Sadler’s Wells goes street

A hip hop dance academy offering classes in graffiti, DJ-ing, rap, and beatmaking as well as hip-hop is to be part of Sadler’s Wells East in the former Olympic Park in East London when it opens in two years’ time.

The theatre has also announced the first three of five choreographers that will lead the first programme of its Choreographic School, and its inaugural. Production for its 550-seat theatre will be a Vicki Igbokwe piece featuring both professional and non-professional dancers from the local area in a new piece, Our Mighty Groove.

Jonzi D, artistic director of the new Hip Hop Theatre Academy, said: “Hip hop culture has produced the fastest growing artistic movement on earth. And now breaking is going to be part of the Olympics in 2024. With our new home being in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and part of the Olympic legacy, it makes sense that breaking is recognised as both an art and a sport”.

The academy will offer a two-year course for students aged 16 to 19 covering all elements of hip hop theatre.

Sadler’s Wells East is to be part of the £1.1bn East Bank cultural development in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, alongside the V&A, the University of the Arts London, UCL and the BBC.

The project has been supported by the Mayor of London and the Greater London Authority. “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” said Justine Simons, the deputy mayor for culture. “These exciting plans from Sadler’s Wells demonstrate the vision behind the East Bank project - the most ambitious new project of its kind for over 150 years.”

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