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Saturday, March 21, 2009


UK’s leading dance house goes online to find global dance talent of the future.

Sadler’s Wells, the UK’s leading dance house, goes truly global, with its international online dance contest. Marking the start of a four-year worldwide competition that offers an annual winner a cash prize and the chance to perform at Sadler’s Wells, the dance house is calling all dancers and choreographers aged over 18 to take part.

The web-based competition which uses YouTube to host the entries is live via

Seeking the next generation of dance talent, the winner will perform in front of a potential audience of 1,800 people on the main stage at Sadler’s Wells Sampled, the theatre’s acclaimed dance showcase weekend featuring international stars, taking place annually in January. The contest builds up to a final showcase of each year’s winner in 2012.

The panel of judges made up of leading figures from across the arts, is chaired by Sadler’s Wells Artistic Director and CEO, Alistair Spalding, and includes Arlene Phillips, a judge on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, The Royal Ballet’s Zenaida Yanowsky, and British artist and Turner Prize winner Martin Creed.

Sadler’s Wells Artistic Director Alistair Spalding says “Judging by the popularity of the dance clips and comments on YouTube there is huge talent and a massive appetite for every conceivable form of dance out there in the global community. Not everyone is lucky enough to receive formal dance training or to perform on stage and I’m incredibly excited that Sadler’s Wells can offer the potential stars of the future a chance to demonstrate their creative skills. The lucky winners will have a truly remarkable opportunity to perform alongside some of the greatest names in dance today and perhaps begin a career not otherwise imagined.”

Comprising two stages, the Sadler’s Wells Global Dance Contest invites anyone in the world over the age of 18 to enter. For the first stage, entrants must create and capture on video their own original piece of dance from 30 seconds to three minutes in length, to upload onto YouTube. First stage entries, which can be any kind of dance style, must be in by July 17, 2009. The videos will then be judged by the panel members who will shortlist 10 entries. In the second stage of the contest, the 10 shortlisted entrants will create a longer piece of five minutes or more to submit for public vote. The public vote opens on September 1 and the winner will be declared on November 18, 2009.

The winner will receive £2,000 and be brought to London from wherever they live to perform alongside leading artists from the international dance scene at Sadler’s Wells Sampled, the theatre’s critically acclaimed, annual dance taster weekend. They will receive support and guidance from the theatre to help them ensure their work looks great on stage. At the end of four years in 2012, the collective winners will get to perform their work in London, during the Olympic year.

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