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Ballet with attitude

A group of male dancers dressed in white feathers, performing on stage on stage.
This is not just ballet – this is Ballet with Attitude.

Celebrating its 30th birthday is THE Swan Lake that created a stir and changed ballet history, Matthew Bourne’s rule breaking reinvention with a corps de ballet of male swans.

When our Swan Lake was premiered it created a sensation that none of us could have predicted. I think we knew that we had a good idea but could never have dreamt of the impact it would have on all of us, our audiences and the wider dance world.
As our swans take flight once more, I’m full of anticipation for the challenges it will bring for our next generation of dancers and the wonder that it will bring to audiences who will experience it for the very first time.Matthew Bourne

We have a smoking hot tale of seduction in Carmen (English National Ballet), a spellbinding fairy-tale of The Sleeping Beauty (Birmingham Royal Ballet), a steamy Streetcar Named Desire (Scottish Ballet) and the classic love story of Romeo & Juliet (Northern Ballet).

Start your Ballet fans young with My First Ballet – A Swan Lake – a family friendly introduction for everyone aged 3 and up. Or marvel at the skill of London Children’s Ballet’s company of young dancers who perform The Secret Garden.

Our ballet performances are big, bold and beautiful.

Your guide to the ballet. See here for more information about what its like to attend a ballet at Sadler’s Wells.

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Did you know?
1. One tutu takes about 90 hours to make – that’s almost 4 days!
2. The first ballet dancers were all men!
3. A male dancer can lift over one to one a half tonnes’ worth of ballerinas during a single performance. That’s the weight of an average car!
4. The Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet and English National Opera all started life here at Sadler’s Wells.

What’s on

Birmingham Royal Ballet - The Sleeping Beauty
Two ballet dancers are holding a classic pose. Behind them a performer wears a lacy back dress with one arm reaching out.

Birmingham Royal Ballet - The Sleeping Beauty

Sadler's Wells Theatre
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Scottish Ballet - A Streetcar Named Desire
Two dancers stand in a hallway. The male dancer looks strong and is holding the female dancer's wrist. She is reaching away.

Scottish Ballet - A Streetcar Named Desire

Sadler's Wells Theatre
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Ray Young - OUT
Ray Young - OUT

Ray Young - OUT

Lilian Baylis Studio
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Family Freestyle
A group of families with young children dancing together

Family Freestyle

Sadler's Wells Theatre
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Northern Ballet - Romeo & Juliet
Two ballet dancers, in flowing white costumes, embrace. The background is like stormy clouds in white, yellow and navy.

Northern Ballet - Romeo & Juliet

Sadler's Wells Theatre
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Ballet Nacional de España - Invocación - Directed by Rubén Olmo

Ballet Nacional de España

Sadler's Wells Theatre
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Acosta Danza - Carlos Acosta's Carmen
Two performers passionately embracing and four standing in dim lighting and looking into the distance.

Acosta Danza - Carlos Acosta's Carmen

Sadler's Wells Theatre
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London Children's Ballet - The Secret Garden
Many performers wearing pink, green and purple costumes of flowers or butterflies. A solo performer watches from the middle.

London Children's Ballet - The Secret Garden

Peacock Theatre
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London City Ballet - Resurgence
A white stage and background with a table in the centre. On it sits two dancers wearing white costumes. They are embracing, the mans head resting on the woman's chest.

London City Ballet - Resurgence

Sadler's Wells Theatre
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English National Ballet - Akram Khan's Giselle
A group of female ballet dancers standing en pointe in a line on dark-lit stage. They wear long chiffon dresses.

English National Ballet - Akram Khan's Giselle

Sadler's Wells Theatre
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Chicos Mambo - TUTU
A group of male dancers performing on stage. They wear short tutu's, holding pom poms and wear giant pom poms on their heads

Chicos Mambo - TUTU

Peacock Theatre
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Birmingham Royal Ballet - Luna
In the centre of a dark purple cosmic image, is a ballet dancers creating rings around her like a planet.

Birmingham Royal Ballet - Luna

Sadler's Wells Theatre
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Birmingham Royal Ballet - La Fille mal gardée
An illustrative image with superimposed photos of Birmingham Royal Ballet Dancers, of La Fille mal gardée

Birmingham Royal Ballet - La Fille mal gardée

Sadler's Wells Theatre
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The National Ballet of Canada - Frontiers: Choreographers of Canada - Pite/Kudelka/Portner
A large group of male performers kneel with their hands covering their ears as if cowering from a loud noise. One stands, arms outstretched as if creating the loud noise.

The National Ballet of Canada

Sadler's Wells Theatre
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Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake The Next Generation - New Adventures
A group of male dancers pose against a dark nights sky with one solo performer at the front. They all wear white feathery trousers and have bare chests.

Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake The Next Generation

Sadler's Wells Theatre
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Ballet on Sadler’s Wells Digital Stage