Sadler’s Wells Fun Palace

7 October 2018

Archived Show
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Sadler's Wells

Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R


As part of the 20th anniversary celebrations of Sadler’s Wells’ current building, we're delighted to take part in Fun Palaces, a national programme that promotes culture at the heart of community, and community at the heart of culture. Join us for an afternoon of free and fun activities for all. We’re celebrating dance and wellbeing with a range of movement and relaxation-related activities delivered by some of our community partners.

In October 1998, we opened the doors of our newly-built theatre for the local community to have a look around and enjoy performances by a number of companies. We felt it was a fitting opening for a place so defined by the legacy of theatrical manager Lilian Baylis, who believed art should be for all and envisioned “tickets affordable by artisans and labourers”.

Today, Sadler’s Wells still lives by this belief and our doors are open for people to come together, be creative and enjoy dance. Have a look at the day’s events below:


Ground Floor – La La Land

Silent Disco
With three different channels to dance to, including a DJ playing show tunes and dance floor fillers based on a playlist put together by Sadler’s Wells staff, there’s something for everyone. Grab a set of headphones, find your channel and dance the afternoon away with friends and family.


Look out for Nonsuch History Dancers as they use traditional dances to teach you about the history of Sadler’s Wells, one of the oldest Fun Palaces! Whether it’s a Washerwomen’s Brawl or a lively jig to visit the original well in the building Sadler’s, they’re sure keep you dancing and expand your historical knowledge! Nonsuch create bespoke dance projects with local communities, performing shows, running schools workshops and bringing history to life in stately homes. Nonsuch works with a wide variety of cultural, heritage and educational organisations across the country on a broad range of events, blending historical accuracy and high quality entertainment in a unique and engaging format.


Rosebery Room – Anything Goes

Silver Routes – Performance
Be transported to India in this Bollywood and Kathak performance choreographed by Showmi Das. Showmi is currently working at St. Luke’s Community Centre with Silver Routes, a Sadler’s Wells dance project for over-60s designed to get people of all abilities moving. Stick around for a workshop based on the performance at 2pm. Performers: Ann Dale, Arthur Lashley, Christina Joseph, Connie Dias, Frank Quick, Kate Marshall, Lucy Peters, Margaret Boden, Myrna Paraan, Pauline Caverney, Sandra Brady, Sheila Dickie, Sue Murphy & Veronica Franklin Gould


Reggaerobics – Workshop
The Reggaerobics team are sure to bring some Caribbean heat to the Fun Palace! Join us for this fun and upbeat 45-minute taster of calorie-burning, dance-focused fitness. With dance moves originating from the Caribbean fused with traditional aerobic exercises, the session is suitable for any level of fitness. It’s all about having fun and breaking a sweat! Reggaerobics hold regular sessions at Islington Arts Factory.

Artistry Youth Dance – Performance and Workshop
Dust off your sweatbands and legwarmers and jump up to get down with Artistry Youth Dance! This workshop will lead you through classic jazz steps straight from the 80s in a fun, upbeat and slightly tongue-in-cheek dance session. All you need is an open mind and your jazz hands at the ready! Artistry Youth Dance is a vibrant youth dance company based in Islington which showcases and celebrates aspiring performers of African and Caribbean descent.

Bollywood Workshop with Showmi Das
Choreographer Showmi Das leads a Bollywood and Kathak-inspired workshop based on the earlier performance by Silver Routes. In this workshop, you can expect a dance fusion of both classical Indian and Western dance styles with a focus on hand gestures and foot patterns.

Silver Routes – Performance
(See above)

La Escuela de Baile Flamenco Workshop
This workshop with live musicians and a 10-person strong drumming ensemble will introduce you to some of the basics of Flamenco. Get ready to learn some percussive footwork and dramatic arm gestures…and maybe even some Spanish! A stone’s throw away from Sadler’s Wells, La Escuela de Baile was founded in 1992 by Nuria García and has been very successful in popularising the art of flamenco in London. As the largest Flamenco school in the UK, La Escuela de Baile has been widely acknowledged for their unique achievements, inclusive feel and community spirit.


First Circle – Do the Hustle

Dancing on the Ceiling – Community Craft Project with the Young People’s Craft Council
It’s time to get crafty and leave your footprint at Sadler’s Wells. Create and decorate your own footprint to hang on our growing art installation.


Second Circle – Take it Easy

Family Dance Workshop*
Inspired by our blockbuster Taj Express at the Peacock Theatre, Join us for a Bharatanatyam workshop which will focus on the creating handshapes using Bharatanatyam led by two professional dance artists to get those big feet and little feet dancing together! On the last Friday of every month, Sadler's Wells runs family dance workshops called Family Fridays, an exciting opportunity for young children and their adults to dance with each other. Through carefully designed, entertaining dance activities, you and your little ones will develop coordination, musicality and creativity.

*An adult must be accompanied by a child to take part in this session.

T’Chi with Neil Rogers
Tai Chi increases flexibility and strength, and works on breathing techniques to aid relaxation. It’s a wonderfully gentle workout for the body and mind. Tai Chi is a non-combative martial art which helps to relieve the physical effects of stress upon the body and promote good mental and physical fitness. Neil runs regular sessions at Holloway Neighbourhood Group at the Old Firestation, which also runs a variety of activities for the young and those of young of mind. Join in one of their social groups and get to know new people while you try beating them at bingo and dominos. You can also get fit at his class or get your hips shaking in Egyptian dance.

Draw What You See! With John Close
Calling all artists, grab some paper and try your hand at drawing with award-winning artist John Close. John is as an artist in residence in conjunction with Cubitt Education and is both based and teaches a regular session for over 60s session at St. Luke’s Community Centre on 2-4pm each Friday.

Hatha yoga for everybody: beginners, intermediate and experienced with Lisa Melvin
Have you ever wanted to try yoga but thought it wasn’t for you? Try this introduction to Yoga. Lisa’s regular sessions at Brickworks take you through mindful flow, transitions and static postures at a pace that allows you to experience being in the pose whilst becoming aware of the alignment, breathing, strength and flexibility involved. Classes, with or without a carefully chosen playlist to focus and relax, can be adapted to all abilities. Brickworks – Hanley Crouch Association every Wednesday, 11am - 12noon.

Many thanks to the community partners working with us to make this event possible: Age UK – Drovers Centre, Brickworks Community Centre, Claremont Project, Craft Council Cubitt Arts, Live Well Stay Well, St. Luke’s Centre, The Old Fire Station & The Good Neighbours Health & Wellbeing project - Help on Your Doorstep

Part of Fun Palaces 2018




Sadler's Wells

Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R

Coronavirus update: Sadler's Wells welcomes socially distanced audiences from 17 May, in line with the UK Government roadmap. Read more