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Young Associates / Ben Duke Presents TO START WITH at Sadler's Wells

The performance is on Wednesday 26 October.

Young Associates / Ben Duke Presents TO START WITH at Sadler's Wells

In November 2021, the second cohort of the Sadler's Wells Young Associates introduced their refreshing voices at sell-out performances in the Lilian Baylis Studio. The next step of their journey sees John-William Watson, Magnus Westwell, Olive Hardy and Vidya Patel take to the Sadler's Wells stage with the World Premiere of To Start With on Wednesday 26 October. Under the artistic guidance of Ben Duke, Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Lost Dog, the young choreographers will be presenting an ambitious evening of new works.

Ben Duke is an experienced choreographer and creative. He has created work for many acclaimed dance companies including Candoco, Rambert, Scottish Dance Theatre, Dance Umbrella, Phoenix Dance Theatre and Barely Methodical Troupe.

Throughout the creation process Ben has encouraged the Young Associates to communicate with each other and share their experiences. They have collaborated with a team of young creatives from a range of art-forms, giving a platform to a new generation of artistic voices.

Each Young Associate brings a unique voice to the work.

John-William Watson is a dance theatre maker from Leeds. Drawing influence from Surrealism, John's work focuses on the tragi-comedic, their work explores narratives that deal with the relationship between existentialism, the comedy of the mundane, nostalgia and time.

Magnus Westwell is a Scottish Artist who works with choreography and music composition. Their creations can be raw, romantic and haunting, often looking at the extremes of ecstasy and emptiness.

Olive Hardy was born in London and raised in Bristol. She graduated from London Contemporary Dance School in 2019. Olive's approach focuses on a collective agency with her collaborators; through improvisation they find a movement language innate to the performers.

Born, raised and living in Birmingham as the first-generation of an immigrant British Gujarati household, Vidya Patel began training in Indian classical dance from a young age. Vidya's work focuses on autobiographical narratives by drawing on themes of identity, belonging and empowerment. In 2015, Vidya represented the South Asian Category in the Grand Finals of the inaugural BBC Young Dancer 2015 at Sadler's Wells.

The Young Associates programme supports talented 18-24-year-olds and 18-30 for d/Deaf and disabled choreographers, providing a crucial first step into their career as choreographers.

Artistic Guide, Ben Duke said, "It is a pleasure to work with the four Young Associates. Their work is so different in style, and it shows that the idea of choreography and what it means to be described as a choreographer is an expanding field. It is also amazing to see how the conversations around the wellbeing of the dancers is central to all their processes and how this demonstrates real progress in how we prioritise the wellbeing of freelance artists.
My role has been to oversee the evening and to suggest subtle connections between the works, but most importantly my role is to be there if I'm needed and to stand back when I'm not. They are an inspiring group of artists who need the space and opportunity to do their thing and that is what this evening is about."

Projects Producer, Learning and Engagement, Lucy Clarke-Bishop said, "Sadler's Wells is delighted to be able to offer this platform and programme to these four exceptionally talented artists. The Young Associates programme aims to invest in and support new voices and we believe that these choreographers are important new voices in dance.
We are also excited to offer the Young Associates a chance to benefit from Ben Duke's excellent artistic guidance and talent for To Start With. He has provided them with care and support, and has been an important part of the artistic process. Ben's knowledge and experience is an invaluable resource as the Young Associates take to the Sadler's Wells stage."

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