Sadler’s Wells Brings The Full Cast Of Fela Kuti Musical To Latitude

The UK’s leading dance house, Sadler’s Wells, returns to Latitude Festival for the fourth time on Saturday 16 & Sunday 17 July 2011 with a diverse programme of dance on the Waterfront Stage.

Sadler’s Wells presents a programme for Latitude’s Waterfront Stage that reflects both the theatre’s reputation for presenting world class dance in all its forms, and Latitude’s diversity. The Sadler’s Wells line-up features highlights from the full cast of Broadway’s sensational Tony award-winning hit musical, FELA!; two celebrated British companies – hip hop dance from ZooNation Dance Company and contemporary dance from Rambert Dance Company; as well as a UK premiere that fuses dance and music.

Sadler’s Wells Artistic Director and Chief Executive Alistair Spalding comments: Latitude Festival continues to provide us with a platform to present dance to a wider audience beyond our theatre. We are delighted to be returning to thebeautiful surroundings of the Waterfront Stage for a fourth year with an exciting and varied programme of dance which will appeal to all Latitude goers and dance enthusiasts alike.

On Sunday 17 July, FELA!’s full cast of 25 performers, will be lead by Olivier Award-nominated Sahr Ngaujah, who returns to the title role at Sadler’s Wells this July, having garnered acclaim for his portrayal of Kuti in New York, Lagos and London.

Sadler’s Wells Producer Emma Gladstone says: “I’m thrilled that for our fourth return to Latitude, we’re able to present our most ambitious line-up to date. 25 performers from the smash hit show FELA!, which celebrates the life of Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti, will wow the audience at Latitude ahead of their six-week run at Sadler’s Wells this summer.”

The Sadler’s Wells’ summer show features many of Fela Kuti’s most captivating songs and Bill T Jones’s visionary staging and choreography, revealing Kuti’s controversial life as an artist and political activist through his pioneering music.

Recognised as an icon in the international world of rock and roll, soul, jazz and hip-hop, Fela Kuti combined elements of traditional Yoruba, high life and jazz, giving rise to “Afrobeat”. Through his music he condemned military regimes in Nigeria. He was arrested more than 200 times and beaten savagely on many occasions. Despite this he continued to live in Nigeria and produced more than 70 albums during his career.

On both days the programme features an extract from Sadler’s Wells Resident Company ZooNation’s brand new work, Some Like It Hip Hop. With a nod to Billy Wilder’s much loved film Some Like It Hot and Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, Some Like it Hip Hop is a comical tale of love, mistaken identity, cross-dressing, gender stereotypes and revolution; all played out in ZooNation’s trademark style of hip hop, comedy and physical theatre. This is the company’s first full-length production since the award-winning West End smash hit, Into the Hoods.

Directed by ZooNation founder and Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist Kate Prince, with original music by Josh Cohen and DJ Walde, the cast includes Tommy Franzen and Lizzie Gough from So You Think You Can Dance, and Teneisha Bonner (StreetDance 3D, Shoes). Some Like It Hip Hop makes its world premiere at the Peacock Theatre in London from Thursday 20 October – Saturday 19 November 2011.

The programme for both days also presents Tommi Kitti’s A Trip. Originally premiered in 1995 as a solo for Kitti it has been reworked as a duet and makes its UK Premiere at Latitude Festival. Performed to the music of American blues singer-songwriter John Lee Hooker, A Trip has been chosen for its appeal to both music and dance fans; a perfect piece to fit the ethos of Latitude Festival.

“One interesting thing in Hooker’s music is that it does not go anywhere. It creates a moment in which emotionally you go deeper and deeper. For me it is very dramatic, even though there is no drama happening. It is a trip in a second.”Tommi Kitti

Concluding Saturday’s line up is the Olivier Award-winning Rambert Dance Company, which celebrates its 85th anniversary this year. For Latitude the Company performs a new Rambert commission; Tim Rushton’s Monolith. Artistic Director of Danish Dance Theatre for 10 years, British-born Rushton returns to the UK to create his first piece for a British dance company, inspired by mystical energies that haunt sites of man-made gathering places.

Release issued by: Sadler’s Wells press office


Book tickets to FELA! at Sadler’s Wells in London

📷 Main photo: The UK’s leading dance house, Sadler’s Wells, returns to Latitude Festival for the fourth time on Saturday 16 & Sunday 17 July 2011 with a diverse programme of dance on the Waterfront Stage.

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