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Jennifer Stahl on Tuesday, Nov 05, 2013
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Watch out, New York: London's making a play to become the new capital of the dance world. Sadler's Wells, the home of top dance artists like Akram Khan and Hofesh Shechter, just announced that it will develop a new 500-seat venue for mid-scale contemporary work—and invest £5 million in commissioning premieres to fill it with. The new performance space (which could open as early as 2018, according to BBC News) is specifically designed to present cutting-edge work that isn't quite mainstream enough to draw audiences to the theater's main house, but calls for more than a studio showing. The idea is to lure the world's top choreographers and creators to the heart of London. The first one on the list? Crystal Pite, who's just been named an associate artist at Sadler's Wells.
Today's announcements precede the theater's busiest season of dance in its 331-year history, with over 40 shows coming up during the spring and summer of 2014. As artistic director Alistair Spalding said today in a press release, "The public appetite for dance has never been greater." Now that's good news, even if it does make us a bit jealous of our chums across the pond.