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River Stage Festival Weekend 2018: Sadler's Wells

Sadler's Wells

27 - 29 July 2018

River Stage Festival Weekend 2018: Sadler's Wells

Sadler's Wells, a world-leading creative organisation dedicated to dance in all its forms, presents a weekend of exciting choreography, live music, and dance workshops for all ages & abilities for its first NT River Stage takeover. Breakin’ Convention will get the party started on Friday night with hip hop and freestyle, while over the weekend we present Step Change Studios with ballroom dance by disabled and non-disabled dancers, and the chance to have a go at flamenco, Lindy hop and ceilidh in our family friendly workshops.

Summer pop-ups
While visiting, why not grab a drink or a bite to eat from one of our summer pop-ups? Enjoy a gourmet wood-fired pizza from the Pizza Van, mix yourself a cocktail made of botanical ingredients from the Apothecary bar or grab a cold beer from the Understudy Riverside Pop-Up Bar. There is something for everyone at the NT this summer.

Access information


Breakin’ Convention: Freestyle Funk Forum, Open Workshops and DJ Set

19.00 – 22.45

Freestyle Funk Forum is improvised theatre in hip hop’s answer to 'Whose Line Is It Anyway?' No two shows are ever the same in this spontaneous collection of skits brought to life through the elements of hip hop from dance and beatboxing to turntablism and rap. Don't just come and watch - stick around and learn the moves you saw on stage with impromptu dance workshops led by the performers and followed by a DJ set where you can try out your new moves. Smash the fourth wall with Breakin' Convention.

Freestyle Funk Forum


Vinyasa Flow with Bright Dawn Yoga

12.00 – 12.45

Step onto the yoga mat and join Zara for a heart awakening vinyasa flow session. You’ll get to explore how you can bring little doses of loving kindness into your day through an integrated practice with breathing, physical flow and meditation. All levels welcome.


Lindy hop Workshop with Temujin Gill

13.00 - 14.00

Lindy hop, the forerunner to Swing and arguably the most enjoyable dance form to have come out of the golden era of jazz and 1930's Harlem, comes to River Stage. Join Temujin Gill, Grounded Movement  Artistic Director and London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony choreographer, in this summer social extravaganza of rhythm inspired, infectious partnered dance that will leave you breathless and definitely wanting more.

lindy hop workshop

Family Workshop

14.15 – 15.15

Led by professional dancers, come along to this exciting opportunity designed to start you and your little ones on a dance journey. This family workshop is aimed at children aged 5 and under and will encourage co-ordination, creative thinking and social interaction.

Family Workshop

Rambert2 Open Rehearsal

15.30 - 16.00

Rambert, one of the world’s leading dance companies, launches its new ensemble this autumn. Rambert2 is an international group of virtuoso young dancers, performing contemporary work that’s alive with fearless energy. Ahead of their national tour and performances at Sadler’s Wells in November, you can catch Rambert2 rehearsing their newest creation, choreographed by Rambert’s Guest Artistic Director Benoit Swan Pouffer.


Flamenco Taster Workshop with Dotdotdot Dance

16.00 – 16.45

An opportunity to learn some of the basic movements and rhythms of flamenco whilst getting a unique insight into the relationship between the music and the dance.  Dotdotdot Dance invite you to join them in this fun and enriching flamenco taster class. No previous experience necessary to take part.

Flamenco Taster Workshop with Dot Dot Dot Dance

Step Change Studios: Inclusive Ballroom Workshop

17.45 – 18.30

Join inclusive dance company Step Change Studios for a ballroom and latin dance taster. This fun, engaging workshop is open to all ages and abilities. The taster will introduce participants to different ballroom and latin steps and sequences, giving everyone the chance to shimmy and chassé across the floor. 


step change ballroom

Step Change Studios: Highlights from Fusion

18.35 – 18.45

Step Change Studios recently premiered the UK’s first inclusive ballroom showcase in partnership with Sadler’s Wells. The show featured 20 disabled and non-disabled dancers creating a ‘Fusion’ of dance that redefined the genre. We are delighted to present two highlights from Fusion as part of the NT River Stage 2018.

step change performance

Vidya Patel & Shammi Pithia: Converse

19.00 – 20.00

Vidya Patel and Shammi Pithia perform in an extraordinary conversation between Kathak dance and contemporary music. In a journey of solos and duets these artists connect with inherited traditions and emerging modernity. A new commission by Sampad Arts and Heritage, Birmingham.

Vidya Patel & Shammi Pithia: Converse

Dotdotdot Dance

When Viola Met Vargas: 20.30 – 21.00

Dotdotdot Dance delves into the essence of traditional flamenco, emerging with a new voice spoken from a British, female perspective.  Choreographed by Magdalena Mannion in collaboration with cellist/composer Colin Alexander, "When Viola Met Vargas"  is an exploration of shared pulse and dynamics that draws from the flamenco style Peteneras. 

dot dot dot dance

Dotdotdot Dance

Into Being: 21.30 – 22.00

Dotdotdot Dance delves into the essence of traditional flamenco, emerging with a new voice spoken from a British, female perspective. Choreographed by Noemí Luz in collaboration with sound designer José Tomé, "Into Being" draws from the flamenco style Tarantos and explores the many ways in which the earth harbours memory. 

Live Music from Dotdotdot Dance

22.15 - 22.45

Live music performed by Dotdotdot Dance's musicians, featuring Liam Howarth (guitarist), Emilio Florido (singer) and Colin Alexander (cellist). 

DotDotDot Music

The Dance WE Made

Gathering & Public Rehearsals: 11.30 – 13.30 / Sharing & Let’s Make a Dance Workshop: 14.00 – 14.30

The Dance WE Made Team have just 2 hours to create a brand new dance, and they need your help! It’s the show where everyone is a choreographer, so grab one of the team and “Let’s Make a Dance!” - no experience required!

The Dance We Made

Company of Elders

14.35 – 14.45

Since 1989 Company of Elders, Sadler’s Wells’ inspirational resident over-60s performance company, has been demonstrating the power of lifelong creativity and proving it is never too late to start dancing.

Ceilidh Liberation Front

15.15 – 16.00 / 16.15 – 17.00

Ceilidh Liberation Front are London’s most radical and vivacious ceilidh band. Liberating the dancefloor with their energetic and immersive performance, they breathe vigour and vitality into the traditional ceilidh, whilst honouring its roots and traditions.

Ceilidh Liberation Front

Campfire Pizza

Pizza made to order in our wood-fired oven, in a vintage Citroen van.

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Ice Cream Van

Our vintage ice cream van selling soft serve ice cream, gelato and soft drinks.

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National Theatre Ice cream van

Apothecary Cocktail Bar

An outdoor pop-up cocktail bar on the river front.

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Garden Bar at the Green Room

Relax in the garden and enjoy a refreshing beer, wine, or gin cocktail, from our friends at Sipsmith.

Open from 2nd week of May

Green Room Garden Bar

River Stage weekend takeovers

3 - 5 August: nonclassical

Turning classical music on its head and redefining the rules, this East London record label and club night brings a host of live performers and DJs to the river front.

See full weekend line up


10 – 12 August: National Theatre

The closing party weekend of family theatre, contemporary circus, music and dance. 

See full weekend line up

National Theatre

River Stage competition

Tag us in your Instagram photos to win free tickets!

We’d love to see all your photos of our River Stage festival. If you tag your pictures with #RiverStage the best ones could win free tickets to some upcoming shows at the National. Read our terms and conditions to find out more details.

Read T&Cs