For a colourful cross-section of the UK dance scene, you can hardly do better than “Sampled.” The annual event is a glimpse into the range of productions that grace the Sadler’s Wells stage over the year, pitching ballet alongside contemporary, hip-hop, flamenco and more. With its diverse line-up and proms-style standing tickets, the show caters to the devoted and the uninitiated alike, drawing a dynamic and often chirpier-than-usual crowd.
Sturm und Drang—2017 saw the dance world roiling with it, both on and off the stage. Israel’s culture minister hit the headlines for refusing arts funding to performances involving nudity; Palestinian-Syrian refugee Ahmad Joudeh made a prominent debut with the Dutch National Ballet after fleeing death threats from Islamic State; discord boiled over in Moscow as the director of the Bolshoi’s long-awaited “Nureyev” was placed under house arrest on what many suspect are trumped-up charges intended to punish him for celebrating the life of a gay man on stage—a conspicuous challenge to Putin’s ban on so-called ‘homosexual propaganda.’
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