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Sadler’s Wells and AX1 put dance on the screen

London’s leading dance house, Sadler’s Wells and film producer / distributor, AX1 Films have teamed up to make filmed versions of the theatre’s most acclaimed dance performances widely available. The exclusive output deal incorporates all worldwide platforms, including television, DVD and possible theatrical exposure. Sadler’s Wells on Screen marks a new development for the theatre which, in partnership with AX1 Films, will release on DVD the first film in the series, the acclaimed co-production "Zero Degrees" in October 2008.

ZERO DEGREES is directed by Deborah May whose work across music, dance and film has included two films for Leaving Home, Sir Simon Rattle’s series on 20thC music, which won a BAFTA in 1997, directing the performance sequences for Deborah Bull’s The Dancer’s Body, and documentary portraits of Wayne McGregor, Sir Anthony Dowell and Shobana Jeyasingh for the BBC.

Alistair Spalding, Artistic Director and CEO of Sadler’s Wells says:

In recent years Sadler’s Wells has created several hugely successful productions that have toured the world to critical acclaim and packed theatres. Zero Degrees is a prime example, and making it available on DVD is a fantastic opportunity for the theatre to bring its work to a wider public. In doing so we’re also developing a record of the work that Sadler’s Wells now produces, which we hope to add to in the future with other similar shows.

Sadler’s Wells Director of Marketing and Communications, Kingsley Jayasekera comments:

Dance has never been more popular and from the sell-out success of productions such as zero degrees, PUSH and SUTRA, we’ve seen a huge appetite for the work Sadler’s Wells has created in recent years. As an international venue, we’re always looking for new ways to bring the work to wider audiences, whether through touring, via the web, or on film, and I’m delighted that our partnership with AX1 Films will enable us to make this work so widely available.

Following worldwide acclaim since its premiere at Sadler’s Wells in July 2005, "Zero Degrees" is a multi award-winning collaboration between four of today's most respected artists. The ground-breaking production unites celebrated Moroccan-Flemish dancer-choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Akram Khan - renowned for developing his own 'contemporary kathak' style, winning numerous awards including a Time Out Critics’ Circle and South Bank Show award, Mercury Award-winning composer/producer Nitin Sawhney, and Turner Prize winner Antony Gormley who contributed to the staging with two life-size casts of the dancers.

A Sadler’s Wells co-production, "Zero Degrees" has been described as; “hugely moving and visionary” by The Daily Telegraph, and “transfixing, not only because they are superb dancers but because their performance is given such strange and potent definition by its staging” by The Guardian. It explores borders between countries, cultures and between life and death. It challenges, prompts and inspires, in a seamless fusion of dance styles, music and contemporary art. The production was nominated for an Olivier Award in 2006 and recently collected two Helpmann Awards in Australia for Best Choreography in a Ballet or Dance Work (Akram Khan and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui) and Best Male Dancer in a Ballet or Dance Work (Akram Khan).