Sadler’s Wells, EC1R 4TN
Friday 30 September & Saturday 1 October, 7.30pm
Botis Seva’s BLKDOG won the Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production in 2019 and returns to Sadler’s Wells on Friday 30 September & Saturday 1 October at 7.30pm after sell-out performances in November 2021.
‘Beautiful, profound, uplifting’: readers’ favourite stage shows of 2021, The Guardian
First seen as part of Reckonings in 2018 to celebrate Sadler’s Wells’ 20th anniversary, the work has been developed into a full-length production, co-produced by Far From The Norm and Sadler’s Wells. Vital and gripping, BLKDOG is Botis Seva’s haunting commentary on surviving adulthood as a childlike artist. A genre-defying blend of hip hop dance and free form antics, BLKDOG explores the inner battlefield of an ageing artist trying to retain his youth. With a pounding score the music adds layers of meaning, highlighting the inner working of the characters’ minds. The music has grown from a long-standing collaboration between Seva and Torben Lars Sylvest and includes a mixture of original music and words performed by Botis’ powerhouse company Far From The Norm and guests. Tom Visser’s lighting brings a dark smog of disillusion as the choreography delves into the underbelly of life, while the hooded caps and padded costumes by Ryan Laight echo the protection and comfort of childhood. BLKDOG searches for coping mechanisms in the ultimate hunt for acceptance.
‘it draws the audience in, demonstrating despair and hope with an infectious energy’ 4 stars, London Theatre 1 BLKDOG is part of Well Seasoned, designed by Sadler’s Wells’ Artistic Director and Chief Executive Alistair Spalding and Breakin’ Convention’s Artistic Director JonziD and Director Michelle Norton. This programme is bringing exceptional and relevant shows by Black artists to the stage, celebrating Black dance.
“BLKDOG is for everyone who has dealt with trauma and grief. For anyone who has had to watch family members go through depression or loss. We live in a society where speaking about our emotions may never be understood; I spent my childhood never speaking about my emotions and now at the age of 30 I can finally speak-up. I let my art do what it needs to do. Use your art for the right reason and reflect the times we are dealing with. There are broken humans all around us who are trying their best to cope; we need to show each other more love and humility.” Botis Seva
London-born, Seva formed his company Far From The Norm aged 19. Influenced by hip hop theatre, his talent grew largely from his life experiences, Seva’s work highlights social deprivation and racism shaping his unique physical style with echoes of hip hop, street dance and Black culture in the UK. Throughout the pandemic, Botis remained creative and cultivated his ideas into film. He was awarded the Culture in Quarantine commission by Arts Council England, BBC Arts and The Space and created Can’t Kill Us All. As the world started to reopen, BLKDOG was watched by audiences across the world as far as Australia, as well as The Netherlands, Slovenia and Greece.
On The Fringe 2019