Renowned choreographer Richard Alston celebrates the 20th anniversary of his dance company with a world premiere of Nomadic,a show specially commissioned by Sadler's Wells and inspired by the Ursari Gypsy band Shukar Collective. The anniversary show, on 26 and 27 January, consists of several other dance performances: Rejoice in the Lamb (which makes its London debut and is also choreographed by Alston), Burning and Madcap.
In Nomadic,Alston revisits the musical genre of his hugely popular 'Gypsy Mixture', but with darker and shaper music by Shukar Collective, who released their album Urban Gypsyon Riverboat Records in 2005. In the show, the interaction between gypsy music and urban sound is explored through music and dance and is furthermore supported through an unprecedented collaboration of Alston's 45-year career - working with young hip-hop choreographer and performer Ajani Johnson-Goffe.
The show is only performed at Sadler's Wells twice, but Nomadic can be enjoyed at several other venues throughout the UK - see details below.
The Shukar Collective was born in Romania from the meeting of new generation musicians with the gypsy traditions of Shukar founders Napoleon, Tamango and Clasic. Shukar play ursari music (ursar means 'bear tamer' or 'bear handler') using spoons, wooden barrels or darabuka to create a powerful and urgent sound that is at the same time emotional and soulful. Urban Gypsy combines Shukar's original ursari music with the new technology of the collective, resulting in their distinctive sound.