Sadler’s Wells new Hip Hop Academy coming to Stratford


Stratford is changing, and as we move ever closer to the full IQL vision in 2024, our activities are making headlines. We’re proud to share a piece of global coverage regarding Sadler’s Wells Stratford, the renowned music and dance institution’s newest outpost within IQL, set to open in 2023. A new, world-leading Hip Hop Academy at the location is the latest in IQL and Stratford East Bank’s exciting development plans to be featured in the press. 

The Academy will cover a number of disciplines including dance, graffiti and DJing. The diploma course, which is open to 16 – 19 year olds, will cover a range of training in elements like live performance and theatre production. The first intake will join the Academy in 2024. 

The Artistic Director for the Academy has already been appointed. Jonzi D is the founder of Breakin’ Convention, an international festival of Hip Hop Dance Theatre. He described Hip Hop culture as producing, ‘the fastest growing artistic movement on earth.’

Meanwhile, Alistair Spalding, Sadler’s Wells artistic director and chief executive, is quoted to have said: “It is such an exciting opportunity to be able to offer training to young people specifically in hip hop dance theatre, to develop the next generation of hip-hop theatre artists.”

“London needs big forward-looking, ambitious creative projects as we recover from this pandemic – and culture and the creative industries will play a huge role in our economic recovery,” added Justine Simons, deputy London mayor for culture and the creative industries. 

Her words speak directly to our vision at IQL; one that nurtures and creates opportunities for creativity and employment in the capital’s ‘hippest post-code’ (British Vogue). The new Sadler’s Wells venue, called Sadler’s Wells East, is just one of the cultural giants opening at Stratford’s Waterfront, known as East Bank, in 2022. 

The venue will also be home to a theatre, rehearsal spaces, the choreographic school, and a public lobby where people can meet or rehearse. The theatre itself will bring several innovative performances across genres of dance to East London, with tickets being sold to the general public via the Sadler’s Wells website. 

Stratford is set to become London’s new cultural heart with the development of East Bank, with BBC Music and UCL’s East Campus following suit the following year in 2023. It’s estimated that the development will bring over 1.5 million visitors to the area to live, work and play.

Click here for more information on the cultural organisations joining Sadler’s Wells Stratford at East Bank and IQL.