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Press Release: Sadler's Wells presents the Elixir Festival

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Elixir Festival
Friday 12 - Monday 15 September 2014
Performance times vary, see below for full details
Tickets: £10 - £15, workshops £8, Art of Age Conference £40 (includes lunch and performance)
Concessions apply, see below for full details
Ticket Office: 0844 412 4300 / www.sadlerswells.com

Sadler’s Wells presents its largest ever celebration of lifelong creativity and the contribution of older artists this Autumn, with four days of performances, workshops, film-screenings and events throughout the theatre from 12 – 15 September 2014


The Elixir Festival draws together over 400 performers and contributors, including Mats Ek, Ana Laguna, Dominique Mercy, a cast of nine former professional dancers, Sadler’s Wells’ acclaimed Company of Elders, 25 elders dance groups from right across the UK and Chilean group Generación del Ayer.

From the beauty and power of a single gesture to the juxtaposition of electronic music and contemporary choreography performed by older dancers, the main stage mixed programme, KnowBody; A lifetime of experiences (12 & 13 September) challenges preconceptions and presents contemporary dance illuminated by a lifetime of experience.

It offers a rare opportunity to see celebrated former professional dancers - some of whom are returning to the stage for the first time after twenty years or more - perform a new work commissioned by the theatre from acclaimed duo Jonathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion and former artists of London Contemporary Dance Theatre, The Royal Ballet, Second Stride and the Siobhan Davies Dance. The group of extraordinary dancers includes: Christopher Bannerman, Brian Bertscher, Anne Donnelly, Linda Gibbs, Lizie Giraudeau, Betsy Gregory, Geraldine Morris, Namron and Kenneth Tharp, who have temporarily come out of retirement to perform this hopeful and irreverent illustration of the body as an archive of rooms, steps and forgotten stories, revealing the power of physical memory in the face of the most transitory of art forms.

It is complimented by Mats Ek’s Memory, a heartfelt piece performed by the choreographer himself and the internationally renowned dancer, Ana Laguna, his wife and muse. This delicately evocative piece is a reflection on midlife sensuality: a man remembers a woman, the memory brings her on stage and the past becomes the present.

Dominique Mercy performs a new solo directed by Pascal Merighi and accompanied by projections created by Alexandre Castres. Merighi and Castres are former members of the late Pina Bausch’s internationally acclaimed company, Tanztheater Wuppertal, with whom Mercy has performed for 40 years, as well as being a choreographer in his own right.

KnowBody also features18 dancers from Sadler’s Wells’ renowned Company of Elders presenting a restaged excerpt from Hofesh Shechter’s In your roomsHofesh Shechter says of his experience: “It is fascinating for me to see my work restaged on mature dancers. To work in a studio so full of wisdom, life experience and laughter is a gift you don’t say no to.”

Established in 1989, the Company of Elders is Sadler’s Wells’ inspirational resident over-60s performance company. Over the past 12 years the 26 members have garnered global acclaim, working with international choreographers including Matthew Bourne's New Adventures, Hofesh Shechter Company, Wayne McGregor | Random Dance, Jasmin Vardimon Company, BirdGang, Luca Silvestrini and Clara Andermatt. They have performed at locations ranging from The Houses of Parliament, National Theatre and Duckie Cabaret Club to foreign tours spanning Russia, Holland, Austria, Portugal, and the Venice Biennale Dance Festival. In 2009 (rebroadcast in 2012) the group were the subject of a BBC1 Imagine documentary; Imagine…Save The Last Dance.

Generación del Ayer, the intergenerational company from Chile, perform an extract from Lo Que Me Dio El Agua (What the water gave me) a tribute to the life and work of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Of the work they do, the company says: “Over 60 is the time to realise your dreams, not relinquish them. To stop dancing would be like forgetting a language we have always spoken.”

From 13 - 15 September, the Lilian Baylis Studio hosts Elixir Extracts, a mixed performance programme featuring older dancers and 25 companies from Cardiff to Ipswich, Brighton to Liverpool and beyond as well as the Company of Elders; reflecting the diversity of approach and responding to the fast-growing interest in performance work for mature artists. Over 50 companies applied to be part of this performance programme.

On Monday 15 September, the Art of Age Conference features contributions from artists, choreographers and leaders in culture, health and performance research. The morning session focuses on dance and well-being while the afternoon examines the artistic perspective, followed by a performance from the Company of Elders in the Lilian Baylis Studio.

The Elixir Festival is supported by The Baring Foundation

The presentation of Mats Ek and Ana Laguna as part of the Elixir Festival is supported by the Swedish Embassy in London

The presentation of Generación del Ayer as part of the Elixir Festival is supported by the Anglo-Chilean Society

Press performances: KnowBody, main stage, Friday 12 September at 7.30pm; Elixir Extracts, Lilian Baylis Studio, Monday 15 September at 5pm featuring the Company of Elders and Namron. Limited tickets are available for the other Elixir Extracts programmes on Saturday 13 & Sunday 14 September (see below for further details) and for the Art of Age Conference, Sadler’s Wells Rosebery Room, Monday 15 September 10.30am – 6pm (includes a ticket to 5pm performance)


For further details on the Elixir Festival see www.sadlerswells.com/Elixir

Listings information

Elixir Festival
Sadler’s Wells & Lilian Baylis Studio
Friday 12 - Monday 15 September 2014
Performance dates and times as below
Ticket prices as below
Ticket Office: 0844 412 4300 / www.sadlerswells.com

KnowBody; A lifetime of experiences
Sadler’s Wells main stage
Friday 12 & Saturday 13 September
Performances at 7.30pm, pre-show dance films in the foyer from 6.30pm
Tickets: £15 (£7.50 concessions)

Elixir Extracts
Lilian Baylis Studio, Sadler’s Wells
Saturday 13 - Monday 15 September
Performance times as below
Tickets: £10 (£5 concessions)

Programme A, Saturday 4.30pm
The ViveKamayas from Instep Dance Company
Growing Older (Dis)Gracefully Dance
50 Moves
Striking Attitudes
Mercury Movers
Montage Theatre Arts
ENB Open Age Dancers
Lucy Boyes and Robbie Synge

Programme B, Sunday 3.30pm
(Includes post-show dance films from 6pm in the Kahn Lecture Theatre)
Green Candle Senior Dancers
Open Age Dance
Three Score Dance Company
The Elderberries
Counterpoint Dance Company
Damn Fine Dance Company

Programme C, Sunday 7pm
(Includes pre-show dance films from 6pm in the Kahn Lecture Theatre)
D2D Dance Company
From Here to Maturity Dance Company
Sage Dance Company
Generación del Ayer (International Guests)

Company of Elders, Monday 5pm
A mixed programme from the Company of Elders’ repertoire featuring guest artist Namron.

Sadler’s Wells Studios
Sunday 14 September
Times as below
Tickets: £8 (£4 concessions) phone booking only

The workshop programme aims to offer professional development and support further growth in the sector.

Working with Elders
11am – 12.30pm
Led by Simona Scotto, suitable for older dancers and professionals working with older dancers.

Stories and Dance
11am – 12.30pm
Led by Mafalda Deville, suitable for all ages.

Intergenerational Creative Workshop
1.30pm – 3pm
Led by Jasmine Wilson (Wayne McGregor | Random Dance), suitable for all ages.

Choreographing for Elders
1.30pm – 3pm
Led by Bisakha Sarker, suitable for older dancers and professionals working with older dancers.

Art of Age Conference
Sadler’s Wells Rosebery Room
Monday 15 September
10.30 – 6pm
(10am registration)
Tickets: £40 (£20 concessions: Access members only) phone booking only. Includes lunch and ticket to 5pm performance in the Lilian Baylis Studio.
BSL Interpreted

Concessions include: Access members, over 60s and under 18s unless specified above


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