The Elixir Festival, which finished on Monday, was one of the most fulfilling events in dance that I’ve had the pleasure to be part of. Sadler’s Wells produced an amazing variety of shows, over four days, to cater for all types of audiences. Both on the main stage and in the Lilian Baylis Studio, they showed exactly how older dancers at different stages in their life and artistic journey as performers, can produce work that is interesting, fun to watch and with artistic value.
I spent most of last weekend behind the scenes for Elixir Extracts in the Lilian Baylis Studio, watching various non professional groups getting to grips with the professional production that this was. We had the full monty! From lighting and sound technicians to a wonderful stage manager that remembered each group’s logistics (20 in total!) and showed all the groups in their best light. The deputy stage manager also did a great job, calling all the cues and making sure the audience and the dancers had the best possible experience!
We had some challenges though, especially managing the larger groups and making sure that all the dancers where in the right place at the right time. In fact over the course of the festival, we had 400 dancers on stage… that’s roughly 100 per day!
The final day of Elixir culminated in a conference touching on various aspects of the older dancer, including performance and also the health benefits of dance. I particularly enjoyed the Company of Elders closing performance and there was such a buzz back stage, the stage manager and Namron, one of the professional performers, boogying away – shaking it all about! The enthusiasm was so catching that we all spilled onto the stage for the last piece and danced with audience members too! Monday was truly a great ending to a very successful festival that showcased many people, some who thought it unlikely they would ever be part of such a celebration, never mind dancing on a Sadler’s Wells stage. It really was a wonderful celebration of life long learning and creativity!
And now I’d like to hear from you…
Did you come and see any of the performances at Elixir? Or were you part of the events as a performer?
What was your favourite part? What did you like about it?
And what did you want to see that wasn’t there this time?
Tell me in the comments section below.