September 20, 2014

Elixir Festival 2014

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.

3 Comments on “Elixir Festival 2014

September 23, 2014 at 23:10

Knowbody was a great show. I particularly enjoyed the pieces with just a few performers, or even just one, on stage – there was just so much personality to absorb. The highlight of the festival however was for me a Sunday morning workshop with Simona Scotto. I came away from it refreshed and reinvigorated.
The combination of discussion, floor movements, and some simple choreographic exercises helped me reflect upon different ways I could engage with dance in my own life. It was a great that to do so in the company of people that although I had just met them for the first time, quickly felt I had a lot in common, and felt very relaxed in their company. There were a number in the group that clearly knew a lot more about the actual process of choreography than I did, and I learnt a lot from them in just a short time. At the heart of it all was Simona, who put together the workshop with such care, thought and commitment, and like many things that involve a great deal of thought, experience and care, seemed effortlessly to breeze by.
I hope it’s not the last time I get a chance to engage with event such as this.

September 29, 2014 at 09:43

Hi Martin,
It’s great to hear you have got a lot out of the Festival and the workshop. Perhaps we’ll see you at one of my classes?!

October 5, 2014 at 20:21

Hi Simona, I’ll keep my eye on your website (checked current classes, scheduling difficult I fear..)

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