It's common to think a dancer is 'past it' by the time they're in their late 30s. Turning this idea on its head, the Elixir Project brings former professional dancers back to the studio and stage to prove that age and experience can be as potent for performance as youth and bendiness during a four-day festival at Sadler's Wells showcasing work from 'elder' dancers.
KnowBody: a lifetime of experiences is a mixed bill which sees former artists of London Contemporary Dance Theatre, The Royal Ballet, Second Stride and the Siobhan Davies Dance Company come out of retirement and tackle new choreography. In addition, Sadler's Wells's own over-60s Company of Elders performs an extract from Hofesh Schecter's (usually very loud) In Your Rooms, Chilean company Generación del Ayer pays tribute to Frida Kahlo, renowned choreographer Mats Ek (69) performs alongside his wife Ana Laguna (59) and Dominique Mercy (64) braves a solo.
Elixir Extracts showcases the work of elder companies from the UK and abroad in four mixed bills, including English National Ballet's Open Age dancers, east London's Green Candle Senior Dancers and From Here To Maturity Dance Company.
These dancers might complain of frozen shoulders, dodgy knees and the odd hernia but we're pretty sure this will be a rejuvenating and inspirational weekend of dance.
Elixir Festival runs 12-15 September. KnowBody is performed on Friday 12 and Saturday 13 September at 7.30pm in Sadler's Wells Main House. Elixir Extracts will be performed in the Lilian Baylis Studio on Saturday 13, Sunday 14 and Monday 15 September — check website for times and line up.