over 60s

Company of Elders takes the stage for end-of-year performance

On its last day of term, our resident over 60s dance company performed Seeta Patel’s Fragments, Not Forgotten at Sadler’s Wells.

Established in 1989, our Company of Elders meets every Friday to rehearse and work with professional dance artists. Dancer and choreographer Seeta Patel, who presented a Wild Card evening in September 2014 and most recently performed at Darbar Festival in November 2017, originally worked with the company during autumn 2015 to create the piece.

Fragments, Not Forgotten offers a glimpse into new and old memories that are never really left behind. Incorporating voice recordings from members of the company, Seeta used the words of the elders to create a delicate work that conjures haunting moments and fleeting images.

The company previously performed the piece as part of the Art of Age programme, an evening of work presented in the Lilian Baylis Studio in spring 2016. It has since been reworked and extended to include new members who joined the company earlier this year.

Next term, the company will work with choreographer Adrienne Hart, a participant in our Summer University programme.

We are committed to highlighting the valuable contribution to the art form made by older dancers, and to offer a platform for work created and performed by them to be shared with wide audiences. We look forward to continuing our celebration and support of lifelong creativity at Sadler’s Wells in the New Year.

Over 60s enjoy Caribbean inspired social at Sadler’s Wells

Our Lilian Baylis Arts Club (LBAC) helps those over 60 connect with the arts and our Sadler’s Wells programme. Participants have the chance to hear talks from dancers, choreographers, designers and singers and to take part in workshops. Over the summer, members of the club enjoyed activities such as a trip to the Islington Museum to see the Sadler’s Wells archive, and heard a talk by Artistic Director and Chief Executive Alistair Spalding about the Autumn 2017 programme.

In partnership with All Change, a charity which delivers innovative arts projects that bring together artists and communities in north London and beyond, LBAC threw a special Caribbean-inspired Rub-a-dub social celebrating the end of the summer term. ‘Rub-a-dub’ is a style of reggae developed in the late 1970s preceding dancehall.

The event included a dance workshop by Candoco, a dance company comprised of disabled and non-disabled dancers with a focus on rethinking what dance is and who can dance. Candoco has been working with residents of The Mildmay Extra Care Centre and they were joined at the workshop by Hackney Elders Group, the Holloway neighbourhood group and the African and Caribbean Senior Citizens organisation at Mildmay Community Partnership.

Donald Edwards, Co-Founder of Phoenix Dance company and RJC Dance Theatre, ran a workshop engaging participants with rock’n’roll, calypso, reggae and ska dance.

Tony Nwachukwu, member of the trip-hop band and production outfit Attica Blues, provided the music whilst the members took over the dancefloor to show off some of their best moves. There was also a delicious rum cake, baked in the Sadler’s Wells kitchen, for everyone to enjoy!

The event was a fantastic send off after a packed summer term for the club, and we’re looking forward to welcoming everyone back for the autumn term!

 Find out more about how to get involved in our Lilian Baylis Art Club here.


Images: Lauren Matthews for All Change