Theatre News

Older Dancers Star in BBC Arts Doc

The first film in a new series of Alan Yentob’s Imagine will focus on The Company of Elders, the 60+ dance troupe based at Sadler’s Wells.

From a modest community project in the late 1980s, The Company of Elders has grown into a respected troupe that challenges how older dancers move and what they can convey. With 25 members aged 60–85, and a combined age of almost 2,000, they perform two new works a year both in London and overseas, including the 2006 Venice Biennale.

“The aim is to create work that matches the dancers’ strengths and abilities rather than have them attempt bravura leaps,” says Fiona Ross who runs the Elders, as they are known. “Dance isn’t just the grande jete. It’s also about life and experience, and telling stories and conveying mood. Mature dancers have a wealth of knowledge to draw on. A small gesture, a small step, speaks volumes.”

The Company of Elders Imagine will be broadcast on BBC1 on 23 June and will be available on BBC iPlayer thereafter. They perform their next work at the Lilian Baylis Studio, Sadler’s Wells on 6 July.