REF 2021 Elixir


The Elixir Ensemble website in its entirety constitutes this REF submission. The research output(s) can be accessed through the publicly available pages through this link:

The research includes performances by Bannerman as a member of the Elixir Ensemble and his curation of creative process documentation.

Menus / links provide access to the research materials which include:

Elixir Ensemble 2014 The Elders Project (Burrows and Fargion)
Elixir Ensemble 2017 Forest Revisited (Cohan and Welton) and The Road Awaits Us (Lazar and Parson)
Elixir Ensemble 2020 (Ben Duke) – Suspended due to covid-19

NOTE: Once on the Elixir Ensemble pages, you may need to insert the url of this page
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Title of Output: Elixir Ensemble
Author: Bannerman, C. (Performer/Website Editor)
Co-authors: Burrows, J., Cohan, C., Lazar, P., Parson, A., Welton, M.
and Postponed: Duke, B. (Choreographers)

First Performance Burrows – 12 September 2014
First Performance Cohan – 23 June 2017
First Performance Parson – 23 June 2017
Covid-delayed Duke, B. – 19 June 2020
Website Curation – September 2014 (Website launched) to March 2021

ORCID: 0000-0002-8203-4872

Statement (300 words)

Elixir Ensemble performances often require creative engagement in devised choreographic processes as the idiosyncratic, individualised abilities of older dancers necessitate individualised movement. The processes frequently involve spoken text which performers generate, e.g. The Elders Project by Jonathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion which featured autobiographical solos interspersed with unison and group sections; and in sessions with Ben Duke (postponed due to Covid-19) involving an intergenerational cast with early-career dancers representing Elixir Ensemble members in their youth. Annie-B Parson’s The Road Awaits Us however, used text extracted from an absurdist Ionesco playscript including a particular personal challenge, the Fireman’s monologue involving non-sequitur, but very precise, movement and words.

Cohan and Welton’s Forest Revisited largely eschewed individualised movement, utilising pre-existing dance vocabulary from the original work created by Cohan for London Contemporary Dance Theatre, where I danced and choreographed from 1974-1989, and performed in the original Forest in 1977.

Elixir performances, decades after retiring from professional dance, require re-membering the dancing body accessing long-lost sensations and particular movement patterns. The passage of time reflected and manifested in physical form creates a living palimpsest, past dancing codes overwritten with life experiences, changed physicality, newer neuro-physical data drawn from choreographers’ processes, all calibrated for current realities. Internally, a sense of ‘habitus’, a centred place, or point remains – still familiar and accessible, testament to the efficacy of past dance training inscribed not on the body, but in the body, the neural pathways well-charted and still responsive, but now requiring new exploration, new agency to repattern and actualise in the moment on stage at the Sadler’s Wells theatre. The ResCen website offers a space for reflection on the process of re-membering, a special way of being in the dance studio, the theatre, and on stage, facing the audience.

Mode of Submission: This is a multi-component output consisting of:

• three completed performance works and one work-in-progress
• Elixir website documentation and commentary