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Charity number: 1077161

Company number: 3724349

Past programme

Showcases an eclectic range of fresh and interesting contemporary work, largely by emerging artistslondondance.com
Community arts

Silent Voices

by Bridge The Gap Studios x Break The Chain Foundation

Date
Friday 2 December 2016

This production (based on the “Silent Voices” book by Jonathon Toy) tells the story of a young man, Anton, whose affiliation and friendships with those caught up in gangs ultimately led to his tragic murder in Peckham. This true story is told through the eyes of those who knew him, those involved in his murder and those involved in bringing about justice. These perspectives provide the opportunity to recognize and resolve the real reasons driving gang violence in our cities.

Silent Voices tells us what life is like in the forgotten places the rest of us walk past every day, but though we walk down the same streets we walk though different worlds. We are forced to confront the ways that early experiences of war, gang-related brutality, acute domestic violence, parental sexual abuse, profound neglect and unrelenting poverty have set them up for a life ‘on road’. It investigates why people become involved in gang violence and the impact it has on our communities, told through the - often silent - voices of those involved.

Tickets are free and can be booked through eventbrite here.


Theatre

Trunkated Scratch Night including A Taste of Heaven

 

Date
Tuesday 29 November 2016

A showcase of excerpts and short works-in-progress of new material from London's most exciting artists across the arts.

Tickets are FREE and can be booked here.

A Taste of Heaven

One minute you’re chopping vegetables, and the next minute your pension has been cut off and you’re being told you need to prove your existence. If only the man behind the desk would co-operate…

Written by Chris Holbrook, A Taste of Heaven was one of the winning entries in our 2015 play writing competition and it will be followed by a short Q & A with the writer.

Director - Louise Bakker
Woman - Joan Plunkett
Man at guichet - Matthew Vickers
Functionary - Ian Hoare

Alex Watts

Comedian Alex Watts returns to the Blue Elephant after a successful run of his show 25 Stories earlier this year. This time around he’ll take his audience on a surprise tour through his newest material, best summed up as ‘disorganised man says things he reckons might be funny’. What exactly that entails… well, you’ll just have to be there to find out!

assured, funny and intelligent **** Threeweeks

Alex Watts is an actor, comedian and disgruntled ex-bookshop employee. He would prefer not to be erroneously described as ‘renowned kitten murderer and Brexiteer, Alex Watts’.

Iain Gibbons

Gaulier-trained Iain Gibbons tries out new material at the Blue Elephant Theatre. Performing in a non-verbal, physical comedy style with clowning influences, Iain invites his audience to follow his silent antics as he pedantically finds difficulties in the simplest of tasks.

Gibbons expressions [are] warm and full. ***** New Current

Hilarious. Wales Online

The strength in Gibbons, performance is not so much in the words, but in the acting. **** LondonTheatre1

Influenced by the silent comedians of Monty Python and by Rowan Atkinson, Iain works primarily as a character actor, having performed in theatre and independent films. Iain spent six years in Cardiff practicing the techniques of Strasberg, Meisner, Lecoq and Meyerhold, before training in Paris at École Phillipe Gaulier last year, supported by the Arts Council of Wales. While in Cardiff, Iain trained with Denni Dennis Company Clowns, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Glamorgan University’s Cardiff School and Cultural Industries. He also worked with and participated in workshops with theatre companies including Spymonkey, Complicite, John Wright, Frantic Assembly, Cardboard Citizen and No Fit State Circus.

Ballast

Ballast is a site specific performance devised, produced and performed by Jillian Bradley for the St Ives Festival in September in association with The BSJW Trust at Porthmeor Studios. It’s a movement-based piece with a narrative constructed through visual metaphor. Blending theatre with live art, it is set to an original score composed by a classical pianist. The piece aims to expose the mental health issues surrounding women's relationship to food, focusing on eating disorders and the resulting obsessive compulsive control mechanisms.

Jillian will perform a section from Ballast which looks at the objectification and sexualisation of women through food, exploring clichés around concepts of womanhood. Is food a tool of perversion or liberation for women? A sense of restriction resonates throughout in an umbilical way. From apron strings to washing lines, all offer the potential for release and yet form an imprisonment of their own making.

Jillian Bradley retrained as an actor, having been a professional portrait painter. In her previous career, she notably produced a collection of portraits within Formula One Motor Racing which was exhibited internationally. Her passion for performance-based arts led Jillian to change creative focus. Her work is rooted in feminist politics and the need for change. Based in London, Jillian is originally from a tiny rural community in the Welsh Marches, raised on a self sufficient small holding to artist parents. Her acting work has included roles in television, film and theatre.


Theatre

Parvati's Dark Children: Rehearsed Reading

by Ramneek Singh

Date
Tuesday 22 November 2016

Join us for a rehearsed reading of Parvati's Dark Children by Ramneek Singh, one of the winning plays in our recent play-writing competition.

Set against the backdrop of the Maoist insurrection in the jungles of Bastar, and drawing on mythology attributed to the Gond tribals, Parvati's Dark Children is a play about betrayal, resistance, and expropriation - of land, mythology and worldview. Calibrating themselves on the spectrum of political resistance, a human rights lawyer, his daughter in love with a Maoist rebel, a tribal woman in solitary confinement and a tribal jail guard, renegotiate their positions, creating a vital argument between liberalism and anarchism, pragmatism and idealism, violence and non-violence, cynical and reactionary positions, and above all, between settler cultures and the indigenous way of life.

Tickets are FREE. To reserve your place via Eventbrite, click here.


Writer
Ramneek Singh
Director
Jacqui Marchant-Adams
Cast
Gopal Gautam (Mishra), Leesa Gazi (Sukdi), Ratna Malay (Nimrat), Ian Recordon (Sandhu) and Suren Seneviratne (Mangtu)
Dance

Mad Meg

by MAZPOD

Dates
Friday 18 November 2016 - Saturday 19 November 2016

Mad Meg is a collision of traditional folk and contemporary dance theatre. Threading moving bodies, spoken word, live folk music and driven by the wild rhythms of Appalachia, MAZPOD tell the demise of Mad Meg, an unruly woman whose spirit is at odds with the traditional society she lives in.

You are invited to see the relevance of their fairy tale, set somewhere between a smoky bar in North Carolina and a mossy forest at dawn. As the tragedy unfolds, pass between narrators and characters in the tale and bounce from poignancy to bawdiness, uncovering Mad Meg´s story.

MAZPOD was founded in 2014 and Mad Meg is the company´s first work. It has been performed in the UK and Argentina.

Mad Meg by MAZPOD from MAZPOD on Youtube.


Reviews

"An engaging first offering from a company I hope to see more of."

Thinking on my Feet

"An intense and intriguing production."

UK Theatre Network

"Mad Meg is a show which is light and comedic, but also sincere and touching."

A Younger Theatre

Supported by

Dance

The Very Important Child

Date
Wednesday 16 November 2016

This is about grown up infants.

The Very Important Child is a piece of physical theatre about the development of the ego, psychological warfare, throwing one’s toys out of the pram. Bold and comic, it blends movement, text and music.

The audience sees the complicated politics of two adult egos, two grown-ups who are convinced it is the other person’s fault. The show takes you into the developing mind of a human – the fragile baby living from minute to minute, the god-like toddler, the adult who believes herself ‘fully grown’.

The Very Important Child is a series of connected dances, it is also just a story about people. There are frenzied folk dances, wordless lyrical duets, comic observations of adult conversation and uplifting music.

The Mostly Everything People was founded in 2012 with the aim of creating high quality movement-based theatre for a wide audience, and has since performed nationally and internationally, and were named Canada Water Culture Space (London) Emerging Artists 2015.

The Very Important Child by The Mostly Everything People from The Mostly Everything People on Youtube.


Supported by

  • Arts Council England
  • AMATA (Falmouth University)
Dance

This Really Is Too Much

Dates
Friday 11 November 2016 - Saturday 12 November 2016

Look. (point) You’ve never had it so good. We. Are moving. Forward.

Outlandish, bold and highly entertaining, This Really Is Too Much delves into a world of farcical stereotypes and preposterous power struggles. With irreverent physicality, four characters wrestle with restriction, gender and performance of identity, trying desperately to work out which box they fit into.

Raucous and thought provoking in equal measure, Gracefool's genre-busting performance reveals the downright absurd realities of what it means to be a 3-dimensional, high definition, water-drinking, salad-eating, moisturizing WO-man in modern society. Dripping with virtuosic charm and anarchic wit, this is feminist comedy dance at its very best.

There will be a post-show discussion following the performance on Saturday 12th November.


Reviews

"This really is too much is a gleeful, compelling piece and the Gracefools are a group of artists to watch."

Exeunt Magazine

"Highly entertaining as well as thought provoking as Gracefool Collective show the absurdity of trying to be a person as well as a woman in our society..."

UK Theatre Network

"Gracefool Collective have set a standard in visual storytelling, whilst being unapologetic in what they say."

A Young Theatre

Supported by

Dance

(we)SINK & Fish Tank: Double Bill

Date
Thursday 10 November 2016

Hawk Dance Theatre is an exciting, emerging company based in the North West and presenting their first double-bill of new work.

(we)SINK (mentored by Gary Clarke)
(we)SINK is a dance performance exploring climate change and human psychology. Inspired by psychological mechanisms that make humans disengage from climate change challenges, this new work, choreographed by Josh Hawkins, explores feelings of distance, doom, dissonance, denial and identity in response to our changing climate. Performed by Emmie Coxey and Freya Thomas, this captivating duet questions whether these defence barriers can be broken and if we will ever truly connect to this topical issue.

Fish Tank
Fish Tank draws similarities and compares the life of a goldfish in its tank to the denials we face when dealing with change. Fish Tank explores different feelings linked to change, and imagines every human has their own ‘fish tank’ full of questions, responsibilities and problems. Fish Tank is a conversation between live spoken word, text, music and dance.

Please note this production will use flour during the performance.

FISH TANK by Hawk Dance Theatre from Hawk Dance Theatre on Vimeo.


Supported by

Dance

Morir Soñando

by Stephanie Peña

Dates
Monday 7 November 2016 - Tuesday 8 November 2016

Morir Soñando is an exploration of Dominican identity, which deconstructs the national dance Merengue and experiments with how this form of dance translates to the bodies of non-Caribbean dancers.

The work navigates the performers’ understanding of the culture through the use of Merengue music, language and hip movements. Through this exploration, a story starts to unravel revealing betrayal, agony, and power.

Morir Soñando is a roller coaster that will pull the audience along, even those not ready for the ride…


Reviews

"A beautiful production dealing with the complex subjects of integration and cultural identity ..."

UK Theatre Network

"It is a strong, ‘in-your-face’ message; one that is both timely and timeless."

Afridiziak Theatre News

"The message of Morir Soñando is a hopeful one, one that sees the possibility of staying true to yourself despite pressures to conform."

Dulwich OnView

"Peña's ability to inject a touch of modernity into traditional dance and blend it with storytelling makes for a fascinating half hour."

Views From The Gods

Dance

Mirrored, me?

Dates
Friday 4 November 2016 - Saturday 5 November 2016

A story of the self and its double, inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s play William Wilson, is told in this dance performance. It is a game in which different parts of human personality affect and direct the protagonists in the struggle of the self to recognise its diverse sides. During the act, two individuals play with their reflections, bridging the gap between the face and its reflection, between light and shade, between the one who is watching and the one who is being watched. The immersive installation is used as an architectural metaphor, highlighting the very elements of space, suggesting that the boundaries and lines we draw within ourselves about who we are and what we can do are a perception of the mind and a result of a reflection.

There will be a post-show discussion following the performance on Friday 4th November.


Performers
Inês Zinho Pinheiro & Bianca Ranieri
Choreographer
Anastasia Papaeleftheriadou
Musician
Bertie Ellis Dean
Set Designers
Aliki Kylika & Kyveli Anastassiadi, V.I.P.A (Viral Institute of Performing Architecture)
Dance

Inter Pares Project

by Agnese Lanza and Julie Havelund-Willett

Date
Tuesday 25 October 2016

Inter Pares Project is a duet between international dance artists Agnese Lanza and Julie Havelund-Willett.

This piece forms part of an ongoing choreographic research project, which was launched in 2013 as part of a residency at S P A C E @ Clarence Mews. The research is embedded in the performances, and the performances feed directly back into the research, focusing on presence and the act of attending to detail. This performance weaves in and out of set and spontaneous movement, drawing direct inspiration from the architecture and audience of Blue Elephant Theatre.


Choreographed and Performed by
Agnese Lanza and Julie Havelund-Willett
Dance

Blue Cloud Scratch

Date
Friday 21 October 2016

Blue Cloud Scratch is an exciting new dance scratch night, showcasing works in progress from a diverse range of choreographers, and is curated by Blue Elephant Theatre and Cloud Dance Festival. Blue Cloud Scratch aims to encourage and provide emerging dance artists with opportunities to present their works in progress and receive feedback from audiences and peers.

This is the final Blue Cloud Scratch of 2016.

For more about the Blue Cloud Scratch and Cloud Dance Festival, click here.

Under The Light

Choreographer: Ana Sosa, Sosa Dance Company

Ana was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and experienced a manic episode when she was 19 years old. Inspired by this terribly illuminating experience, Under The Light attempts to convey the fear and excitement of losing one’s mind. It penetrates the subconscious of the audience, while remaining highly digestible and relatable.

Ana Sosa was born in Mexico, raised in Canada, and lived in New York City for five years. She began her contemporary dance career as a choreographer. Sosa is a recipient of the Eryc Taylor Dance Grant and showed her work at the Martha Graham Studios in NYC. Most recently, she performed a full-length show at the International Book Fair in Hidalgo, Mexico for a 300+ audience.

When in the Company of a Turtle

Choreographer: Natalie Sloth Richter, Open Roof
Music: Oscar Salguero

Mentoring: Charles Linehan

When in the Company of a Turtle is a choreographic exploration of what can come from being alone. The piece looks at the need for companionship and asks what it takes to be your own companion on the stage, on the road, in the dark.

Natalie Sloth Richter is a Danish dance artist who graduated from Trinity Laban in 2015. 
She co-founded the collective Open Roof in the autumn of 2015 and has been creating and presenting her own work since. 
Most recently, Open Roof took two new pieces to Denmark to perform and discuss them and also facilitated workshops. Alongside working within her collective, Natalie is currently performing with the company BitterSuite, which will be touring in London and New York later this year.

Equilibrium

Choreographer: Pip Amer, Incendium Dance Company

Equilibrium explores gender stereotypes within Latin and ballroom dance, stripping away the superficial layers and working from the organic essence of the form and the self. Through earthy and sensual movements, the audience will be transported from the showbiz aesthetics of 'Strictly Come Dancing' to the raw and powerful aesthetic of Latin American movements within a human situation.

Pip Amer is a freelance dance artist who recently graduated from Kingston University in July 2015 with a BA (Hons) in Dance. Amer's Latin dance career started when she was 6 years old with strict training in Latin American and Ballroom dance. She focused heavily on technique and competed internationally, representing England. Amer is now exploring her Latin American and ballroom foundation outside of the competition context, taking her artistic vision into a theatrical environment. She believes in the strength and power within the history, fierceness and stylisation of the movement and the visibility it deserves within the dance sector.

Ancestral Whispers

Choreographer: Vanessa Downie, Ajos Dance
Ajos Dance Founding Director: JJ Formento
Music: Night of Visions by Ancestral Voices; Traditional Native American Music

Wrestled from a restless sleep by a dramatic dream, Native American ancestor Kanawha Madonna appears and makes an unreserved request that cannot be refused.

Life will never, ever, be the same again.

This solo explores ways in which the legacy of America’s indigenous peoples can impact one’s life in the present day, tracing changing attitudes relating to the connection with the spirit of ancestry, at first an unsettling source of fear... now viewed as a precious gift.

Ajos Dance makes work that delves into human issues at the centre of everyday life; themes such as loss, homelessness, spirituality prompt deeper questions about our existence. Ajos presents choreographic platforms to develop new audiences for dance by presenting work in an inclusive, accessible way.

Ancestral Whispers is supported by an artist residency at Clarence Mews.
Vanessa would like to extend thanks to JJ Formento and Caroline Salem, without whom, this exciting choreographic journey would not have happened.


Dance

SpeedDating

Dates
Wednesday 19 October 2016 - Thursday 20 October 2016

Speed dating
noun

an organised social activity in which people
seeking romantic relationships have a series of
short conversations with potential partners in
order to determine whether there is mutual
interest.

SpeedDating explores the concept of organised social activity and interaction between people in a series of short conversations. Informed by social observation this live composition work incorporates movement and sound, exposing the choreographer’s choice in real-time.

Choreographer Shelley Owen is a dance artist who has predominantly worked in The Netherlands. Researching instant composition and task-based choreography, Shelley explores performer choice and works with original sound scores, often performed live. Recently completed projects include site-specific dance/sound work Hare Hill Project: Resolution supported by The National Trust (Cheshire UK) and Some Kind of Hell, by body painting artist Vilija Vitkute (Amsterdam NL)


Family

The Owl and the Pussycat - SOLD OUT

Date
Sunday 16 October 2016

Both shows are now SOLD OUT. We apologize for any inconvenience.

They danced by the light of the moon, the moon….

This gorgeous new ballet takes a fresh and humorous look at the famous Lear poem. Once again, Let’s All Dance combines fantastic dancing, beautiful costumes and crystal clear story telling to engage and delight young audiences.

Perfect for 2-9 year olds, families, and children with special needs

"The performance was truly magnificent, wonderful! Enjoyed by all, especially my 6 year old granddaughter." - Kristina Attwood, Oxford

"5 stars, my boys (6&8) always enjoy your shows! Thank you." - Tina Hills, Canterbury

"I thought it was amazing... It made me feel happy, I want to come again." - Florence, age 4, Guildford


Supported by

Dance

SIGNS

Date
Thursday 13 October 2016

SIGNS is a 30-minute dance piece, fusing contemporary dance with British Sign Language. Performed by two female dancers, this exciting and intricate duet takes inspiration from Colin Thompson's poem If I told you I was deaf would you turn away.

Accompanied by an originally composed music score, it is a highly physical performance that explores the importance of body language in British Sign Language, and the barriers of a Deaf person trying to communicate in a hearing world.

SIGNS is presented as a work-in-progress performance and will be followed by a post-show discussion where we welcome the audience’s feedback.

If you wish to avoid the online booking fee but are unable to call the box office, please email your booking request to info@blueelephanttheatre.co.uk and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

On Friday, 14 October, 10:30 am, there will be an accessible beginner's dance workshop with Monica Nicolaides, the Artistic Director of MonixArts and Choreographer of SIGNS.
Places are free but restricted to Southwark residents only. Register here.


Reviews

"SIGNS has the potential to be a fierce piece of physical theatre..."

Thinking on my Feet

Choreographer
Monica Nicolaides

Supported by

  • Arts Council England
  • Candoco Dance
  • Lottie Barker Productions
  • Hiive
  • Arch 197
Theatre

Purged

by Catharsis

Date
Wednesday 28 September 2016

"There’s a special kind of comfort in thinking it could all end in silence."

You are now twenty nine. A few weeks ago, you attempted to stay twenty nine forever. You failed. Now words fail you.

But you have to attempt to explain anyway.

Catharsis in association with Underfoot present a heady, physical account of euphoria, redemption, and extremity.

This is a story about the fragments of time that hide between words. The things on the fringes of your consciousness. The scenes that happen out of the corner of your eye.

A compelling tale without an ending told to whoever’s around to hear it.


Director
Justin Murray
Actor
Orla Sanders
Producer
Heather Ralph
Writer
Chris Polites
Movement Director
Amy Lawrence
Sound Designer
Paul Freeman
Outside Eyes
Sophie Taylor & Florence Bell
Lighting Designer
Lauren Cameron
Designer
Robson Barreto