Company of Elders & ZooNation Youth Company: The Exchange- Sadler’s Wells, London

Reviewer: Monica Cox

Choreographer: Chaldon Williams

Assistant Choreographer: Georgie Mziu

The Exchange, a collaborative endeavour between the Company of Elders and ZooNation Youth Company, boldly bridges the generational gap through dance. The Company of Elders, comprising of non-professional dancers over 60, alongside ZooNation Youth Company, a troop of promising young dancers, converge to showcase that embarking on new journeys knows no age limit, the remit of Sadler’s Wells Elixir Festival.

The piece opens with a wholesome documentary video, offering an intimate glimpse into the collaborative process. As the performers unite in rehearsal, a genuine sense of community emerges, emphasising the transformative power of artistic collaboration.

The dance piece starts with one member from ZooNation and one from Elders in an intricate back-and-forth. We are then introduced respectively to each company before they start to merge together in a series of different sequences.

While the choreography by Chaldon Williams initially exhibits moments of disjointedness, the piece gains momentum as it progresses. Although there’s room for deeper exploration of evolving perspectives between generations, the symbiotic exchange between the two companies becomes increasingly compelling. As they seamlessly pass the metaphorical baton of movement, their shared passion illuminates the stage.

The true essence of The Exchange lies in its profound impact on both participants and spectators alike, sparking vital conversations on intergenerational connection and the unifying force of dance. The invitation extended to the audience to join the performers on stage for a spontaneous boogie epitomises the joy and connection fostered by the simple act of dance.

Reviewed on 13 April 2024. The Elixir Festival runs until 20 April 2024

The Reviews Hub Score

Wholesome community piece

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The Reviews Hub London is under the acting editorship of Richard Maguire. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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