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Coronet Inside Out: Lea Anderson

Independent dance artist, founder member and artistic director of The Cholmondeleys and The Featherstonehaughs companies Lea Anderson has shared her dance film Elvis Legs (Quarantine Mix) as part of Coronet Inside Out. The film also includes an exclusive behind the scenes look at the creation of the piece.

 

Elvis Legs (Quarantine Mix)

A dance film choreographed by Lea Anderson, designed by Simon Vincenzi edited by Grace Porter with music by Steve Blake and Drostan Madden.

Elvis Legs was originally created in 1995 as part of a full length show Featherstonehaughs Go Las Vegas. This show toured the UK and Europe performing in middle-large scale theatres and festivals but unusually Elvis Legs came to have an extended life of its own as a dynamo of excitement, danced on the spot so eminently suitable for performing in cabarets, clubs, pubs and parties.

It was noted by Anderson that when performed in close proximity to an enthusiastic (and possible refreshed audience) Elvis Legs dance produced a reaction akin to the response of screaming fans in the presence of the original Elvis Presley.

During the lockdown it became apparent to Lea Anderson that an ambitious ensemble project was sorely needed to keep up morale and to employ out of work dancers. Anderson and Vincenzi conceived of a lockdown/jailhouse version with the dancers rehearsing at home and filming their part on Zoom (the lockdown communication de rigeur).

Only when Anderson started a Kickstarter campaign and successfully raised the £13,000 (with donations received from nearly 200 supporters from all over the world) needed to make the film, did the team realise how truly challenging it would be. Costumes and set were delivered to the dancer’s homes and each artist effectively had to take on the roles of performer, technician, sound operator and wardrobe assistant in order to get their section completed.

Cast:
Harry Alexander
Makiko Aoyama
Maho Ihara
Patricia Langa
Nicholas Pinnock
Anna Pons Carrera
Georgia Redgrave
Frauke Requardt

A Lea Anderson Cholmondeleys Production

Additional Information

Lea Anderson is an independent dance artist, founder member and artistic director of The Cholmondeleys and The Featherstonehaughs companies. As well as touring extensively throughout the UK and overseas, the companies are renowned for their pioneering work in non-theatrical spaces and venues. Notable C&F works include Flag (1988/2006/2007), Flesh and Blood (1989/1997, 2010) Birthday (1992), Car (1995/96), The Featherstonehaughs Draw on The Sketchbooks of Egon Schiele (1998), Smithereens (1998), Yippeee!!! (2006), Russian Roulette (2008), Edits (2010) and Ladies & Gentlemen (2014)

Throughout her career Lea has also created work for television, video and film. These include two series of Tights, Camera, Action for Channel 4 TV in 1992 and 1994, which she wrote and presented, and in 1997 she choreographed Todd Haynes’ feature film Velvet Goldmine.

In 2002 Lea was awarded an MBE for her services to dance, and in 2006 was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from Dartington College of Arts. Lea’s work in non-theatrical spaces includes the Quicksilver series of performed research projects at Tate Modern 2008-2010.

Lea’s films Flesh and Blood and Cross Channel have been designated as set texts in schools for GCSE and A-level Dance and Performance Studies in the UK. In autumn 2014 Lea was appointed Regents Professor at the University of California in Los Angeles and is currently Artist in Residence at the Southbank Centre, London. Lea currently teaches MA students at Central St Martins (UAL) and Trinity Laban and is a mentor to artists from various disciplines including film, design, music, circus and dance.

Lea’s notable recent work includes:
2016: Hand in Glove – a Performed Exhibition of Costume and Dance, in partnership with the V&A Museum
2017: Huaca, a British Council commission for the Elenco Nacional Folclorico del Peru in Lima, Peru
2018: Co-directed and choreographed Fat Blokes, for Scottee (and friends); Trying it On at the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery; Los Amores de Marte y Venus, a commission by the British Council for Danza Contemporanea de Cuba
2019: Laberinto, a commission for Compania Danza PUCP in Lima, Peru; The Alien’s Guide to Dance Gone Wrong, a commission for Maiden Voyage company, Belfast

In 2019 Lea was artist in residence at the Horniman Museum, London and a creative fellow at The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum at the University of Exeter 2019 -2020

Lea has a special interest in intangible cultural heritage and living collections and has created performed exhibitions at the V&A museum (Hand in Glove, 2016), at the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery (Trying it On, 2018), and in an archeological site in Lima, Peru (Step by Step, 2017). Lea was a 2019-2020 Creative Fellow at The Bill Douglas Film Museum, Exeter and was artist in residence at the Horniman Museum, London in 2019.

During lockdown Lea created Elvis Legs (Quarantine Mix), a distanced ensemble dance work, funded using Kickstarter and filmed on Zoom.

Lea is currently developing Cabaret of Nothingness, an online death prediction service.