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Eli Lewis and Joe Garbett

Residency: Plue

This residency will support the creation of Plue a new work which playfully examines queer visibility and intimacy – exploring the fluctuating degrees LGBTQIA+ people feel seen and pressured to camouflage their queerness.  We’re interested in all the nuanced ways queer people signal and/or reveal their queerness to different people in different situations, and queerness’ mischievous propensity to expand beyond the parameters it is given and spill out into view.

This thorough research period, will be used to develop new, nuanced choreography that seeks to explore the diversity of the queer experience. We also want to think about the following questions:

  • Can queerness exist in a vacuum without anything to disrupt, a context to exist in contrast to, or anyone to perceive it?
  • How can we play with the binary between existence and non-existence, being seen and not being seen, and create vacuums that queerness can expand into?


More About Eli Lewis and Joe Garbett

Eli and Joe are a queer couple and Plue is their first collaboration. Their collaboration is an unlikely one, joyously splicing together their very different dance practices.

Eli is an award-winning performance artist based in the Somerset and London. They make performance that playfully straddles dance, live art and installation. Eli is interested in how people hold & process risk, occupying precarious spaces, and re-finding agency and playfulness within states of ‘not knowing’. Their practice examines where precarity intersects with queerness, ecology, collapse and care. A lot of their work revolves around queering human-object relationships and creating precarious performance environments that play host to suspenseful balancing acts

Currently a Work Place associate artist at The Place, Eli received DanceXchange’s (now FABRIC’s) Choreography Award (2020) and Artsadmin’s BANNER Award (2017).  Their work Orchard toured internationally supported through Aerowaves, and was supported by The Place, Arts Council England and Pavilion Dance South West.  Eli’s work TIMBER was commissioned by The Place, FABRIC and Arts Council England, was premiered at The Place in 2021 and was performed at Brighton Festival (2022).

Joe Garbett is an internationally performed choreographer, performer and teacher based in Somerset and Bristol. He has created eight ACE funded projects, touring multiple works nationally. Joe has presented his work at The Royal Opera House, National Theatre, Shanghai Opera House, GDIF and through RTDI. Joe’s work, Doubles went on to tour China

Joe has a passion for producing performance that highlights the importance of unity, fun and collaboration. His work happens in unusual public spaces, spilling outdoors into the streets in bursts of colour and joy. He is fiercely committed to ensuring that the arts are accessible to all, and his work aims to bring communities together through play, care, creativity and silliness.


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Plue Hands. choreographers, Eli Lewis & Joe Garbett. Image by Beliza Buzollo, @queergarden

Plue - hands at different angles.