Elien Hanselaer works as an actor and theatre maker in United Kingdom and Belgium. She studied acting at School of Arts/KASK (Belgium) and East 15 acting school. Recently, Hanselaer directed The Tale of the Last Thought, a social-artistic project with 120 performers from different backgrounds, and featured in Two to Tango, a film directed by Dimitri Sterkens. Other recent theatre projects include Afropean (KVS); Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (KVS); Ashes to Ashes (TAZ); Europe in Autumn (Malpertuis). Hanselaer is also part of Hobo Theatre, a British performance collective founded in 2012 that sets up participatory projects that reflect on ecologies in an increasingly interconnected world.
In September 2018, Hanselaer was awarded the Northern Bridge award to fund her practise-based research on actor training research. The research looks at co-performer empathy and how actors can “play off each other”. She recently got invested in teaching performers. In 2021-2022, she teaches at the University of Malta, Queen’s University Belfast and the International Opera Academy. Hanselaer is also a butoh, contact improvisation and Argentine Tango dancer. These dance forms have a strong influence on her work.