Insert Title Here: an invitation to view, to dance, to reflect.

Photo: Peter Ball

Would you catch me if I fell?
You arranged, positioned and orbited me with thought and care, responding to my body
Together we revisited a memory looking deep, seeing a fresh
Uncovering images, intention, authenticity and Summer filled the room.
Is it really April?

Yes, it was really April (in that heatwave) and we were in the studio developing our latest intergenerational dance performance. I say latest but actually it has been a while, over 4 years, since our last full length piece. Like most creative processes it came with a fair amount of hope and uncertainty, knowing and full on ‘what the hell are we doing-ness…’ However I needn’t have worried as the conditions were right. It was clear from the first day of being together it was the right people in the right place at the right time. This project had been brewing for a while, a culmination of several research projects and small steps forward.

Maybe it is the diversity of the performers aged 18 to 62, some with a disability, some with professional level training and experience, but through our process of being together we created harmony and support. Or as one audience member reflected, “I would describe the piece as ‘destination happiness’, an inspirational way of being. It was very moving.”

Photo: Peter Ball

The project started with an invite to a host of Artists: Dramaturg Louise Katerega, Dancers, a Cellist from the London Mozart Players and a selection of SLiDE dancers. The invitation carries on into the piece, with the audience invited to name it by providing answers on a postcard. The premiere at the Croydonites Festival of New Theatre resulted in the title, ‘Ships and walls: Where old memories fell’. 

The invite is now firmly in the Croydon community as we take the core elements of the piece ‘on the road’. So far we have danced with Indian Dance students at Apsara Arts and with elders at the Croydon African Caribbean Family Organisation. Thanks to one of our dancers, Takeshi Matsumoto originally from Japan, we have been able to share a traditional Japanese Folk Dance with these groups. This folk dance has transcended cultural differences and has ‘spoken’ to those who have dance it with us (something for future investigation here) as well as providing a jubilant ending to our performance.

There is one more invite to join us as we will be performing <Insert Title Here> as part of the Crystal Palace Festival on Sunday 17 June at 3pm. Tickets are £5 for adults and under 18s are free. We are already looking forward to sharing this work again and wondering what the audience will name it!

No one quite knew how we got there but a knowing togetherness emerged.

Photo: Peter Ball

This project has been supported by the Arts Council England and Croydon Council.

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