Well, it’s nearly the holidays and the first term of my internship is almost up. The term may be winding down, but the Laban Building is lively as we celebrate the work of many of our programmes through sharings.
Festive decorations have now spruced up the L&P Dance office
Kicking us off in Learning and Participation (Dance) we had a mini-sharing with our Retired Not Tired Dance for Health group followed by a scrumptious Christmas dinner cooked by the wonderful café staff at the Laban Building. The Dance for Health group is comprised of 25 people over the age of 60, who are keen to keep moving. They are led by the fantastic L&P Dance practitioner, Stella Howard.
This term, I have had the opportunity to work with this vibrant group, teaching them some fundamental basics of contact improvisation. This form of movement was pioneered by the great Steve Paxton in the 1970s, looking at how bodies can move with each other. It has been very exciting to see the group’s new sense of kinaesthetic empathy. This is a topic of research that Trinity Laban research fellow, Dr Kate Wakeling is delving into, by looking at our Dance for Health group specifically and discovering how people develop a sense of relationship and affinity for each other through the arts. The use of contact improvisation and somatic practice is also something that I hope to begin to research during my time at Trinity Laban, through my own creative and teaching practice.
In our final session, we brought some of these skills together as the group performed Barmy on the Crumpet, a work choreographed by Stella and the group, which was first performed last summer as part of Trinity Laban’s eclectic weekend of music and dance in partnership with, and taking place at the Horniman Museum, called Horniman’s Curious Tea Party. You can see what happened during this fantastic weekend by watching the video. Since then, Barmy on the Crumpet has been performed on Sunday 30 November at the Brighton Dome Studio Theatre as part of their Winter Festival – a platform of dance works showcasing a collection of pieces with older people. Here, Dance for Health performed alongside the likes of Sadler’s Wells based Company of Elders and Three Score Dance Company, both of which have established worldwide interest and opportunity in dance for older people.
At the end of our mini-sharing, I showed them a film that I produced using choreography that they had composed before half term. The new perspectives provided by the film left them all overjoyed! It was a lovely end to the autumn term.
I wish you all a happy holiday and New Year, and please stop by my personal blog to catch some reviews of work that I hope to see over the Christmas period, including DV8’s new piece: John.
Graduate Intern for Learning and Participation (Dance)