Dancing with older people.
Posted by Bounce Theatre on 12 November 2012
At the moment, we're running a movement project as part of our Legacy project in Kingston.
Our intention is to create an intergenerational piece of theatre, that is intergenerational both in its process and its product.
One part of this is a movement project with people who range between 70 and 103. The intention being, apart from excercise, to chat and to reflect in order to create some small pieces of verbtaim script.
Yet, today, I couldn't help but think about the process of just moving ...
Whether it was tap dancing in chairs to Singing in the Rain, creating some dance together to Some Enchanted Evening or singing our hearts out to I did it My Way I don't know.
I went into the session tired and a bit stressed. I came out smiling and humming. I had spoken to a man who was 86, moved to the Uk from Ireland 53 years ago and cycled every day of his working life from home to British Aerospace. He said he couldn't dance but had sung in choirs throughout his life. He always sings to the songs that are played, so I enjoy sitting near him as he has a lovely voice. He walks in the room with a cane, yet for a moment, as he moved through the songs, he held his hands out in a manner that reminded me of Frank Sinatra.
Another lady came in, her hands all tightened up in a fist. Half way through Apryl (my colleague) did an activity where you curl your hand out finger by finger - then go a bit jazz hands. . . Suddenly she broke into a little secret smile and it was just beautiful. She didn't really say anything during the workshop, she was quite shy but I'd like to think that smile said it all.
Sitting in a dance orientated workshop is new for me. It's a lot quieter than drama. Yet ironically when you stop and listen - particularly in a group like this, as they move, you see the stories are already there in the very extraordinary ordinariness of living.