|Mapping Memories Performance
|Written by Sinead Devine
|Thursday, 07 April 2011 09:19
WEA's Learning Age Project has linked up in partnership once again with Echo Echo Dance Theatre Company to create a wonderful unique dance project under the title "Body Wisdom". Participants have attended two courses as part of the LAP programme and it was decided this year to offer the participants the opportunity to create a new performance entitled "Mapping Memories". The performance took place in the Foyle Arts Centre Dance Studio at UU Magee on Saturday 2nd April.
The Full Performance and Making of Videos can be found below:
The project ran over twelve weeks led by Echo Echo's Artistic Director Steve Batts. The performance focussed on the theme of memories of places and landscapes that have remained special throughout a life time. The participants each brought their own experiences and recollections to the creative production process and weaved the movement images together into a beautiful, calm and meditative performance piece. The group also worked with a local composer/musician Christopher Norby who developed an original score to accompany the piece. In this process the music responded to the performers rather than the performers responding to the music.
As the participants observed;
"Working with Chris was a definite bonus and it was interesting to have the music relate to our movement rather than vice versa. That in itself was a real learning point" . Steve Batts noted; "I like to work with older people. I have turned 50 myself and although I enjoy working with younger athletic people, as an older dancer-choreographer I find my heart more touched by sharing the movement world of people who have age and experience in their bodies or body wisdom. This project connected my passion for the natural world and landscape with my work as a dancer/choreographer."
Sinead Devine, LAP Development Officer noted;
"It was wonderful to see the performance on Saturday night and the piece was really beautiful. I have watched the process of the group from the first "Body Wisdom" programme. At first it was presented as a course about the benefits of movement. The course started from a respect of the experience, knowledge and wisdom that age brings. It has moved on to combine the physical with the pleasure of activiating the imagination and translating it into movement itself. The outcome has been truly amazing. Older people are often offered dance such as ballroom dancing, line dancing even salsa dancing which is all wonderful in itself but I wanted to offer our older community a different kind of dance experience. We are lucky to have in the city Northern Ireland's premiere contemporary dance company. It was just a wonderful opportunity waiting to happen. WEA has linked up with Echo Echo over the years and one of the most successful projects was "Making Moves" an accredited dance course. From this I knew the participants would be in good hands. The process with Echo Echo is very unique. They work in a very gentle organic way. I also was very confident that the performance would be outstanding. It confirms to me that when you offer the community such a high calibre of facilitation that you always will be rewarded with a good process and a wonderful outcome - in this instance the performance."
It is planned to seek additional funding to expand the project on the lead up to City of Culture. The fact that so many of the group wish to continue and develop their skills and learning experience and that so many of the audience wished to join after seeing the performance is a real testament to the success of "Body Wisdom".
For further information please contact Sinead Devine 028 71 36 9947.