Thursday, 22 December 2011

Final Bow

A final bow out to the old year and bring in the new, with a few of the lovely photos that John and Linda have taken and passed on to us from Holiday- thank you.

Including one with Skye who hasn't managed to be captured in many photos this year despite being an extremely strong performer who continues to develop, progress and surprise us - a big thank you to her and everyone else for their work this past year, we are still here!!!
Skye, Linda, Kerry
and there are still new collaborations, and projects developing. Yesterday had a fascinaiting talk with photographer Andy Parker who will start to visit the company in the New Year.

Thanks to Star who introduced him to us.
Star's website is

Leaving you with a few cheery photos of Colin's workshop at Holiday,we haven't had many workshop photos on the blog this year.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

feedback and comments from the 16th

I need to get these done before holiday mode kicks in...

Feedback from the "Works in Progress" within The Platform Festive Performance Feast, at the Performance Centre, Tremough Campus.

"Excellent and heartwarming performance at Tremough!
It's very inspiring to see the freedom of expression the performers have."

"Fantastic - moving and inspirational 
  totally inclusive" I wanted to wax on about German expressionism and Hilde Holger Wolfgang's old teacher. I could never find what I wanted to go to see/do, for CPD until Wolfgang gave a tribute to Hilde Holger at the Lyric Theatre and I wanted to go to see the roots of my roots! in dance / expression etc, which I did and I was very grateful for it. (Wolfgang often talked about Hilde and in the 80's I went to see a small show her students did).
Mentioning this to my husband he said and your own influences ( tastes ) which of course is true, Wolfgang said to teach from yourself, I have always loved art and watching the process of painting and abstract art have really fuelled and influenced the work.

Also from my time with Wolfgang in London in the 80's;

  • the incredible performances that happened spontaneously in his classes
  •  fringe art events, especially mime that I watched with Mike Mizrahi, now;
  • Buskers in Covent Garden 
  • Theatre de Complicite
  • Katie Duck and Groupo
  • Suraya Hilal
googling all these dancers/performers so many share a common humanity thread of inclusion and expression and started their work in the early 80's ..enjoy looking at them if you have the time! 
I think I will revisit them as part of my holiday research and relaxation!


Zoe and Colin in rehearsal for their duet at The Performance Centre last Friday.

Festive greetings

Sometimes my morning emails offer nice surprises!
such as this from Colin Rogers.....
 "Sue me!  I've used your e-card and sent it to all the trustees and senior managers in Mencap as my Christmas card.  Hope that's OK !"
 Colin Rogers
Managing Director
Deco Films & Television Ltd.

"Yes, I know, it's unusual to send someone else's e-card to wish you a Happy Christmas!  But this one is special.  It was designed by 11 year-old Anna for Shallal, an inclusive community-based charity that makes dance theatre and related arts accessible to a wide range of people in Cornwall, particularly those with learning disability.  Shallal was started at The Acorn in Penzance, which I help to run, but later became a stand-alone charity.  They do fantastic, inspiring work but, like many others, Shallal has this year lost all the funding it had, not because it is not worthy of support but because those with the gentlest voices are the hardest to hear."
You can see more about them at .
Wishing you a very happy festive season.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Friends and Dancing and new short film

Yesterday went well, thanks to everyones efforts and support!
 from The Performance centre to the dancers, family and friends, and support workers.
This group is fortunate in having fantastic support workers who fully participate and enjoy it, which allows the group to have fun, enjoy each others company and be so inclusive. 

The quality of care and engagement with people is also embodied in Debs work and experience she is currently the "Health Promotion Liasion for adults with a learning disability", she would like to see groups like Friends and Dancing throughout Cornwall.
Echoed in a converstion I was having where I mentioned that many years ago ( when Shallal first restarted) after seeing a show someone said "There should be one in every town."
Most towns / communities have a ballet/dance school and amateur dramatics group, so why not an inclusive dance/theatre group?

There was the joy of many nice conversations afterwards. The Improvisation and Performance group we have at The Performance Centre is to see if we can seed something like the main company in another area/community. Hopefully more people will come to this from these conversations yesterday, as it has a strong core group but needs a few more to solidify it.
The work has it's own life, and my job - as with creativity - is not to get in the way of it but to facilitate and ease and enable it. After shows / outreach, there has always come new work, more opportunities. 
This was how my work happened many years ago, and it is lovely to see it happen on a bigger scale now Shallal is a charity.

Exciting news that Chris Marsh has edited the short film to Jacqui Callis music.
 We have received good feedback from it already including from our patron Patrick Gale, " BEAUTIFUL!! I shall Facebook and Tweet it at once. I so wish I could have been there." 

(Patrick has a..... "New (very Cornish) novel out this March.. ")

watch the film on Vimeo
Thank you to Jacqui for her music and support, (we are always trying to hatch collaborative plans)...

 and to say that Apex now has a CD available;
" .....participants each wrote and recorded their own song with Jacqui Callis, an independent  music facilitator/ songwriter. The Voice Outside CD is available from their website" 

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Friends and Dancing Christmas Gathering

Friends and Dancing have our annual Christmas end of term showing of work and gathering of family, friends and supporters - do come along.
 We are very grateful to have; funding for the next two terms, and have just received news of support from the local Rosemullion Trust. 
Local support makes a huge difference in the continuation and establishment in the community of such initiatives as Friends and Dancing, which continues to grow and develop.
The Performance Centre are also supporting this event for us, and it will be the first visit for many of this group, and we are grateful for their support and hospitality.

                                   Friends and Dancing
                                                   Family and Friends 
                                                              to their
                                          Christmas Gathering
                                               Wednesday 14th December
                                                       10.30am - 12pm
                                                   Dances in Studio J 
                                                           followed by 
                                                Refreshments in the Foyer
                                                            Studio J 
                                                The Performance Centre,
                                                    Tremough Campus,
                                                          TR10 9EZ 
                                              University College Falmouth
                                This event is part of The Performance Centre’s
                                         Open Access Community Week 

                                            disabled parking outside Studio J
              enter by Delivery gate through Kernick Industrial Estate (2nd left past ASDA)
                                  phone Jo if you need directions;  01326 375867

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

From the film day

Some nice quotes from working with Ian and Chris;

"The group were lovely and I was really impressed by the variety and complexity of the individual pieces; ..........
 there's more than enough material to work as an effective and exciting showcase for the group. The footage Chris and I got looks really good.............. Thanks for making us so welcome and including us in the day.
It was a pleasure!"
Ian won Best Cornish Short award this year at the 10th Annual Cornwall Film Festival, more about it on his blog!

 "I had such a wonderful time with everyone and left the performance with a spring in my step!"

Chris hopes to have a rough edit ready by Friday the 16th December to be shown then!

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Filming at The Performance Centre

It was lovely to be in such a fantastic space again, and working with Lucy,... who hadn't had the fun of working there before.
Thank you to the Performance Centre for making this possible.
 It was short notice so not everyone could come, but it was lovely to have Katie and Tina back with us for the day and Trevor came to in kilted regalia, (which fitted our colour scheme !), so we were able to fit him and Eleanor in.
Ian and Lucy in background

Giles, Tina, Michael and Katie
Ian and Chris with Toby's kinetic sculpture/mobile

so lovely to be in such a space again

Ian Bucknore filmed with UCF student Chris. It was a strange intensity working to film and not audience and an interesting learning curve. There are funds for Chris to edit it with supervision from Barbara, so we await to see it. Many thanks to Lucy, Ian and Chris and everyone who was able  to come.
warm up

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Play, Improvisation, Workshop as an art form

Thoughts for notes after yesterdays group;
*workshop as an art form
-Moveable Feast, that Phil went to some years ago.
*continual dialogue with the work, solutions often arising spontaneously while working
*highs and lows of it; as a faciltiator observing my own attachment and vulnerability felt within it
*fortunate to be working with people
*gestural communication - the fun  of it
*the humour of gestural communication
*the pleasure / privilege of watching people, the continual surprises and development
*play as serious activity for the young, practise / rehearsal of life skills, refind old quote from, "The Knowing Body."
*play as integral to improvisation ......once people can play together.....

Then I went on to research Moveable Feast and these quotes are from that;
“We learn how to learn.” Tony Gee, from Resurgence article, "All roads lead to Ermo."
We can have discipline and rigour alongside freedom and play because in workshop everything matters, nothing is wasted – it is not about success and failure, it is a journey from I can’t to I can. It is an ecological pedagogy.”
“Moreno, the originator of psychodrama wrote that, “we may survive in this changing difficult world only if we are able to perceive what is really going on in the ’here and now’ and if we are spontaneous and creative enough to invent new solutions.” It is too late for us to be dictated to, we must discover for ourselves. Workshop as a popular form is in its infancy but it is crucial that it is not viewed as an educational luxury but positioned at the heart of an education founded on dialogue, participation and discovery. This requires us to embrace the central premise of 20th century science: uncertainty. We start all of our workshops with knowledge of how we will begin without ever knowing who will be the one to raise a new standard in Ermo. If, as in a prescribed curriculum, you know what is going to happen then you don’t come up with anything new, nothing is created, least of all solutions. You are not part of the fundamental generosity essential to generate active and creative culture.” 

“It is my belief that Workshop is a contemporary form of arts practice and that its effects could be profound on how we learn if we go beyond scraping the surface of its potential.
"So 'What is Workshop?'
"Workshop's history is unwritten. It has succeeded in eluding institutionalisation. There is not 'A Workshop Theory'. Workshops are something you 'just do'. There is no body of literature that expounds their history and no professional body to standardise practice. This has the advantage of allowing great licence to play, invent, improvise and to be responsive to the moment. But, conversely, it allows events to be dry, fixed and didactic or simply disorganised and still claim the title, 'workshop'."
Tony Gee, "Workshop. A Moveable Feast". (see Books)

...given an opportunity to expand their view of what is possible and what Workshops are all about, by being totally immersed in Workshop for several days.
As well as dreaming..."Chaos, taking risk, collaboration, site specifity, exploring a theme, opening the group, busting the expectation, breaking new ground, learning about others, leading and following, performing to each other, spectating for each other, playing with available resources, looking at the stories inherent in the group, connecting art forms and practice, being in a particular environment and transforming it, employing media, forms and disciplines other than your own and experimenting without financial obligation or expectation"...are some of the things that go on.
We believe Workshop is an arts practice in its own right with unrealised potential for 21st Century experiential learning.
....Moveable Feast website....