Monday, 27 August 2012

Good news, thanks and thoughts on improvisation

Good news and thanks;

New skills for website use , thanks to Jem Mackay for his patience- i now have to go and practise!

Wonderful new box of art pencils from Derwent for the new studio - i get so excited seeing art materials, as exciting as big empty dance studio! Thank you to Derwent it means so much to have that support. They will be well used, immediately think of Sam's colourful boat series and Toby's fantastic pencil work. Sam has mentioned in his feedback form his love of art galleries and how he'd like to progress his art work, can't wait to see it.
Thanks to Anne for contacting Derwent.

New poster for Shallal 2, created by Jessie and her cousin Matt- thank you to them both, look forward to sharing it soon.

New short Doorways films coming soon from Barbara's collaboration with performers.

New Open House sessions starting in Helston.

New calculator for my desk ! not quite so exciting but meant to be an encouragement to  me, in bid writing?! looking forward to working with everyone again to sustain the impetus to do the bid...i am observing my own creative process with it, it makes me sadly neurotic, i have to go through a high pain threshold to write? which is why i didn't finish a degree and a postgraduate, the reason i seek experiential learning, working non verbally- although i do talk too much! etc anyway this is an excuse... and the written word can be wonderful as we all know and here is an old quote that i love and refound when moving my filing cabinet (a job that involves looking through the first ever Shallal posters and begging letters! as i aim to sort but end up sitting in a sea of memorabilia!);

"To improvise, the performer learns to disregard the line our culture draws between child play and adult work. Improvisation, like the play of the young child and the young animal, is still a practise of basic survival skills, a celebration of life; imagination, adaptability, concentration are all intrinsic to both processes. Improvisation is play. We are not used to seeing adults play in a noncompetitive manner in our culture. 
When I watch improvisation I am not rooting for the performer to win. I am a fellow traveller, on a journey hopefully, towards revelation."
from The Knowing Body, Elements of contemporary perfomance and dance by Louise 
Steinman

added on later:...... I was working on the bid ! and came across this statement which Barbara asked a support worker to write recently about benefits for people they work with who attend Shallal it resonates loudly with the above quote;

"Shallal is a unique and inspiring forum for people with learning difficulties. With the company's  nurturing and guidance people with LD are able to discover and express their creativity which otherwise, in many cases, would remain untapped. Many people with LD are restricted to a routine based lifestyle and the opportunity to be able to improvise, create and move freely has a very positive impact on their sense of well being and identity.

Lack of physical activity within the learning disability community is an important  issue and positive  motivation for someone to exercise and explore their physicality is key. This may fall into two, though not distinct, catagories. Firstly, to overcome the commonly held notion of the individual in our modernised society, that physical activity equates work or toil. Secondly, for a disabled person to be given an opportunity to overcome their perceived disability and perform on equal terms. Shallal Dance Theatre addresses both these issues.

.......  is profoundly restricted in his verbal communication and has been diagnosed with dementia. ............craves social interaction and his participation as a performer with Shallal enables him to form meaningful relationships and communicate and express himself fully.

These are ..........examples and there are many others with learning and physical disabilities who attend weekly workshops or rehearse as part of the company that benefit in diverse and similar ways. 

Shallal is an inclusive theatre company under which many creative arts hope to continue to thrive, including dance, theatre, poetry, the visual arts and film-making. The inclusion of people with learning and other disabilities in these pursuits has had a profoundly positive  effect on their lives and benefits the communities in which they live."
The 'ouch' reminder point is last.... "The company relies on the continued support of volunteers and funding from the public and private sectors, without which the company would not be able to survive."

I believe we are all equal and different and what is available to one should be for all and many people without labelled disabilities in our society need and enjoy the freedom of improvisation, one of the most important things for me watching Wolfgang and participating in his sessions was how we were all pushed, asked to expand, contribute. If something works it should work for everyone and be able to be adapted for everyones needs/abilities.
To play together in a constructive, non competitive way.

I will now return to the bid or beakfast?

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