Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Thank you and yesterday at Friends and Dancing

Yesterday went well, thank you to all involved and all who came to watch us!

Good news that Fal Care who bring and support many of the people who come to the sessions, will underpin our rent while we are awaiting funding, this is wonderful news and we are very grateful to them - Thank you!
Sammy's brother Sean came to take some photographs and we hope to work more with him in the future. A big thank you to Lauren, Sammy and Brenda for their hard work as peer group supporters, sadly Brenda wasn't able to be with us yesterday.
They have increased in skills and confidence and their input has made a noticeable difference to the confidence and support of the group and new members.
An audience member commented on the increased confidence and skills of the group, and how deeply moving some of the dances were, in an ideal world i would love to film Jean dancing, will put it on the conscious wish list!

It was a pleasure to see Marietta again, we worked together about 18 years ago and i still have a photograph of her as a Spanish dancer! in a small show we did.

There are some lovely photos from Gyllyngdune to share and more news soon.

meanwhile any ideas for supporting and developing the Studio...... ?
actually we have loads of ideas, we need the money!

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Invitation to Friends and Dancing 27th March 11am-12pm

I had thought this was going to be a quiet time, but that never seems to be the case which is all good as so much is buzzing along, the balance being to keep the established work going as well as the new ideas.
So; Friends and Dancing come to the end of a fantastic time funded by Health Perfect where Sammy, Brenda and Lauren increased their peer support skills. 
Invitation to join us next week below:

Next term we move into survival mode while awaiting next funding, we really need to source some local sponsorship and/or philanthropist ........any suggestions on a postcard ! or email.....
The Dracaena Centre are actively seeking funding and support for us, with a development  aim to offering a writing/expressive arts style group in the afternoon as well.

Shallal 2 continues to attract new members and is creatively very strong and works an open improvisational structure.

I just saw some moving photographs from Aiming High, I am so thrilled this project is doing so well.

On a housekeeping note- thank you to Colin who came to help sort costumes yesterday!

I will soon be quiet about being 50 , but just to say I really enjoyed working with everyone yesterday - thank you for a lovely day.
Shallal sessions work for me as for most other people i feel cheered by it..and need that dose of mutual creativity in my life. A sign of whether people really "get' the work is when they use words such as reciprocal!

So i must get on..... and look forward to seeing Toby - returned from Spain tomorrow

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

from Friday Gyllyngdune Gardens recce

Sharing ideas at the end of the afternoon!
Thanks to Gyllyngdune Gardens and Sarah for their fantastic hospitality and rained! and it was good to meet Ruth their new artist in residence who some of Shallal already know and work with.
Colin showing an ideas was red nose day!

Well we had an interesting research and development day! We couldn't get into the site till 12.30 as they had had a fire nearby!! expect the unexpected! and read the back of Colin's coat!
Our kind friends at the Dracaena Centre gave us shelter for the morning..where some lovely improv and a lot of musical talent were explored. We are enjoying all that George brings to the company.

Here are some of Elaine's photos;

Tomorrow some of us are off to a Helen Parlor workshop in Truro - thanks to The Works for organising this.

Early tomorrow morning Jo Lumber is coming round to finish an application which would involve Shallal 2....all groups were great today.
Friday main company brings visits from Barbara Santi and Jo Mayes to work on new ideas, and a trustees meeting is rescheduled on Monday but some of us will still meet to do creative catch up chats ....always really useful.
Up to 38 sketchbooks out there! and they are beginning to create a life for themselves already, creative chat with Amande Harris from Keap coming soon.

Just in: fantastic photos from Andy from Friday on his new web site,

6-32 on right hand gallery

Wednesday, 13 March 2013


Lots of lovely new possibilities coming in for Shallal 2, hatching new 2014 + plans for main company, thanks to the patience and hard work of Dot and Barbara who are forming our new plans into applications.
Trying to seek out next funding for regular groups i co-run, everyone else's are ok for a while!
I have the pleasure of working with all the main Shallal facilitators; Colin in the main company ( and now also Daniella and everyone else is also a member), Debs in Friends and Dancing and Jessie in Shallal 2.
All very lovely and allows us all to know what each other is doing and chat and offer support.
Our training continues with Daniella and Colin offering us insights into the way they work, especially from the place of the fool, this Saturday afternoon, which will lead into and support forthcoming workshops with the main co within our improvisation research.
I am working to avoid work now as nitty gritty budget transport costs need some more looking at so, am writing here and have just doodled in my sketchbook! 32 are out in the world now and more to go, plans for display, plans for "all sorts" floating around!
Main company 2ii's research and development trip to Gyllyngdune Gardens tomorrow, we hope the sun will shine.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

photographs for Daniel and more!

I promised Daniel who has just started with us ( 2 weeks into a 4 week trial period where people check us out and we negotiate working together -and already created 2 interesting pieces)
 that i would put up some photos of him working with people in the company.
I apologise that these aren't in a nice sequence, it would take me too long today, but here is a taster of Andy's work 2 weeks ago and a nice introduction to Daniella, Demelza, Lydia and Daniel who are recent members of the company and we love them being here! Welcome-again !
more can be found on;

Daniella, Colin and Daniel

Demelza and Daniella - Michael in background

new dance Demelza and Daniel


 Jo on right visiting from Shallal 2 for the day

Elaine and Lydia


Friday, 8 March 2013

Anna's photos rehearsals main co 2ii's

 Duane and Kerry

 Trevor and Star

Study of Flo.......

Demelza, under our new clothes rail - thank you Tina!

The lads; Sam, Colin and Daniel with flower impro - very funny

deep pink camellias

George's wonderful music, made all these new improvisations
Zoe recorded one on film i will try to upload sometime

last one of Flo!

Tina and Tina and Skye also did a passing flower impro
As well as Skye, Anna and Zoe all in row kneeling

The half group impros were also excellent so all in all 5 new pieces today ! thank you everyone
Really good work and all new people really working well.

We are off to Gyllyngdune Gardens next week

Thursday, 7 March 2013


Shallal Sketchbooks !

(We have grand plans for these but this is our pre pilot !!)

We have up to a 100 Sketchbooks to hand out and have returned by April 30th,
to be included in our 2ii's project as an installation at Gyllyngdune Gardens, 31st May,

and within our Shallal Studio as part of Open Studios starting Saturday 25th May
 5-8pm and open Monday 27, Tuesday 28, Wednesday 29, 11-3pm at The Studio
in the grounds of the John Daniel Centre, Penzance.

Many thanks to trustee Anne Mackay and Diana for enabling this to happen,
and to Daler Rowney for their support.
If you would like a sketchbook please contact Jo, or leave a message with Shallal; and we will get one to you asap.
There is a suggested donation of £1 or more to support the project.

We are excited to see the variety of work to be produced and as always thank and give credit for the inspiration for this which came from;

Our sketchbooks will not be as well travelled as theirs, we aim to keep them in Cornwall - unless they are invited elsewhere- and we aim to make the project accessible to all by low/minimal cost. However we have plans to travel them throughout Cornwall in the future and our working with partners to develop this.
Here is the info, that comes with them:

Welcome to your Shallal Sketchbook!

We are so glad you have chosen to join us on our first round of many Shallal Sketchbooks - please write your name on the label on the inside back cover of your sketchbook.

You will have the sketchbook for approximately 7 weeks. It is then returned to us so it can be logged and included within the Shallal Sketchbooks initiative, and becomes part of a travelling exhibition and installation, which will be included at 2i’s, Open Studios, and other Shallal events and performances. If you wish to be kept informed about these events please give us your email address, or follow us on the Shallal blog:

Please return your sketchbook to whoever gave it to
you by Tuesday 30th April 2013

Here is the list of themes to help inspire you and get you started:

Doorways                                            Costume
By the Sea                                          In the Garden
Shoreline                                             Favourite Places
A Day in the Life of...                            Imaginary Worlds
One night                                            Sketchbook
Signs                                                  Pathways
Journeys                                             Portraits                

We welcome all creative initiatives, but please keep all content ‘family friendly’ as we are an inclusive community arts charity. Feel free to use whatever medium inspires you…. paint, collage, pen, ink, charcoal, mixed media, photographs etc. There is a suggested donation of £1, but please give more if you are able to support us.

We plan to exhibit this first ‘batch’ of Sketchbooks as an installation at Shallal’s 2i’s at Gyllyngdune Gardens, Falmouth, on Friday 31st May, as part of the Fal River Festival. Come along and see your sketchbook and enjoy looking at others!

Shallal Sketchbooks were inspired by the Art House initiative in Brooklyn NY, USA If you wish to participate in a global touring sketchbook project look them up!

It has been a busy week, the planning never stops, but all well and more photos to be uploaded soon from Andy.

Open House has funding into the summer, and Daniella has joined Colin in these sessions..with many thanks to Josie who volunteered and then worked with Open House and will still be available for support.
Aiming High is doing well and the work has spread to include Double Trees School.
Shallal 2 is thriving but looking for more funding.
The Studio is also looking for funding and was sad to recently say goodbye to Laura, and we thank her for all her support and work to get the Studio off the ground, we will miss her. However she will be back to help support Open Studio days and Colin is stepping into ensure everything continues..many thanks to him, and we are excitedly looking forward to developing ideas with installations.
Main company outing to Gyllyngdune next Friday for 2ii's research and development - fun !

Toby has sent a postcard from his travels in Spain ( with the first sketchbook ) and Rory is busy rehearsing / filming for 2 weeks in London - they send their love to everyone.

New project in pipeline with Jo Mayes, 
if you ever visit St Ives please fill in this short survey on survey monkey about mobility and access issues in St Ives as our first step towards a research and performance project to highlight these issues in St Ives (and celebrate what's accessible too!). 
Results will also be fed into the St Ives community plan which is now underway.
.Simply click on

Responses as soon as possible please, ideally by Monday 18th March 2013. Thanks in advance!

Jo Mayes
Remapping St Ives Project
with Shallal  

Monday, 4 March 2013

AGM and my long report!

Thank you to everyone who came to our AGM last night.

It was lovely to be at The Old Dairy
and to see old friend Colin Carbis and to be surrounded by Siobhan's beautiful and haunting paintings - i hope to buy one one day and recommend a visit to look at them.

I wrote a very long report mainly as i included numerous quotes and photos some of which have been seen on this blog and some haven't had to be edited! but i want to place it on the blog in full, as much of the feedback we recieive goes into reports but isn't always available for those who work/perform in Shallal and the report and this blog is one way of sharing it;

Jo Willis
artistic director

The life of Shallal it’s; news, insights, highlights, images and audience reviews is now available on our regularly updated blog.

Many good things came together for us in this year. However we started with our now familiar financial struggle to maintain the main companys flagship work. The support of many people encourage us to go on, as shown by the following;

"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."
Colin Rogers

A large plan for a new Doorways project gave way to a smaller one, due to unforseen circumstances, and with the bid writing support of the Works, the main company had The Doorways project underway in the spring and on view in the summer.

Doorways saw Rory Mcdermott’s welcome return to the company as our BBC funded dance artist, he brought an incredible range of skills and experience, which we all benefitted from and we were very grateful to work with him again.

My work with the company was partly funded by the BBC community arts fund.They funded 3 rehearsal days and 3 performances. I  donated 20 extra days in kind to further my overall commitment to the project and to better the amount of time spent building supportive relationships with the members of the company, one of the key aspects and founding principles of Shallal......
My collaboration with Shallal is one of the most inspiring I have experienced. Not only in terms of the quality of the material created, all devised directly from the company through workshops and site visits. But also the professionalism and hard work the company put into the short intense sessions available to them.
This project was extremely successful,innovative and challenging. Although site specific performance has become fashionable in the past decade it is rare if not unique that an inclusive dance theatre company should place there work out in the wider community at events and locations that allow Shallal’s unique voice to be witnessed by an audience unaccustomed to seeing such authentic and emotionally present performances. Shallal’s work is inspiring to say the least and at it’s best transcendent.
I was surprised and moved by, how, taking inclusive arts out into the broader community, into new areas of engagement through site specific projects both performer and audience were enriched and challenged.
New members; Star,Trevor, Debs, Duane, Eleanor, Elaine ( returned ) and Jessie.
Alan left during the Doorways rehearsals, and Linda left at the end of the Doorways summer performances. We are deeply grateful to them both for all they gave to Shallal.

This year saw the main company return to our old working day of Fridays and developing into the afternoon.

The afternoons are now dedicated to art and production. This allows more of the co to be involved in creative meetings, and to show and share visual arts skills, as well as poetry, photography and film.

We made a short film from Chromatic thanks to funding and support from The Performance Centre. A nice end to last years work. Ian Bucknole filmed, helped by Chris Mason, a student at University College Falmouth. Chris then edited the short film to Jacqui Callis’s music.
Thank you to Jacqui for her music and support.
"I had such a wonderful time with everyone and left the performance with a spring in my step!"
feedback from our patron Patrick Gale, " BEAUTIFUL!! ..........I so wish I could have been there." 
watch the film on Vimeo

Film continued within the Doorways project and Barbara Santi and Chris created some wonderful short pieces with ideas and editing input on some of them from company members.

This year I asked some of visiting artists and collaborators to write something, i include Barbara’s;
"Working with Shallal is such an honour. A big family with a big heart, the process is always mesmerising, I laugh, I cry and laugh some more. It challenges me as an artist and I learn more from the group than they learn from me! Performances are the best - always real, in the moment, intuitive and life changing...thank you Shallal!"

Barbara Santi
Director awen productions cic

"Shallal is a statement!  About the buzz of inclusion, the space for individuality and the potential of a community.  It goes well beyond itself, infecting others with its warmth and passion and infusing a sense of community good will from the inside out.
Shallal has given me an opportunity, through working with the dancers, to engage in that rare commodity – the moment – which is the real stuff of life, and the meeting point found so readily in shared creative improvisation." 

Ruth Boulton, music therapist


7.10.11 Another successful Big Health Day at The Eden Project, Zoe supported me in a workshop and performed.

16.11.11 outreach performance as part of Magical Christmas Cracker Variety Night at the Princess Pavillions, Falmouth

"Works in Progress" within The Platform Festive Performance Feast, at The Performance Centre.  We were pleased to be invited to be part of this Community event and included Penryn Improvisation and Performance group’s first performance.

"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"

This was also the first time Andy Parker, photographer, met and worked with us and was the beginning of a fruitful and exciting creative relationship recording and documenting the work, relationships and ethos within Shallal.

9-3-12 Diversifest, UCF at The Performance Centre, performance of Bridal Gift a compilation of old and new pieces

Mid Cornwall Diversity Action group gave us funding to support this performance.

13-2-12  to 15-2-12
I recieved a bursary to attend the State of the Art, Arts Council Conference, Manchester.

30-3-12 Exhibition at Studio 61, Truro,
planned as part of a larger project, that didn’t happen, we went ahead with no funding, as we are keen to begin to promote and give exposure to the visual arts talents within Shallal, and had so much support from Studio 61. Already established artists, Zoe Wilton, Eddie Callis and Toby Bridge were joined by Andy Parker.

Sadly Steve Tanner was unable to participate at the last minute but we had a successful opening and exhibition, many thanks to Studio 61.The show had good exposure and sales. From it a painting by Eddie and short film by Zoe were included in the exhibition Soaring Spirits at Falmouth Art Gallery later in the year.

Over this time we were joined by Stephanie on work experience from her dance degree at Swansea.

19-5-12 outreach performance at Olympic Torch Event Sq Falmouth

22-5-12 Radio interview Falmouth

1-6 -12 Doorways at Gyllyngdune Gardens, Fal River Festival

6-6-12 outreach/workshop and performance at Holi-day Festival at Holifield, Gweek

27-6-12 Coffee Morning at Sundial House, Truro fund raiser

thanks to Anne, Michael and all at Sundial House

6-7-12 Doorways at Sea Salts and Sail Festival, Mousehole

7-7-12 Doorways at Godolphin House

24-7-12 Meeting at The John Daniel Centre, Penzance re potential studio space

24-7-12 Main company outing to see Kneehigh’s production of Steptoe and Son at The Asylum; free tickets from Connections thanks to Kneehigh and old friend Anna Murphy

27-7-12 Attended Pearl Autism Conference at University College Falmouth

Doorways surpassed our expectations wtih amazing work and enthusiasm from the company, all rising to the inspiration and challenge of the site specific work.

Thank you to;
Gyllyngdune Gardens, especially Sarah, who couldn't have been better hosts, it was a fantastic space to work in on all levels; inspiration, access, hospitality, support.

Godolphin House, Malc and team, everyone fell in love with the place, it was like a fantastic film set.

Sea Salts and Sail, Mousehole the festival organisers, poet Sally Crabtree, and the owners of Keigwin House.

"If I’m honest I thought that the performance would be charming but amateur and I had no great expectations.
However, I was completely mistaken in my opinions, everyone was so professional and accomplished and the final performances were both moving and inspirational. The whole event; performances, set dressing, costumes and music choices were extremely high quality and considered and the professionalism and skill of everyone taking part shone through. The Doorways project completely changed my understanding of what Inclusive Arts could be and can achieve."
Sarah Spiegler WIlliams

"I came across Shallal at Godolphin House .... and was really moved by their performance.
The setting is wonderful of course and the performers used the space really imaginatively.
There was a very real sense of enjoyment and excitement as well as team spirit from all involved. It is rare to see this level of pride and joy in a performance. There were particular solo spots from certain performers, one by a woman who was an incredible dancer and communicator, but it was the company spirit as a whole which really bowled me over. The music/sound scape was cleverly put together without being dominant and the simple props were brilliantly used.  I was so impressed I watched the show twice."
Ruth Wall

Shallal continues to reach people;

"I was lucky enough to be invited to watch a rehearsal of this inclusive dance company, and was amazed to see such inclusivity in action.  The troop of dancers, some with disabilities some without, worked as one – the level of emotion shown was breathtaking and the movement and co-ordination of the dancers stunning.  It was a powerful, inspiring example of how barriers can be removed and I look forward to seeing Shallal perform again."

Jessica Corby, Equality and Diversity Consultant.

At the end of the year we feel more robust, we are learning to weather the vagaries of funding, how to source it for the different strands of Shallal’s work. We have all increased our skills and confidence in this area, thank you to all who have helped us with this and continue to. We are now back to self employment for everyone which helps Shallal as it supports our way of working and enables us all to be more flexible and responsive.
Trustee Tim Bouton and Peter Weigand helped us return to self employment status. We are grateful for the time and support Tim gave us through a difficult transition time, he recommended Diana to us and was  always understanding of the artists perspective. Thank you to Peter, who sadly died, his humour and experience lit up our meetings and he brought a lot of insight to it all, our condolences to Viv and his family.....a big thank you for a last generous gesture by remembering Shallal through donations from his funeral.
 Thank you also to Gill our chairperson who gave so much to us in many ways, all their support helped us turn a difficult transition into a creative time of new possibilities balanced by caution.

Thank you to everyone, for all the unseen work that enables it to happen especially from the Trustees and Diana in our ‘office’, to all the facilitators, volunteers, participants, performers, visiting artists, supporters, family and friends and thanks to you we are still here and flourishing!

Penryn Improvisation and Performance Group
Shallal was really pleased to move it’s Improvisation and Performance group to The Performance Centre. Thank you to them for free studio space in exchange for free spaces for students.

Winter and spring term we had funding from the Woodward Charitable Trust to enable: artist Candy Kemp, musician Jamie Mills and composer Roger Pinsent to visit and work on ideas with the group.

The second term onwards we unfortunately had to change timings and had changes in support artists, however some wonderful work was done and the nucleus of a performance group was forming. The space was beautiful and a pleasure to work in.

 Friends and Dancing
The Performance Centre generously hosted our Christmas gathering to show work to family and friends.  Some of the dancers are unable to perform in other groups, and it is very moving to see their work.
This group continues to grow and develop. It inspires and informs my thoughts on Improvisation and group dynamics, many thanks to all who support it and participate in it. Colin replaced Debs for some of our funding and everyone enjoyed working with him.

Somewhere you can meet and see people and catch up, when you haven’t got many places to meet and see people.
Yvonne, participant

The highlight of my week, being able to join in and dance with like minded people in an inclusive setting. This must never stop!
Debra Hocking
community support worker, participant
July 2012