Friday, 28 June 2013

tribute to Jean

Sad news, not totally unexpected, yesterday at Friends and Dancing, that Jean had died. She was ill in hospital over the last 2 months so not totally unexpected, but she was a much loved member of the group and one of the people who's dance makes your heart sing, as Jean's condition and health deteriorated she still sparkled and could be incredibly animated when engaged in dance. Jean was one of the main people who forms my continual thinking on gestural communication. Years ago i looked at why i  enjoyed the main co so much and we had so much fun and i realised i loved the shared gestural humour ( for much the same reason many dancers love BSL). If you went to talk with Jean words might be limited and conversation run to a close, but if you went to dance with Jean a whole world of love, warmth and rich variety came your way, from a generous, loving heart and sensitivity. I have heard of those studies which say most of the information we receive form people is non verbal, so Jean and others like her open that world to us who are often too stuck in the world of words. They are masters of their art and take us on a journey with them challenging our ability for openness and response, and entering into a world of beauty, soulfulness and rhythm.
Above my desk is a little post it note to try to film Jean and Trevor with Debs and another dancer based on the last public showing piece that caused many people to continue to comment on it and remember it, and with an awareness that dementia and time were running on. We had hoped to film Jean and Trevor to show the joy and beauty people have to give and share even when dementia and other problems have set in.
Now we are hoping to find some archive footage from The Eden Project and will research back on old photographs. This is also where project funding can limit art as there wasn't time to find the funds to make the time and film it, and i couldn't get it made under any of our current budgets which were project specific and near their finish.
beautiful photo of Jean, Hannah, Debs and Trevor - thanks to Jessie

Echoes dance co crowdfunding request!

A request from Star!
Her dance company Echoes, have placed a funding bid on the crowd funding website Sponsume.

To see the video of their bid, and to make a donation visit

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Th weather was kind to us on Friday as well as the parking! all important part of St Ives, before you even get to Access!
So The Island centre is lovely refitted kitchen and all. We gathered, (very successfully, well done everyone for finding it!) talked, shared news and listened to Jo Mayes again about the new project and then set off into St Ives..
We asked Kerry to bring a wheelchair so we could cover more distance and Kerry got as far as outside the building see photos!!!
Jo Mayes has done a lot of research and work on Access which came into good use...

FLAT TYRE !!! before we'd left the side of the building!
Jo Mayes on phone straight into action with her extensive knowledge and research, the rest of the co went up the hill......


the irrepressible child within!

on a blowy spot

Katie and Alan, playing again....

Demelza with bicycle pump!


Jo Mayes,...............eventual thanks to the Red Cross for another wheelchair!

steep slope to small beach

drop at the end onto sand

ramps bumps etc
a lot of enthusiasm for beach hut doors, colour and walkway..when / if you can get down there.
La Mer ( Jo's idea we now have 3 Jo's !!! Jo Lumber this time) and hats, have just brought some card to explore design possibilities for Friday.

Colin drawing


many of us find steps challenging!

.......entry at ground floor level

another possible area, young uns jumping steps, wheelchair watching need nice music, work on ideas Friday

interesting conversations and research

beautiful, small, narrow, cobbled hilly St Ives

possible site for work with David Greaves, good site for public viewing..great name Mount Zion

ramp research.... looking

corner site?

road surfaces and slope
cobbles are bone shakers in a wheeled chair/vehicle/pushchair, if you can even get over them

playing again.... as we leave

and again


hatching plans for Glen ( right ) to join us musically! and the joy of seeing Marjorie!

Lots of interesting ideas generated in the afternoon Jo M recorded them so i didn't take photos but will take some Friday possibly...
We are off tomorrow to see Tristan and Iseult and hopefully Marjorie will be with us for that. The Wheeler family are increasing within Shallal ( hurray ) Katie came first, then Arron now Glen, and Joseph plans to join in September!
Zo and Katie also go to Castaways who are having a fundraiser tomorrow.....

Monday, 24 June 2013

Photographs by Andy at The Old Dairy, Pz

This morning sees me ( we have more talented people but i'm in a hurry as i don't know yet if the photos have to come down at the end of the week!!) struggling to make a not so good flyer ( i need to get more skills*) for Andy's photos, to encourage us all to get to see them!
Andy hung his exhibition of 13 analogue prints a week or so ago .... I had really hoped to have a private view/ opening to celebrate them, however life and it's timetables and deadlines has not enabled this ( yet! I'm still hopeful and am pursuing it ) and so I just want us not to miss them!

To read more of his approach and to see more images visit:
there is an excellent letter of support from Rory on the site, (letters of support 2).

Ilford Harman have sponsored materials for Andy, which is fantastic and enables him to follow his passion.
We are so grateful for all that he brings and gives to Shallal.

*ps. dearest Anna ( youngest daughter mobile phone holder and therefore my unofficial PA) has just come down and has given me a simple design lesson!

Friday, 21 June 2013


from Shallal 2 and Holi-day.......
Shallal 2  final bow at Falmouth Art Gallery, painting in the background.....
these photos are my snaps and don't do any justice to their work, but just want to blog it as they do so well......

At Holi-day Colin ran a colourful and fun workshop and some of the main co tried put their pop up ideas
Sam, Daniela, Daniel and Colin preparing .....

red nose pop ups at Holi-day

As always it was a pleasure to be there and to see old friends and every year we think we should camp but it's always been at a busy time for us, maybe one day!

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Off to St Ives this morning

Off to St Ives this morning in the rain! We hope Colin will bring his new selection of umbrellas!
 A new project brewing, more news soon........
 and awoke this morning looking through old beautiful poems getting ready for our Fundraiser.....
early notice but we hope you will put it in your diaries....
A chance to hear some evocative poems, and catch up on the fun and variety of the 2iis pop ups and improvisations, featuring local Penzance musician George ( i will ask him his surname today?!) who we love working with.

Another person we are very grateful to and love working with is Andy Parker who has just hung over 12 photographs in The Old Dairy, Bread St, Penzance. We hope to have a little "do", launch for these (asap), but they are already there, so do drop in to have a look at them. Peter looked at some of Andy's work the other day and said, "Every picture tells a story".

Big thank you also to Kneehigh Connections, Anna Marie Murphy, Vicky Abbott and Mary Woodvine. 
(So nice to see them all again.) Last week we enjoyed a fantastic singing workshop with some wonderful love themed poetry thrown in! and we are really looking forward to seeing Tristan and Iseult at the Hall for Cornwall next week.

Also creative and exciting visit from Jo Mayes and David Greaves and friends in the afternoon.

 I felt truly nostalgic, Anna and I worked together on Shallal before it was even called that, Vicky and i last sang together at Kerry's wedding about 18 years ago and David used to come to my classes in centres when he was student! turning 50 is .....! interesting!
and yesterday visiting Eddie's excellent show at Camborne College i met Shirley - we last worked together at Dance and Draw our first community art group, Dance in the morning and Art in the afternoon, at Mabe and she remembered me.
Nigel Maynard ( who kindly curated our Sketchbooks in 2iis ) also had wonderful photos on show and David Chinn from Shallal 2 had lovely work there, so much to admire.
Of to pack up, at present we are Jo Lumber, Skye and Anna in the car and we have to stop for ice cream to keep them sweet at the end of a long day, who knows maybe St Ives will provide a new ice cream for them to try!

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Inclusive Creative Practise day

Big thank you to Mark Smith, we all so enjoyed his workshop and presentation with questions and answers session. 

For me it was a real buzz to see so many people from cross communities at the sessions, so; Miles from Shallal 2, 5 members of the main company, 4 local dance teaching professionals, 5 students, trainee dance therapist, Amy from Sense, 3 friends from the local deaf community with a friend who had travelled down from Plymouth, and more. I haven't corollated all the information gathered yesterday and was having such a good time I only paused to count occasionally but the numbers were around 20 for the whole day, which was fantastic especially as it was a moveable feast with people coming and going and many more saying they would like to have been there.
Mark presented a fun, up tempo workshop with joy and warmth, with clear insights into his choreography created for the Para Olympic opening ceremony. The insights into his creative practise included signing into choreography, which helped answer a lot of our questions within our ongoing exploration. Friends in the deaf community thought it was very beautiful! 

So big thank you also to The Performance Centre for their usual hospitality which gives a sense of occasion and care to the event. Their new cafe sits easily within the space and the service was warm and friendly. Thank you to Tamsin who's enthusiasm and support for new ideas allowed this to happen,  to Jono who sorted out our technical needs, and to Feast for funding the afternoon Inclusion session with Debbie. Debbie is one of the people who has taught me the most over the past few years and I am constantly, gratefully challenged, by her vision and knowledge around inclusion, as I was by our first administrator Diana Morris many years ago.

So a full week, I enjoyed supporting Daniela at the new Helston Open House group on Tuesday - Colin was away. For me the work is all about people and I met an old friend Andrew Battersby, we worked together in 3 different settings over many years. I always remember his incredible performance with skeletal bird wings and Linda Williamson in Shallal, he gave me a beautiful pastel drawing and has a wonderful, quirky, sense of humour and narrative. We are about the same age, I really don't think of age, but Andrew is now more frail and I was very moved to see him again, and I wish there had been more opportunities and support to showcase and share his talents.

Many lovely and inspiring people at the event yesterday they each could have a paragraph and I am reminded of a beautiful exhibition we saw in Oxford years ago, "Everyone's life is an Epic", huge black and white portraits, soundtrack etc.

It is good to remember the people who create ideas and opportunities, which then grow within the work and vision and it is thanks to: Demelza's love of Sign Language, which rapidly spread within the main company ( the friends from the deaf community included our teachers!) and to a creative conversation with Debbie Harvey over lunch that Mark Smith came to visit. We really hope we may see him back here again.

So onto today, Singing workshop, (fun!) led by Vicky and Mary, thanks to Kneehigh Connections for this. Some of our singers are sadly away and disappointed, but it will be good to see everyone sing and see how we get on! Then a busy afternoon with a meeting with Jo Mayes and David Greaves planning for our new project which will be officially announced on the 25th!!
 Lovely art work to continue from last week, new "covering" plans for The Studio and a trip to St Ives to organise. And most importantly 3 or 4 birthdays to celebrate, so I am off to buy cake! Our chickens who get their occasional mention in this blog haven't laid enough eggs from me to bake this morning!

Monday, 10 June 2013

Red film link and Andy's photos from 2iis link 
Film taken at Kennal Vale with Barbara Santi on her new camera, as part of Red installation and research, with ~Debs and Anna, shown at 2iis
More photo shoots and ideas we still hope to do at some point, but the weather has been so cold and poor we were glad to achieve this and the pop up and installation on the bandstand.

Andy's new photos: portraits and some of the 2iis events.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Inspiring and butterflies!

Feedback from Jacqui and Gyllyngdune Gardens is that "inspiring" was the word most used to describe the 2iis.
Above are some wonderful photos from Elaine, of her lovely installation which she was part of with insect costume and umbrella.
Some of Elaine's poems will be in Poetic Places our forthcoming fundraiser within the Penzance Literary Festival, at The Acorn, Penzance on Friday 19th July 6 -7.30pm, early booking advised.

"Come and support Shallal on their home territory The Acorn, a much needed fund raiser to see them through till their next funding arrives!

Part of Penzance Literary Festival fringe programme

Poetic Places: A Shallal Fundraiser 
At the Acorn, Penzance

Friday 19th July

Celebrating Shallal's poems past and present, interspersed with
pop-ups and performances from 2iis, their latest installation
and improvisation project. Come and have fun, from the bizarre
to the beautiful. Always family friendly, Shallal are a local
community dance theatre company who celebrate diversity,
ability and community. (Fringe event £6 [£3 concessions]) "

recycling office furniture etc with The Big Bright Future at

Monday, 3 June 2013

2iis feedback

Well done everyone for Friday and lovely to have such a sunny day for it.

Written feedback collected follows and photos from Ruth.
Thanks to Ruth for setting up so many of the installations within the time needed and to everyone at Gyllyngdune Gardens for their cheery, helpful support. More photos and link to moving image installation which supported the bandstand installation and red cloth pop up, coming soon.

Many things learnt from the day and the experience which will allow us to shape new work in the future, and build on themes from these. Looking forward to feedback session with the company on Friday.

A big thank you to Duane who gave so much this event and Doorways and increased the theatrical and risk taking element within the company. He is returning for a while to Australia, he brought many supportive skills to the company and we are very grateful, and hope to see him on his return.

It was one of the most enjoyable days I’ve spent in a long while. The setting is wonderful and the show was just perfect for the surroundings. It was well paced, considering it lasted for a number of hours. To be entertained in many different ways with dance, art , colour, props, music, by many people for a long time, in such a place was a pleasure.

Loved it. Professional dancers just lovely will certainly recommend to others with adults with learning difficulties.
Lovely compostions.
Eleanor and Lydia are here with me and say they are gorgeous and very sexy young ladies!!!
Lydia’s mum

Even though I join Shallal on a Wednesday as a support worker at Falcare. I have loved the performance. My 3yr old has played and danced a lot too. She liked being caught in the butterfly net. Thank you for a brilliant performance.

Lovely performance, in a relaxed atmosphere with lovely surroundings. Well done all.


Enjoyable and diverse, entertaining and quirky!

Perfectly in tune with the setting and embued the enviromnet with creativity and spontaneity. My three year old could not hold back from joining in! Very moving watching everybody interact inclusively and using their strengths for self expression.

Fantastic, we enjoyed what we saw immensely. The Tango was great and my little one loved the giant sized props - namely the butterfly net and the huge teddy. Lively, joyful, funny and life affirming. Thank you.

What a lovely atmosphere! It’s great to see performance in the open air, and it seems to be really inclusive. We’ve enjoyed the colours dancing and music. Thank you!

I enjoyed the group dancing and thought the clowns brought some fun.

A lovely summer’s day fiesta siesta....

I really enjoyed the dancing, quite different, great fun. Thanks  Marjorie

Fantastic work. Have really enjoyed it. Will come to next event.

Fantastic! Lovely use of the gardens/good setting for the variety of performances ( really liked the 2 girls silently dancing on the wall). Very gentle and relaxing. Good performances.

Very calming, moving and inspiring.
Please to see expression through dance for special needs.

It’s wonderful to see a project/event at a place like this, in the middle of the community.

Entertaining and uplifting. Thank you x.

main co improvisation

Daniel's design umbrella figures, ( created with Jo Lumber)

Elaine's butterfly, one of many on an arch.