Friday, 17 May 2019

Friday 24 May 2nd Global Strike for Climate Shallal Dance Theatre 'Striking' on Newlyn Green from 11am - 1pm.

At the end of the day, was the phrase that sprung to mind, which seems fitting for the subject of this post..
At the end of today, Colin used his talents to quickly write this...
( Star had just written a powerful piece called Hope inspired by the global predicament and the wonderful meadow of cowslips, come along next Friday for its first public performance)
So next Friday 24 May you can find some or all of us ( the hardy few if it's raining!) on Newlyn Green from 11am - 1pm.
In solidarity with and in support of the 2nd Global Climate Strike for Future ,  Shallal's Strike will be Pop Up dance theatre performance and poetry, live music and song from 11am - 12pm and colouring in the pavement with chalk drawings from 12pm - 1pm.

Tremenheere Gallery last Friday

Embodied Space

Tremenheere Art Gallery 10 May 2019

"I loved it, and it definitely ranks as one of my favourites. 
It was a joy to witness the performers'  bravery and honesty, and the integrity they showed one another.  Really wonderful."

                                                           quick snaps from warm up in the space....

We filmed it all for refection ...looking forward to sharing it with everyone today and chatting to our mentor Harry Theaker soon, Lois gave me a good insight yesterday. We have the autumn term to gather and reflect, really pleased so far!! ....

General Strike XR next week on Shallal Dance Theatre day hoping to do something interesting, we shall see...

Came across this recently ....

and Eddie has Open Studios at Krowji starting 25 May

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Tremenheere this Friday

Shallal brings new dance experience to Cornish venues in May
Cornish inclusive arts charity Shallal new tour of pioneering new improvised dance theatre work in May started with performances at Falmouth Art Gallery, Kestle Barton near Helston and comes tomorrow 10th May to Tremenheere Art Gallery at Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, Gulval, near Penzance.
‘We have been working on an entirely new improvisation method which brings out the element of surprise and playful spontaneity often missing in our lives and in art’, says Shallal Creative Director Jo Willis. 
Shallal’s new ‘Here and Now’ project brings their three dance theatre companies together for a touring programme which will take them to venues across Cornwall from Liskeard to The Minack Theatre.
Described by an audience member as "mind-blowing, soul-moving, powerful performance”, the shows, funded by Arts Council England, are admission free and fully accessible.
‘The new project has given a level of progression to the company that is full of risk and new challenges and I am really excited to see where it will take us’ said Shallal dancer Star.
Check Shallal’s website for times and further tour dates throughout the summer and autumn culminating with a final show in January at the Newlyn Art Gallery 
The performance at Tremenheere is at the art gallery which has level access and a disabled toilet.  For further information please check venue websites.  

The shows are alternating between art galleries and outdoor venues and sometimes both!
It looks good in galleries, the initial inspiration for it, and we are excited to perform for the first time in the beautiful new build space at Tremenheere, and if the weather is kind we might extend to outside.
Joseph at Newlyn Art Gallery
the body in space then add others, dance, music and art! poetry, song goes on....

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Embodied Space Falmouth Art Gallery and Kestle Barton

Friday found us back at one of our favourite venues Falmouth Art Gallery.
Shallal Dance Theatre along with some of Shallal 2, surrounded by the sensitive art of Partou Zia situated within other strong women artists.
I knew Partou from when we lived in Newlyn, and you would meet people walking up and down the steep hill, we had moving and memorable conversations on one particular corner the 'quiet' way down, beside the second Methodist Chapel.
The exhibition has a strong presence and it was moving to remember Partou and to work within it.
warm up

warm up, liked the palette/shades of costume colour with paintings

Toby and Justin in late warm up and - from this angle - 'in' paintings
For our 'Remembering Marjorie' dance we played Turning World by Charlie Heykoop Charlie had played with Shallal many many years ago most memorably outside Truro Cathedral, in a dance festival, and Paul Gosling - who i thought would dance in the limited area of the pavement - instinctively danced around the whole square moving with gestural beauty so profound one dear friend in the audience cried! - which leads onto the conversation around Spaces.

Kestle Barton for the first time
Line up for: costume colour combination check in,
Everyone brings their own and a few options and then we tweek, share, whatever's needed....!
photos George Bradley peer

i thought if i put up my pink brolly it might not rain!?! - however it did intermittently in true Cornish Spring showers style - feedback from some dancers is they liked it

Zoe's dance for Marjorie to the song 'Wayfaring Stranger'

oops can't get volume setting right?! saved by Anna

we love the wildflower meadow!
Maybelle ( Shallal 2) in the background

                                                     Jo and Anna

Barbara Hepworth talked about 'the figure in the landscape'.
I love the figure: the gesture, the movement/dance, the interactions/relationships, the music and then the SPACE.
Oh my, we know how powerful the first four are but the space is the fifth element, we are really experiencing it in its grandeur in these outdoor settings and such a joy.
The beach at Trebah and now the meadow at Kestle Barton.
The work in these spaces then takes on 'epic' proportions and vistas: moving art, colour, emotion interaction, the way people turn with each other, one dancer spoke of being connected to everyone! ( at a real distance) no choreography just a trust and assurance of working together, for some of us over many years and then three of Shallal 2 in the meadow as well ( having not worked with SDT before) and a member of the audience saying, "How do you describe this?"

Shallal 2 really enjoyed working with George and want to do more.
The performers in Shallal 2 and Shallal Dance Theatre varied slightly each day and it worked well. It was good to have time together and that also raises progression ideas for us all. We had hoped to have a Liskeard dancer join us as well.

Still reflecting, processing information and insights from it all.

On another more practical note a full audience at Falmouth Art Gallery and the donations suggestion at the end worked well, total averaged at £5 a head, but hard to do on Saturday due to the showers - and moving in and out and round about - assessing and communicating with performers happy or not to work in rain and various spaces, meant it was less easy to make announcements and communicate with the audience and leave/display information etc.
Finally filming by Barbara Santi..

Comments from Friday
"Inspiring. This performance reminded me what I love about dance."
"I just happened to walk in- so moving I have a lump in my throat. It is so magical. Thank you."

The beautiful Tremenheere Art Gallery, Gulval, near Penzance
Friday 10 May 4pm
Looking forward to it.

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Extinction Rebellion, benefit and next performances

First things first:
the first day of EXTINCTION REBELLION !!!
I chatted to my husband recently and rediscovered that i am at heart an activist, (lots gets buried when you have 5 children), I am known to rant!
So we hope and pray for our future of this beautiful and wonderful planet and ecosystem we are a part of.

Back to Saturday night:
Big thank you to Miranda, Helen and Dhruv: Nordic Skiers who came to play for us - they are now back in the recording studio for two days.
Skye is also creating an EP.
Exciting times....
and a real privilege to hear them all. Live music what a joy!

It was lovely to hear the gentleness, range and humour of Nordic Skiers, their first gig!
and then to hear Skye who has performed a lot in the past year, is so at home on stage and is 'a force of nature,'
complimentary and contrasting singer songwriters.


Thank you to Belinda for the photo
and Anna for poster design.

Off to Kestle Barton on Thursday to recce the space with Colin, hoping for good weather.

Blog i didn't finish and therefore post!.....from April 3rd

"We are arts and culture practitioners, and invite you to join us in Declaring a Climate and Ecological Emergency together, on April 3rd. In our Declaration, we pledge to work with communities in tackling this emergency, we call for Truth, Action and Justice, and we express the value of Arts and Culture in imagining and forging better ways of relating to each other and the living planet."
Last Friday the voting members of Shallal, voted to support Extinction Rebellions vision. We are preparing a declaration of emergency ( as suggested by Culture declares emergency) and believe with them that ....
"Culture gives space to articulate our place and survival in the web of life.
In studies of systemic interconnectedness, the energy and resilience of a system are where connections and links are the strongest; participation, diversity, plurality and variability the greatest.
Through its convening powers, culture brings people together across differences of generation, heritage, gender, class and working expertise to find commonality: all perspectives can be drawn on to create the future we want to live in. Celebratory social spaces allow us to to look backwards and forwards in time, where our collective knowledge, intuition and a sense of wonder at what is possible come together."

I had along conversation with my husband around politics ( my dislike of ) and he said you are really more an activist!
(Lightbulb moment and memories of activism in my 'youth.')
For me Shallal and inclusion is a form of activism, we create microcosms of how life could be, if: we acted to try to include and value everyone in the room, if we share our gifts and all do our best. If we work from where we are, not judged by external standards.

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Shallal Benefit

Skye has her second single out Boy following on from Breathe - highly recommended.
I feel so privileged to watch Skye, Anna, Annis and Zoe Osmond grow through Shallal and their continuing creative journeys.
Anna - Camberwell Art School in September, Fine Art Painting degree
Annis - waiting to decide where to go, has offers, recent work experience with                   Barbara Santi
Zoe - Falmouth Art School, Drawing degree first year

I sing in a small choir with: Miranda, on the right, in Nordic Skiers and Jeremy Annear - who kindly arranged for Booths the printers to print these for free for us...Many Thanks to Booths and Jeremy ( and Anna for the poster design)! Our choir practice has a very Shallal feel to it, lots of good humour, celebration and food involved as well as some effort at the creative work, again with good humour, more because they are kind to me - who can't hold my part or remember my note!!

Thank you to all who will make this possible and we are so pleased to be sharing any funds raised with

Nordic Skiers
Jeremy Annear
Booths the printers

Good news that Colin and Debs are coming ( alternately ) to support in Shallal 2.
The new project Here and Now is cross fertilising the skills and dancers in Shallal, with George and a dancer or two from Shallal Dance Theatre coming to Shallal 2 soon as we work towards our next set of Embodied Space these are each so different as the venue space defines the show and we now have George so ( as originally envisioned ) with a section of  improvised music.

Thomas from Liskeard group will come along to sessions and join is for performances as much as possible, made possible by Henry Smith Trust funding as a trainee associate artist.

Thomas is working on poetry in his company sessions, wonderful to have Alice performing this week, so far joining him are: Alice, Janice and Lois. We hope to have a poetry theme to our next big project after Here and Now and so are pleased it may dovetail well with launching his group/company.

Feedback in Shallal Dance Theatre today was really helpful and we all felt deeply moved by Trebah and 'Sorrowful Song.'
Two new members trying out and fitting in well. Lots to do. Pep sadly away in May, but back for June and Embodied Space is designed to be whoever is "in the room."

It has taken 30 years to come up with the simple structure: only 3 instructions and 2 other add ons for performance, to give us the Embodied Space.
Is it: moving art, performance art, dance, theatre? whatever it is it works.
Someone commented it is like meditation on Thursday, i steer away from those descriptions, but it is authentic in the moment and i agreed witht the way she described it.
As always so impressed by peoples articulate definitions and i learn so much.
 Falmouth Art Gallery, 1.30pm
Saturday 4 May – Kestle Barton, 3pm
Friday 17 May Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, Gallery4pm.
Friday 7 June - Minack Car Park,  daytime
check into for times, coming soon!
Free entrance - hoping for a donation at the end!

Monday, 25 March 2019

Saturday, 23 March 2019

Trebah - filming day

 A grand day out!
The Cornish March weather was kind to us, the steep sloping, glorious bejewelled ( with flowers) spring valley sheltered us and the warm sunshine meant that James the film maker had to wait for the gentle cloud covering he preferred.
It all came together on the day, aided by the offer of the rail of costumes - much appreciated, and so we set forth: comedy by the pond ( not sure it will get into the final edit) but it was good! then the beautiful pale blue bridge and vistas, then the beach, 'o joy of joys',  Sorrowful Song ( i'm on a requiem theme now?! have been learning The Wayfaring Stranger). It looked so strong and beautiful ( hard to find the correct adjectives - but i was very pleased with it), it gave us 10 mins Embodied Space improv on the beach, ( great new project R&D, as was it all, working in well along with the filming).
Harry Theaker joined in with us all day something he and we have always wanted and now we have such a good starting point for his continued input. We are grateful to have his support on the film and now we also have it in Here and Now, so we hope to skype, share film and have lovely arty chats!!!
James assisted by Eli, the film will be black and white ( and 2 mins) but the colours were lovely

7,500 American Soldiers left for D-day from this area, Trebah was one of the embarkation points
'Sorrowful Song'

just snaps
We were happy with what we managed in the day.
- there wasn't time for some of the ideas and material, so it remains to see if we will return?
to create our own longer piece?
- maybe just small groups for the smaller, intimate ideas -
George was filming for us, we'll discuss it next week.

Jonathan and 'crew"
Thanks for the ice creams and all your help Sara.
Ice cream provided the pause and 'fuel' before returning to the top of the garden to complete filming and then a late lunch. Star and i were both honoured by birthday poems composed and recited 
for us by Zoe
 Many thanks to Chris Hibbert who originally wanted us involved and to:
Sara Waller - dance project and more
James Stuart - Lightbox Films
Guy Watson - Trebah Gardens Ampi theatre and events co-ordinator
and all who helped on the day.
The access was a challenge, so we were thrilled to invite Kerry T back to help us in a supporting role, assisted by George.
Toby in costume, chatting with George.
Top of the garden, in the end we managed the access by 'topping and tailing' it. 3 cars drove down to the pond and beach sites and then returned to final site the lawn in front of the house.


                                           Thoughts from the week include.....................

                                                    Extinction Rebellion

                                                 and Mary Olivers poetry
                                                  Three sets of last lines 

                                             Joy is not made to be a crumb.  *

                                             ...still ready, beyond all else,
                                                to dance for the world.  **

                                   Let me keep my distance, always, from those
                                       who think they have the answers.  

                                Let me keep company always with those who say
                                     "Look!" and laugh in astonishment,
                                      and bow their heads.  ***

***-this is one of the pleasures for me of working with others in Shallal, alongside the profound fun of gestural communication and humour. Thank you all x

by Mary Oliver

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Thomas, Eddie, news....

 Excited for the first of Thomas's time today.
I am constantly surprised by peoples talent and vision. I already enjoy watching Thomas's talent in our weekly sessions but with this opportunity I see even more: poetry, theatre, art, spoken word, music connections, vision.
Thomas is here discussing his poems with Janice and Colin, and how to work with them - strong work can't wait to watch it develop.

Travelling meeting with Lou and Colin yesterday.
* Friday is the start of our new ACE funded Here and Now Project for Shallal         Dance Theatre: building audience, opportunity, experience, venues.
*Shallal 2 also have first new funding in - thank you again to Lou - it will enable    our new project.
* Commission: a short film to be made at Trebah Gardens, looking forward to mentoring by dear Harry Theaker and working with James from Lightbox. As usual my struggle with heritage - and i need not worry as there is so much talent and knowledge around, (Jo L works with heritage at Cornwall Museum) great ideas coming in and warm local anecdotal ones ( Debbie has a wealth of local stories/connections) and Harry also has a story so look forward to creating with all of that over the coming week.

"Hear My Voice"
Mothers and Daughters Dance, Falmouth Library
superb photo by George..more on FB

Eddie's Art at London Charity Gala!!
Thrilled for him, it deserves a wide audience.
Pleased to have Eddie back with us at Shallal 2.

Monday, 11 March 2019

Bits and Pieces

Bits and Pieces .....

Hear My Voice at Falmouth Library

Peer group feedback really appreciated, as Lou write the bid!
"the show last night about suffragettes in Cornwall was so wonderful, so many really important issues brought to light in such a creative and expressive way without being the least bit preachy. There was no hammering home of issues, instead the invitation to think about things, which is so much more powerful."

Art & Home....

My dear husband back painting, I learn so much watching his process.

Anna, Lois & Thomas
so excited to explore Thomas' progression as a dance/theatre artist, moving into working with others towards a company, small steps starting meeting after the Liskeard group for 20-30mins on Thursdays 12-12.30pm.
Thomas belongs to Access Theatre Company and has performed and trained with Far Flung
He is highly experienced and we look forward to seeing what opportunities we can all grow together. Lois and he are planning a workshop and he aims for a midsummer dance piece.
More excitement now we can advertise this...
I love their work so really looking forward to it....