Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Some musings about Community, Culture and Solidarity, from art to elephants to meetings!

So the sun is shining, welcome to Spring, flowers, longer days, birdsong and joy... and i have to tidy my hall which is also my workspace, office? home ed and storage, dumping ground! etc i do love working from home but......
Anyway the joy of clearing is the small things you keep hold of and re-find,
such as

"Community is an inclusive word, a warm word, that expresses a sense of belonging together. As each of the lectures makes clear community does not happen by magic, it has to be sustained. There are all sorts of barriers and
obstacles to overcome.
If we are to include those who are in one way or another outcast, marginalised or on the edge, then what we have is community. Community is a celebration of difference as opposed to tribalism, which is an expression of togetherness set against that which is different."
Bishop Bill 2008

"In the arts, as in life, everything is possible provided it is based on love.
Marc Chagall

"Culture is society talking to itself"
Rabbi Sachs

This one is on my wall always...
"Do not fear failure or crave success, your work must be an act of love."
an inventor talking on Radio 4 years ago - i stopped the car to write it down.

"Keep Calm and Carry On" was also in prominent place for a long time but has now down graded to behind the curtain,...

"God takes you to the point where you ( acknowledge you) are powerless and waits for you there" a personnel reminder on the wall, that i forget to read...

Why we need community:
We need to know and love each other,
"My brother is my life" St Silouan from Mount Athos

I looked up these statistics and information as we were talking about Sorrowful Songs by Gorecki and whether we will ever perform some of it in improv ie Embodied Space and if we do i would like to dedicate it to those people killed and often unremembered/forgotten...

Thursday 29 February
This takes me round in a strange circle to Wolfgangs first major show Ruckblick,
which had recently been created and performed when i first met him and it was a photograph from it that he showed at the end of a workshop which changed my life!
I talked with Andy Parker ( photographer) once about the power of an image.
More about Wolfgang and Amici here:

So on a different or maybe not? tack, as elephants are suffering the plight of poaching.
I'm so pleased for my brother and his wife and the team who worked with them as recently they were unexpectedly presented with the International Green Award.

Mark Deeble and Victoria Stone

from The Elephant Queen FB page
'Thrilled for the @TEQmovie team that #theelephantqueen was honoured with the International Green Award in Berlin last night at #CinemaForPeace. Delighted that the judges recognised that the movie aims to reach a wide audience AND make a difference for elephants.
It was what we intended when we set out on the journey eight years ago.'

"lets hope the film gets out to as many hearts and homes as possible and does its work"

I reread this blog and it has gone from light to dark, with a ray of light - the eternal hope in it.
Life is about holding the paradox, we can't forget what has been done and we also need to have vision for the future and I think come up with some new enlightened alternatives and solutions so we can all live together on the planet.

I am thinking of this as i look at sharing the funds raised from our forthcoming fund raiser with
and i wrote to myself
"Inclusion means many things, it means hospitality and welcoming the stranger. Which is what 'Falmouth and Penryn Welcome refugees' does."

Which takes me to Pipeline Theatre and their new show, which tackles some hard issues...

And now i need to return to my desk and emails and the day which promises a group at Liskeard and a meeting with Thomas about his aims and vision.
Recently we had a workshop/training in which Nick Fripp shared 4 approaches: overprotective, authoritarian, cold and solidarity.
Solidarity is what we aim for and artists need it, often more than most as many don't understand it, and I meet it so often, why do people dream, vision, ask for more in their lives? maybe they have something to offer, to share which others need. We all feel better, feed off/are nurtured by the creativity of others, which takes me back to the first few quotes.

"Community is an inclusive word, a warm word, that expresses a sense of belonging together. As each of the lectures makes clear community does not happen by magic, it has to be sustained. There are all sorts of barriers and
obstacles to overcome.
If we are to include those who are in one way or another outcast, marginalised or on the edge, then what we have is community. Community is a celebration of difference as opposed to tribalism, which is an expression of togetherness set against that which is different."

Shallal celebrates diversity, ability and community.
Many thanks to the late Danu Fox for this strap line.

Friday, 22 February 2019

Hear My Voice at The Hypatia Trust audience feedback and ideas re inclusive audiences and news

Written audience response from show...

"A great programme!! So Powerful!!"

"POWERFUL + so enjoyable."

"Sensitive and beautiful. Thank you."

"One of the best things I've seen."

"- the fact that the music/sounds wasn't loud, made it more powerful . !!"
( the warm up was fine and then the music dropped? and i couldn't find out why and didn't want to break the flow so the show went on! oops and bother, but feedback was it was ok and it was a small intimate space)

"Thank you x

it was powerful and beautiful" 



+ enjoyable -
loved it" jx

"so enjoyed it -
powerful speech
expressive dance
go on! and 
tell the world"

"Really good!
So powerful!
Loved it!"

email feedback 
"What a treat it was!  I have kept remembering the performance all yesterday and this morning - every time I think of it I see that room suffused with light.  What a beautiful and powerful piece you ( all ) have created.  I particularly loved the movement done by the lady ( Zoe Wilton) in the red dress."

"Very inspiring show and loving it, great to see what you can make in half an hour, and it was great to see Shallal without me in it for a change. Look forward to any other future projects, and can't way to come back to Shallal 2 for a change, that will be nice. It was great getting everyone to meet Lily." 
( We were really pleased to meet Lily who was visiting Eddie from Spain)

Many thanks again to Delpha at The Hypatia Trust for hosting us.
"Thank you so much for today. Please pass on to everyone that they were brilliant and as well as performing beautifully very helpful tidying everything away. Its the first event of this kind that we have done  - so thank you for everything!
thanks again for bringing the space to life - it was a wonderful event" 
- from Delpha to the company

introducing the show
 I have a new trial vision for performances which aren't in theatres, of their being free and asking for donations, at the end i think might be best. Real inclusion needs to be with our audience as well as the performers.
When we had 4 young children we never went to the theatre we couldn't afford it, as they got older with more specific taste we went in twos or threes to something special to them.
Recently we have reassured support workers that we are ok with a woman who made sounds and needed to pace about and also ok in that show if she wanted to walk into the performance space - it was all improv anyway!! so the person supporting her was able to relax a bit and they could both see the show. Sometimes you don't want to commit to a high cost if the person you are with might not enjoy it or need to leave early. People are often on a diet of tribute bands, pantomine and known shows, stories, styles and don't go to new, unknown events and types of performance.
Today someone came with invisible/unseen health issues and can't sit through the length of many performances without needing to move around, this show was short 30mins but also she had been reassured by a performer who was a friend that moving was ok.
I recently listened to authors on Radio 4 talking about publishing their work and wanting to reach people. We want to reach people so now we are embarking on getting these 2 ( easily portable ) shows out...and building our audience:
Hear My Voice as like the title some of it so relevant and needs to be heard,
Embodied Space, because i love that way of working and it is quite radical and needs to be seen.
In the company it pushes us all and we really enjoy it and learn from each time.

Thank you to our audience.
We all learn so much together.

Skye has her single out!!
BREATHE IS OUT NOW on all major streaming platforms!
Links below:

iTunes/Apple Music:
Check it out!
so excited and pleased for her and we are having a Benefit featuring Skye Saturday April 13 just awaiting final confirmation of the date with the venue and Nordic Skiers will be supporting her - fun!

Nice to be invited back in April to Get Changed Theatre co to run a workshop as they create a new show.
Looking forward to Shallal Dance Theatre working with Harry Theaker on a short film for a project in March.
Plans to film and photograph 'Hear My Voice' at it's next outing - thank you to Emily and Martha for offering their time and skills.
Anna is in Residency with Breathing Space in March she is supported in this by Falmouth Art Gallery.

George is back from US and Pep returns soon from Catalonia.

Love and best wishes to those who have been ill this winter - hope to see you soon!

Saturday, 16 February 2019

Celebration , another show and feedback from workshop for Wheal Martyn Memory Cafe

We do like a tea party: throw in nice people and some inspiring art and 27 people showed up!
Also such fondness for this room, which we have often used as a dressing room! 
Huge table, wonderful hospitality - Thank you to Henrietta and all the Falmouth Art Gallery staff and ....
one thing leads to another so ....

..... we will be performing at Falmouth Library on Friday 8 March 7.30pm
International Women's Day 
which is "is all about unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy and action - whatever that looks like globally at a local level. But one thing is for sure, International Women's Day has been occurring for well over a century - and continue's to grow from strength to strength."

Monday i ran a session at the Memory Cafe at Wheal Martyn Clay Museum, interspersed with tea and biscuits and conversation.....and 

"Thank you so much for today, the session really was lovely and I felt so much better after it."

I enjoyed the session and it is a hallmark of sessions that ideally they should be enjoyable for everyone! I look forward to returning next month. There is often so much talent in the room: ballet, line dancing, ballroom dancing, keep fit, aerobics....none of which i can do!

The week ended with rehearsal for Hear My Voice - yes i do love this show and am happy and pleasantly surprised that we have ended up with a piece of 'political' theatre, and am in awe of the writing and delivery, effortless and moving.
A challenge could be for may of us in Shallal to each come up with a group to perform this to! 
Listening again to this homage to unsung heroes, it could be called the 'Mrs Hunt tribute show!' and maybe we need to get it out to some Salvation Army groups.
It's a grateful reminder of all those who have gone before us with thanks for their selfless acts, and all that we have to be grateful for and need to (fight to) retain.

The afternoon saw art work and meetings, listening to Ken Turner describe a new project some dancers might get involved in - looking around the internet for traces of his work i found this!
HIs project is cross art form and about being 'here,' and i just watched this
both have echoes of elements present in Embodied Space, although tackled/viewed through a Shallal collaboration prism, always interesting that similar themes and idea percolate in culture/creativity at the same time.
Exciting to bring artists together ( one off projects and performances) and also wonderful to see artists who know each other well ( established company over time) and can communicate effortlessly and take risks.

Demelza took some photos on Friday afternoon...

Joseph finished his Heron drawing

Katie and Zo


Molly and Colin
Photos from Shallal 2 rehearsal just in from Emily Alden, so grateful, might put them into film slide show don't know yet and possible help with filming from a conversation today.

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Hear My Voice background ....

We are about to perform Hear My Voice again this time at The Hypatia Trust, a fitting venue...

We have other possibilities in the wings including Falmouth Art Gallery and Wheal Martyn Clay Museum
I need to write about it and so want to share Debs first notes.
(The show has more words than our usual shows which is appropriate for the subject and I am as always in awe of 'the talent in the room', with a poem from Elaine Waller and writing by Jo Lumber 
and a central piece for three voices by Debbie ONyons).
here are her notes;

 "I have been doing some research regarding the suffragette movement in Cornwall and the Salvation army were highly active and supportive of the social reforms the suffragettes offered to women as they were leading on changing the way unwed mothers were treated in the workhouses within the county.

The Salvation Army enthusiastically supported this political campaign, its philanthropic and egalitarian ideologies attracted followers with values that strongly complimented those that motivated the first wave feminist suffrage campaign.  The Salvation army promoted gender equality within its organisation.

I would like to write some prose/poetry about the story of my great grandmother below whom without the suffragettes would not have survived for long.

My great grandmother was one of the unwed pregnant mothers who benefited from a strong lady within the salvation army, she was cast out by her family and the church at age 17, pregnant by a man she discovered to be married.  She was penniless and entered the workhouse and gave birth to a daughter,  the policy at this time was for the children to be adopted (or sold). 
Refusing to sign the paperwork she caught the attention of one of the salvation army members - this woman offered to foster the child but Ethel refused to be seperated, the woman and her husband then fostered both mother and child.  Later she cared for the child during the day so Ethel could work and eventually helped them to rent a small cottage.  Even when women achieved the vote the fight was not over, unwed mothers were despised and life was very hard with both mother and child suffering malnutrition and ill health.  Social reform transformed there lives, receiving warm, dry social housing at one point they had to sell every possession to pay for medical treatment for my grandmother  when it was thought she would die from diphtheria.

The story has a beautiful ending as my grandmother cared for the couple who fought for social reform and fostered her in childhood through there own infirmity up to there death."

at the centenary of “some women winning the right to vote in 1918”.............this act also newly enfranchised approximately 8 million men as it abolished the residential and property qualifications that had denied the vote to 40% of men. These included most of the poorest in society: soldiers, sailors and men such as adult sons living in their parents’ houses.

Then we started looking at who can vote and when it was given and what supported it and it gets more complicated! and that is for another time and why we like to stop and chat about it all afterwards! it raises many questions.....

I have been invited to Wheal Martyn on Thursday for HRH The Countess of Wessex visit, need to clean my shoes...
very grateful to be invited we love working with Wheal Martyn...
It fits in nicely on the way home from Liskeard group.

And Friday we have our own Celebration ...