dancing outside our comfort zone

A recently-formed group of inspiring dancers will be taking to the stage this evening for a curtain raiser performance before Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella. Part of My Shout, a project that’s being run by Farnham Maltings all this year, the group will be celebrating age through dance.

The dancers, some of whom are in their seventies, will be performing an extract from a new piece of dance which has been created by the group. Part of Farnham Maltings’ My Shout, a project which is using art to challenge perceptions of ageing, this was an inclusive opportunity for anyone in the local community aged 55 or over.

Working with New Adventures’ Daisy May Kemp, resident artist, and Luke Murphy, practitioner, and taking inspiration from Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella, the piece incorporates their narrative-style with the dancers’ own storytelling. Creative workshops were not only movement based, but also included opportunity for the dancers to share their own research about the era, along with exploring themes of youthfulness, maturity, vitality and belonging.

This evening’s curtain-raiser performance will be a 5 minute excerpt of a longer piece which has recently been performed at Dance in the Meadow and Ignite showcase at Farnham Maltings.

My Shout dancers performed at Dance in the Meadow, June 2018

Dance in the Meadow 2018 (credit: Alex Harvey-Brown)

dance for joy

One participant said “It’s been magical – I can’t believe we got there! I am so glad I stepped out of my comfort zone to take part.”

Gavin Stride, Director for Farnham Maltings said “My Shout has been about celebrating the positives about growing old. Hopefully we aren’t all going to end up sitting in wing back chairs waiting to die. We have tried to be mischievous and surprise ourselves with stories about what is possible and recognise that 19th century views of being old are woefully outdated. Many of the women in this piece had never danced before, learnt new skills and have created something new of the highest quality.”

Imogen Kinchin, Executive Director for New Adventures said today: “It has been a real joy to be involved in the Farnham Maltings My Shout project. The participants have created a piece that is a real testament to the way that New Adventures work. Led by our Resident Artist, Daisy May Kemp, and New Adventures Practitioner, Luke Murphy, the women have done a brilliant job in conveying our signature style. Following fantastic performances at Dance in the Meadow and the Ignite Festival earlier this month, we’re delighted that they are performing at the New Victoria Theatre in a curtain raiser before Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella.”

My Shout is part of Celebrating Age, a programme funded by Arts Council England and the Baring Foundation to enable arts and cultural spaces to be more open, positive and welcoming places for older people; My Shout is also funded by Waverley Borough Council. The My Shout consortium consists of Farnham Maltings, Waverley Borough Council, New Adventures and Age UK Surrey.

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