Research into arts practice with older people

Transformation, Memory and Actualised Selves

Research into Trinity Laban's older people's outreach programme is currently investigating the processes and possibilities of transformation through dance and music, as initiated by the 'Retired not Tired' programme. This research is exploring the means by which performance may 'actualise' potential memories in older participants, examining how and why this kind of expressive activity animates the idea of virtual, 'possible' selves among participants with such intensity. The study draws together theoretical approaches in gerontology and performance studies, and promises to shed new light on existing theories of 'actualisation' and 'becoming'. It seeks to move away from the ubiquitous 'impact study' model currently endemic in research examining older people's arts programmes, and continues to be driven instead by the practices and responses of session participants themselves. In this vein, research is being conducted through an extended period of participant-observation and ethnographic documentation (including film) alongside interviews and discussion groups, and through the introduction of more exploratory kinesthetic research approaches including movement-initiated writing.

For further information and evaluation documents for Retired Not Tired please see the links below.

Retired not Tired 2012-13 evaluation

Creativity and wellbeing among older people

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