Celebrating Silver SundayMon 7 October 2019
150 Lewisham residents contribute to joyous grand finale of creative ageing festival
Designed to spark debate, challenge perceptions, champion older artists and celebrate the positive impact of creativity on our lives as we age, Lewisham’s inaugural Age Against the Machine ran from 13 September to 6 October 2019. Its programme of almost 70 events culminated in the Grand Finale held in the cultural heart of Lewisham on Silver Sunday, an annual day to celebrate older people.
Grand Finale featured pop-up performances, workshops and exhibitions across Deptford’s iconic Laban Building, created by local groups and artists and involved over 150 local residents.
One highlight of the afternoon was the world premiere of Finale!, a specially-commissioned performance piece created by British composer Liz Lane and choreographer Lizzi Kew Ross alongside Lewisham residents of all ages.
Over the past few months the creative team have worked with over 90 older adults from seven different local groups to generate original music, movement and poetry feature in the performance. The work, which builds directly on participants’ experiences of identity and aging, emphasises the power of collaborative creativity.
Rabia Rahim, a member of Sydenham Singers, described her involvement in the project as “exciting, inspirational, therapeutic and collaborative” and enjoyed seeing how initial ideas developed into a whole piece.
Fellow Sydenham Singers member Andrew Rahim added that Finale! was “a creative and nourishing endeavour that reached out to all ages.”
Voices in Motion participant Irene Lomas reflected that the day’s events were “a lovely community experience”. “It’s nice to think,” she continued, “that we can carry on doing exciting things together.”
Mayor of Lewisham Damien Egan commented –
“It was fantastic to be part of the Grand Finale of Age Against the Machine. The festival has shown the creativity of our borough and the passion of our older residents. It would not have been possible without the dedication of all the organisers and volunteers, as well as the support of the Mayor of London and Deputy Mayor for Culture and Creative Industries. Lewisham is one of the most diverse places in the world and we have so much to offer, which is why we are bidding to become the next Borough of Culture. I urge everyone to back Lewisham’s bid.”
Image: Mayor of Lewisham, Damien Egan, joins in the dancing during the Finale! commission.
The Conservatoire’s Head of Community & Professional Development Kate Atkinson comments –
“The day has been a culmination of exciting projects bringing together people across the borough and a chance to celebrate older people’s creativity. Trinity Laban is extremely proud to champion music and dance for everybody, no matter their age.”
Delivered in partnership with the Positive Ageing Council, the Grand Finale brought different generations together to create connections and shared experiences, rounding off the festival with a bang.
To learn more about Trinity Laban’s Inspired Not Tired programme, visit trinitylaban.ac.uk/take-part/for-adults/inspired-not-tired
Image: Damien Egan and participants of Age Against the Machine.
Image credit: Tas Kyprianou