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Trinity Laban to Host Joyous Grand Finale of New Lewisham Festival

Thu 8 August 2019

London’s Creative Conservatoire will mark the end of Age Against the Machine, Lewisham’s brand-new festival of creative ageing, with a day of free events around the award-winning Laban Building on Silver Sunday (6 OCT 2019). The celebration includes the world premiere of Finale!, a specially-commissioned music and dance work created in collaboration with 90 Lewisham residents.

This autumn the London Borough of Lewisham will play host to a radical new arts festival centred on the subject of growing old, designed to spark debate, challenge perceptions, champion older artists and celebrate the positive impact of creativity on our lives as we age.

The festival is supported by a Cultural Impact Award given to the London Borough of Lewisham as part of the Mayor of London’s Borough of Culture programme and is produced by south east London’s arts centre, the Albany, and participatory arts company Entelechy Arts.

Running from 13 September, Age Against the Machine has a programme of nearly 70 events – most of which are free – culminating in the Grand Finale at the iconic Laban Building in Deptford, home to Trinity Laban’s Faculty of Dance.

In partnership with the Positive Ageing Council, the family-friendly afternoon will feature pop-up performances, workshops and exhibitions created by local groups and artists, as well as a specially-commissioned performance piece created by British composer Liz Lane and choreographer Lizzi Kew Ross, alongside Lewisham residents of all ages.

Trinity Laban Dance Lecturer and Choreographer Lizzi Kew Ross explained the genesis of Finale!

“The piece has been created from building relationships with local groups, connecting with their ideas on personhood and ageing. A joint devising day at Trinity Laban with me, composer Liz Lane, members of the groups and dancers from Trinity Laban’s BA programme was instrumental in working through ideas.”

Liz and Lizzi have worked with over 90 older adults from seven different local groups to generate original music, movement and poetry, a method that emphasises the power of collaborative creativity. The Befrienders, Voices in Motion, Young at Heart and Boundless are part of Trinity Laban’s Inspired Not Tired programme, and Meet Me at the Albany Choir, Sydenham Singers and Living in Harmony, are all Lewisham choirs.

Members of the groups will be joined onstage by 15 Trinity Laban musicians and dancers for the intergenerational Grand Finale performance in Laban Theatre on 6 OCT 2019.

Composer Liz Lane, who tutors on Trinity Laban’s Certificate: The Practice of Music Making course, commented –

“This project has been one of my most rewarding musical commissions to date. The groups I have visited for workshops are very diverse in their approaches and this variety and their creative talents have been integral to the lyrical and musical content of Finale!. It really is a co-creation between many people. It has also been a delight to collaborate with choreographer Lizzi Kew Ross – we have spent many a happy hour on train journeys sharing ideas and concepts as the sessions evolve.”

As well as hosting the Grand Finale, the Conservatoire will also be involved in a cutting-edge international symposium entitled Creative Ageing and the City on 20 September as part of the festival. Contributors from across the globe will unite to debate societal approaches and attitudes towards aging and share aspirations.

Trinity Laban’s Head of Community & Professional Development Kate Atkinson comments –

“Trinity Laban are delighted to be producing the finale event for Age Against the Machine, with 150 Lewisham residents contributing to the activities. The day will be a culmination of exciting projects bringing together people across the borough and a chance to celebrate older people’s creativity.”

Held in the cultural heart of Lewisham on Silver Sunday, an annual day of celebration of older people, the Grand Finale promises to bring different generations together to create connections and shared experiences, rounding off the festival with a bang.

To find out more, visit

To learn more about Trinity Laban’s Inspired Not Tired programme, visit

Image credit: Roswitha Chesher