Watch this space for news, resources and images from current and past Inspired not Tired performances and projects.
Each year during February half term at Trinity Laban, academic timetabling comes to a halt for students to take part in Colab, a two week celebration of collaboration and creating new work. For the first time this year a group of Trinity Laban music and dance students joined forces with Voices in Motion for a project exploring artistic identity across generations and the idea of an exchange with the unknown.
The week began with an initial workshop involving TL students, Voices in Motion and members of the general public at the Tate Exchange space on floor 5 of the Tate Modern, where Trinity Laban hold a 2 year residency. The group then worked closely across the remainder of the week to develop creative material which was shared at the Laban Building to the Colab audience on Friday 24th May.
"This week has been about the coming together of people, meeting for the first time and the joy that comes from getting new friendships and new relationships forming." (CoLab Student)
"It was nice to have that opportunity to go from ideas and to think it through and to know how that works and it’s just really great to be with students." (Voices in Motion Participant)
'"What I’ve learnt is that no-one is not creative- everyone has an idea, it’s just about recognising something in yourself and revealing it and doing it" (CoLab Student)
Over the Autumn term, The Befrienders have been busy working towards recording their first EP featuring 2 original songs written and arranged by the group and 2 covers. The two originals, ‘What, you too?’ written by Avril Sydee and ‘If you can Breathe’ by Cynthia Dunn have themes of long lasting friendship and motivation at their heart. The group spent the day at Blackheath Halls with our recording technician, and like true professionals got all of the songs in the bag in just 3 hours! The full EP will be available soon on Soundcloud.
“Overall being a part of this project has changed my life completely and has inspired me to keep going. I know that I will live on through this recording long after my lifetime. My great grandchildren yet to arrive and generations to come will be aware that this 84 year old woman has made a recording for the first time.” (The Befrienders Participant)
Participant voice is something we value above all in the delivery of Inspired not Tired in order to inform the direction of the programme. That’s why a steering group was set up to invite representatives from all four groups (The Befrienders, Boundless, Voices in Motion and Young at Heart) to give their suggestions and opinions on elements of the programme such as future performances or projects, marketing, events, joining up between groups and anything else they would like to bring to the table. The group will meet with Learning and Participation project managers once a term.
The Befrienders have had a busy summer term with two trips out to perform at local venues. In July, they visited Commonside Community Centre in Mitcham to perform and sing with a group of older adults who attend their daily lunch club for over 55s. Led by Natasha Lohan, both The Befrienders and the older people and staff of Commonside thoroughly enjoyed sharing songs together.
In July 2016, Voices in Motion visited the Horniman Museum and Gardens to perform their new piece, This is Where I Long to Be; a vibrant collection of snapshots from the music and dance landscapes of Brazil, from Jongo to Capoeira and Bossa Nova. The piece was supported by lead dance artist and Choreographer Bethan Peters and composer and singer Natasha Lohan. It was also supported by flautists Lisa Bannon and Amanda Fathers from Trinity Laban’s Teaching Musician postgraduate programme. This performance was part of Festa Julina, The Horniman’s Brazil summer season launch and was attended by 5000 people.
This year, following consultation with our group membership and a vote from a shortlist of suggestions, we are delighted that members have chosen Inspired not Tired as the new name for our older people’s music and dance programme. Members told us they wanted a name that reflected the energy and creativity of the programme and we think Inspired not Tired does just that!
We also each group the opportunity to review its name and we can now reveal our groups for 2016 will be:
- Boundless (formerly 'Dance for Health')
- Voices in Motion (formerly 'All Singing All Dancing')
- The Befrienders (formerly 'The Arts Befriending Group')
- Young at Heart (no change)
In May our Arts Befriending Group were invited to take part in Entelechy Art's food themed 21st Century Tea Dance at the Albany Theatre. The group performed alongside the newly formed choir from Meet Me at The Albany, a social and arts group for older people who meet at the Albany every Tuesday. The event featured an eclectic combination of live baking and ventriloquism. See photos from the event.
During the Spring term 2016, Trinity Laban practitioner Zoe Gilmour and second year trumpeter Sarah Owens worked with Young at Heart and year 11 pupils at Brent Knoll Special School in Lewisham. This intergenerational project aimed to bridge the gap between older and younger generations through the sharing of perspectives, creative ideas, music and visual art. See a collage of resources and outcomes of the project, including recordings images.
"I feel like young and old sometimes don’t know how to communicate but this has helped us to understand each other better." (Young at Heart participant)
For the second year running we were delighted that The Arts Befriending Group were able to team up with students from the Trinity Laban Vocal Department to perform some of the great song-writing collaborations of the 20th century. With numbers from the Swing era, through the Sherman's Mary Poppins, to a selection of classic Hal David and Burt Bacharach hits the concert had the audience singing along.
"I felt very lucky to sing with them, it felt really special, especially as you could feel how much they loved singing the numbers!" (Trinity Laban vocal student)
Read more from Lizzy Green (Inspired not Tired Project Co-ordinator) about all of our Spring term activity on the Trinity Laban blog.
In October 2015, our All Singing All Dancing music and dance group presented a performance, presentation (by Kate Wakeling, Trinity Laban researcher) and discussion event at Greenwich Dance that focused on what taking part in arts activity in old age really means to group members. The event combined live music and dance performance with film and was showcased as part of TCCE's Inside Out festival, celebrating the contributions of London's Higher Education Institutions to the capital's cultural life. See some of the social media buzz that surrounded the event.
"Lovely to see such committed performers! The inclusion of the film was great and it was a beautiful example of collaboration and creativity overall" (Audience member)
"It was very enlightening to hear just how empowered it made the participants feel." (Audience member)
As part of the celebration of International Older People’s Day on 1st October, Dance for Health and All Singing All Dancing were visited by ten members of The GOLD Company, from Canberra, Australia, for a day of sharing work and dancing together at the Laban Building. Read more from Lizzie Croucher (Inspired not Tired Graduate Intern) about the Gold Company’s visit on the Trinity Laban blog.
“Delightful to watch and hear … they also integrated some of us in the performance. We were truly entertained” (All Singing All Dancing participant reflecting on the GOLD Company’s performance)