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A Tree a Tub and a Moment in Time completed regional tour of care homes

Wed 11 December 2019

Earlier this year, Yorkshire Dance supported professional Dance Artist, TC Howard, to raise funds from Arts Council England to realise her vision to create performance work for care home touring.

Supporting TC has deepened Yorkshire Dance’s research into the practice of dance in care homes and offered another strand of activity that compliments ‘In Mature Company’, a current Yorkshire Dance programme taking place in 9 care homes in Leeds.

A Tree, a Tub and a Moment in Time created by TC Howard and performed by Tamar Draper, Nuno Mesquita and Charlotte Watson was previewed at Yorkshire Dance’s Ageless Festival in October 2019 and has subsequently toured 4 care homes in Leeds. Yorkshire Dance is looking forward to supporting the development of this work for future touring. Continuing reading for TC’s reflections on the project:

‘A Tree, a Tub and a Moment in Time is a sensory, interactive piece of dance theatre designed and performed for people in care homes, inspired by the idea of bringing the outdoors in.

A world of its own, akin to a fairy-tale, A Tree a Tub and a Moment in Time is set in a place where life and magic co-exist. It provides a place of safety, where you are free to revisit memories and make connections. You are invited into the world; you sit on the edges of the grass and you feel movement all around, you can smell the flowers, hear the rainfall, the birds, and the rustle of a ball gown and the resonant notes of the cello speaking to you – like memories gently rising to the surface. An audience member said: “I felt suspended like time was all stretched out” and “the room felt so big.”

No two performances can possibly be the same because they are specific to each care home and influenced by the people that live there. As a performer the work asks you to be at your most responsive, to be honest, compassionate and to keep a reciprocal flow of negotiation with those around you.

Throughout the performance live cello is woven into natural sounds of the outdoors, emerging sometimes as fragments and accumulating into lyrical melodies. The cello itself becomes like a fourth performer; commenting, accompanying, supporting, travelling and dancing.

At one of the care homes a resident told a care worker that “this was like watching his life, it was like his life in front of him”. At the end of the performance we cleared the space and we looked back into the rooms where we had been, they were very different to the ones we had entered. The rooms had a palpable buzz about them, with chatter and laughter, dancing and connection and a sense of community.’

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