Company of Elders visit Galeri, Caernarfon
Galeri in Caernarfon hosted a visit from the internationally acclaimed group of older dancers, Company of Elders from Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London. After dance workshops with TONIC members, they gave a special performance which showed off the talents of this amazing group of older people.
The Company of Elders event was superb! Our TONIC members thoroughly enjoyed the event as well as the socializing aspect of their visit. The performance by the Company of Elders was very moving and uplifting.
Galeri now have their own older peoples dance group, CAIN, that performs regularly under the direction of leading Welsh choreographer Cai Tomos.
The Celtic Festival at Theatr Clwyd, Mold
The Celtic Festival celebrated new writing, showcasing three of the best new plays from Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. Gwanwyn provided opportunities for older people to see cutting edge performance from Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, The Lyric Theatre, Belfast and Clwyd Theatr Cymru:
The Monster in the Hall by David Greig. A comedy musical about a girl on the verge of a nervous breakdown. The play is performed with just 4 actor-musicians and the production style is stripped back to reveal storytelling fuelled by great writing, direction and striking performances.
White Star of the North by Rosemary Jenkinson. This new play marked the most famous year in Belfast’s history, 1912 – the year of the Titanic and the Ulster Covenant, signed in the city in protest against the third home Rule Bill to establish a parliament in Dublin.
Bruised, a new play by Welsh playwright Matthew Trevannion, directed by Kate Wasserberg. Set in Pontypool, it is a fierce, funny and beautiful play about family, courage and the legacy of violence.
Swansea Evening Post Theatre
Gwanwyn festival teamed up with the Grand Slam Theatre Company to present Cappuccino Girls by Mal Pope.
This musical was performed in The Swansea Evening Post Theatre. The space resembled a 1950’s coffee bar where the action took place around the audience instead of on a traditional stage.
Gwanwyn arranged a special matinee performance especially for older people from some of the more isolated parts of West Wales, who otherwise would have had difficulty getting to events. Some 150 older people attended the performance.
Gwanwyn took a bold step into stand-up comedy and worked with the Cardiff Comedy Festival to encourage older people to develop their comedy skills, resulting in a very successful night at the Glee Club in Cardiff Bay.
Comedian Matt Price worked with Gwanwyn’s budding stand-ups, helping them to further bust their comedy chops and take their work to a more professional level.
The programme culminated in a performance at Cardiff Library where the Comedy Campers were able to showcase how their skills had developed.
Some of the comedians who took part in Comedy Camp have gone on to perform regularly, including appearances on BBC Radio Wales, the Capital Age Festival on London’s South Bank, and at events for older people during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
Traditional Culture Event Butetown, Cardiff
Channel View Leisure Centre in Butetown, Cardiff hosted a special Gwanwyn day which involved women and children from the Somali, Yemeni, Sudanese, Indian, Bengali, Pakistani and other communities from Butetown. The multicultural event brought together food, music, dance and people of all ages in a celebration of the richness and diversity of life in Butetown.
The room burst with fun, energy and community spirit when everyone joined together to dance and perform music guaranteed to get you dancing – I defy anybody not to be moved!
Men Talking Project
The Men Talking project aimed to get the messages surrounding prostate cancer to older men in Wales. Using dance, music, song and personal stories the project worked with older men in traditionally male settings of choirs, rugby clubs etc to conduct workshops and performances as part of a wider health promotion campaign called Give 1000 Welshmen a Voice.
The project included workshops and performances with male voice choirs in Port Talbot, Porthcawl and Barry. The launch of the project, at the Senedd in April 2012, was filmed and can be viewed here:
Shake a Leg – Rubicon
Age Cymru and Rubicon Dance wanted to encourage increased leadership and development of dance activity for the benefit of older people in the community and engage them in regular dance sessions that were fun, social and promoted improved health and fitness.
A manual of information and resources aimed at encouraging dance practitioners to work with older dancers was created and accompanied by a two day training and awareness programme held at the Rubicon Dance Studio in Cardiff.
It featured –
- A workshop led by choreographer Cai Tomos, a renowned Welsh artist who has toured and performed worldwide.
- Challenges of working with older people with Lucinda Jarrett, Director, Rubicon Dance
- Performance by Cofio, an older person’s dance company from Maerdy and a presentation about their work by Cofio’s Artistic Director, Julie Evans.
- Performance and workshop with Nu Wave dance group.
- Working safely with older groups with Diane Amans, Community Dance consultant and director of Freedom in Dance.
- National Occupational Standards for Dance with Ruth Till, from the Foundation for Community Dance.