Creative development of "Sometime Soon"
In early 2023, myself and collaborators Dr. Kelli Dendle and Come Dance (Julie Chenery and Jen Price) applied for the Continue Creating Grant to support the creative development of a new show, Sometime Soon. We were successful in receiving funding and began a series of three creative development workshops with older adults from the Moreton Bay region exploring their stories of loss and attitudes to mortality.
The following contains a selection of documentation and outcomes from the workshops and rehearsals conducted between February and June 2023 at the North Lakes Community Centre.
For participants who stepped into the creative development process there were written exercises, deep conversation, reflections on death and dying, and stories told of loss and strength. Prompted by one participant's artistic journey of making her own coffin from plywood and handmade paper, we discussed practical details such as burial versus cremation. We looked at current wellbeing research relevant to all stages of life such as meaning-making, how we each make the world a better place, and cultivating the ability to step outside of goal oriented ways of being. We shared cups of tea and cookies, laughter, and occasionally tears.
We creatively explored the ways we make meaning and our personal values through the KITE process…
We moved our bodies and explored shapes, angles, repetition, emotion, range of movement, and storytelling tableaus. We worked through dynamic trust exercises and powerful experiences of physical boundaries and consent. We danced sitting down, danced standing and danced leaning against walls. We responded to prompts, music, a live flautist and choreography, and we moved through the space freely without instruction, to begin the process of discovering our own unique personal expression through the body.
At every workshop, new participants filled in a registration form. It covered physical health, emergency contact and photographic/media consent. Each time the group met, we acknowledged country, discussed housekeeping, and reminders for participants to move within their comfort zones and rest as needed throughout activities. We also spent time talking about emotional wellbeing and made support resources available for all participants.
Creative development outcomes for participants:
- built trust and rapport within the group by the sharing of food and stories, the creation of movement and dance pieces independently and in partners and small groups, learning how to respond to each other in ideas and movement/dance, and being seen as performers
- developed movement concepts relevant to individuals’ stories
- grew in awareness of their own bodies
- gained in competency and confidence in the physical expression of emotion and ideas
- committed to the ongoing rehearsals toward the final performance in June 2023
- engaged in vibrant discussions on current research into wellbeing throughout the lifespan focused on the concepts of meaning-making, disponibility and beneficence
Creative development outcomes for artist collaborators:
- delivered three creative development workshops that engaged with a total of ten participants from the Moreton Bay region
- built trust and rapport between multidisclipinary artists and discovered ways to integrate contrasting arts practices
- identified key themes relevant to participants
- gained in understanding of inclusive physical practices for participants with diverse abilities
- developed ideas for the original music score for the show
- developed concepts for the show structure including sound, movement, projection, set, lighting, props and costuming
- expanded local networks of artists working in similar participatory arts spaces
- developed promotional strategies for the show in the local community