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December 12, 2013

Now and Then – A Commission for A Million Minutes

Have you ever planned something that didn’t quite turn out the way you expected?!  Well, that’s what happened to me today!

 

Today was a very special day.  Having spent 3 months preparing since being commissioned in the summer by A Million Minutes, the performance day finally arrived. A small team of people gathered at the Alsen Day Centre on a bright but chilly mid morning to get things ready.  The sound guy, the video playback gal, the producer, the venue managers, carers, cake deliverers and kitchen staff, photographers and ushers. Everybody coming together to make the event a success.

 

My interactive work explored journeys travelled and lives lived.  The 7 elders were to perform a seated routine to music from the 40’s to the 80’s, sharing short stories from their lives and finishing with an improvisation of hands with feathers.  So at 2pm we were ready to go, dancers in their places and the audience sitting tight.

 

The recording of a discussion about how we use our hands for so many different things begins the performance.  But no sooner had we begun than a local nursery school arrived and like a choreographed procession, 20 children, some as young as two, joined the audience.  They were a fantastic group of children who watched with fascination.  Taking the opportunity as the piece came to the improvised section, I brought some of them on stage to play with the feathers and join in with the elders.  Their joyful squeals of delight as they joined in couldn’t have created a more apparent juxtaposition between lives already well lived and lives just beginning.  I hadn’t planned for it at all but a very pleasing end to my work “Now and Then”!

 

I hope you enjoy looking at the pictures (courtesy of Seb Lynch) and our short video (courtesy of Laura Brankin) that we created as part of the work.

 

 

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