Thursday, 15 March 2018

Marjorie Wilton..many thanks.....

I woke this morning with a heavy heart. Partly it's the prospect of greeting friends in Shallal who might not have heard of Marjorie's death until we meet this morning.
Sitting in the circle with our memories and our grief.

Many years ago early in Shallal we have a phase of grief: Marjorie's husband, Zoe's father Roy died, my mother died suddenly unexpectedly aged 59, Tim Churchman's brother Tony aged 14 died from an accident, he fell down the quarry in Newlyn, and Diana Morris' mother also died ( Diana was our first administrator/ supporter and all round inspiration, and set the bar for our ethos and beliefs).
It was a tough year!

Eileen Inge Herzberg another dear friend, who survived a heart attack and came back renewed and dancing, also died unexpectedly while travelling in India just over 10 years ago. We created our show Mind the gap in memory of her.

So, great art is often created in memory of people. What do we do to give thanks, honour them? It's early days.
We have been so grateful for Marjorie, in the early days of Shallal she was an unflinching support and continued to be. Right from our start she came with Zoe and loved it as much as Zoe did, making new friends, supporting and encouraging and available for every outreach, every show, utterly reliable. You can build wonderful things on that dedication and tenacity and Shallal was built on that.

In Shallal we often dance in memory of those we love. Mothers and Daughters was created for Marjorie and Zoe and Kathleen and Christie. I have been bringing the music out and sharing the simple instruction: 'dance for each other, one watches, one dances, take turns'.
I am daunted by thinking of rummaging through our thousands of photographs, as i know there are many gems of Marjorie, I'd like to find.

I haven't time yet and yet should try to before next Friday.
For now i think i will print out the information( dates and times for the celebration of her life and the cremation service) and 2 photographs for today and make cake ( again if i have time!)
In the tradition i live my life in, the day you die is your birthday into eternity/heaven and is remembered every year, with special prayers and koliva.
After Roy died Marjorie and Zoe who had such hard grief met Kerry Lawrence (who i then co-ran Shallal with). They met on a Sunday morning and Kerry said, "I'm going to church at St Peter's." Marjorie who was a staunch socialist had little time for such things before, however they went along and from then on St Peter's church and it's loving community was their home. Marjorie took care of all hall bookings and Zoe is a reader and server in the church. Marjorie once said to me, "dancing is prayer".

From my mothers death i learnt that you can only really see what someone gave and how many lives they touched when they are no longer there! However love doesn't die and they are with us, part of us reaches out to eternity where they are.

It was an extraordinary honour to be at Marjorie's death with Zoe, i never expected it. And an extraordinary honour and privilege to have spent so many years together in the family of Shallal.

Marjorie fought for what she believed in, she was in the local Mencap group for many years: fundraising, awareness raising, championing peoples rights.

Memory Line       

A washing line most people think

Is to hang out your clothes to dry

But mine is special, I peg on mine

My special thoughts, my hopes, my fears

A dried red rose from my wedding bouquet

My first mothers day card, specially made

A valentines card, some photographs from long ago

when I was young and slim

Such memories they bring me

My dreams, my hopes, my prayers

These are the things that you will find upon my washing line.

by Marjorie Wilton

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Marjorie, Benefit, Shows...

What a time recently!
Too early maybe to give a full tribute to Marjorie 
but this message from Linda sums up our feelings:

"My love and condolences to all Zoe, family and friends and those of us in Shallal, I know everyone will be touched deeply by Marjorie's death she was such a lovely person, and we were all blessed to know her." 

It was blessed peaceful death but none of us wanted her to go!
It was a privilege to be there with Zoe and her brother Robert.

I've just listened to snippets of Walk upon Wonders songs on instagram. I have some wonderful photos of Marjorie and Skye who were good friends in Shallal and rehearsed and performed together.
So, Zoe sang to Marjorie 'Goodnight Sweetheart', one of Marjorie's favourite songs and i sang a prayer before we left and we went from the hospital to to Skye's benefit, more singing!

It raised £99! had audience of approx 35 constantly and about 50 throughout...thank you to everyone involved!

Which was a good place to shed some tears and see friends. What wonderful music! feel honoured and privileged to hear such good up and coming artists...and as we were leaving Zoe drew a portrait of Marjorie.

Zoe dedicates her art and dances to her father who died many years ago and has immediately started creating work in honour of her mother

So the next show is, Faces,  2 rehearsals left and some good ideas and tunes....brewing...

and i am writing this blog i need to fill in Russian visa forms, apparently the talk has been advertised now! Oh help! thankfully my dear brother has given me some advice about presentations?!
I have always wanted to write the 'truth' not the promotional advertising eg. "We are half way through rehearsals and hope it will go ok, come along to the finished show and see what you think!"
However here is Jo Lumbers beautifully, as ever, written press release for our ( currently half rehearsed, hope it will be ok, trust in the performers,) show...

Press Release for Shallal2 performance  ‘Faces’
Wednesday 28th March at Falmouth Art Gallery

Beards and bonnets, young and old!
Falmouth based performance group Shallal2 have created their latest show, entitled ‘Faces’, based on the many characters who currently grace the walls of Falmouth Art Gallery.

The gallery’s exhibition, ‘Faces of Cornwall’, displays a wonderful range of portraits by artists including Henry Scott Tuke and Charles Napier Hemy, plus automata by local makers Fi Henshall and Keith Newstead. Depictions of inventors Henry Trengrouse and Humphrey Davey sit alongside local characters Jack Rawling and Tuke’s housekeeper Mrs Foreacre.

Shallal2 have devised dance and drama pieces that explore the paintings and the people who feature in them.  This new work incorporates live and recorded music, spoken word plus an array of hats and moustaches!  The company is made of children and adults, with youngest member just three years old.

‘Faces’ will be performed at Falmouth Art Gallery on Wednesday 28th March at 6pm. All welcome and the performance is free.

and an end of project survey for Wheal Martyn..
and ...

St Agnes library show next Friday 23 March daytime...still awaiting timing!

Blackwater booked in....

and an email this week from dear Wolfgang.

Monday, 5 March 2018

Book to Wolfgang.... thanks Demelza

Demelza and Zoe both went to Amici's recent Open Workshop, at the Lyric Theatre, London.
Demelza kindly delivered a present to him, a copy of Shallal's Celebrating Heritage Book, which he looked through every page of...
Thanks for the photos Demelza.
It is good to have something non-digital as a memory of our work, thanks again to the artists involved in compiling it and creating the work within it.
Here's to making more!

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Writing /avoiding and FACES by Shallal 2 Wednesday 28 March

Time to turn to the blog.
I could look at it as a place to practice writing and i still need to grapple with writing as an art form, I'm happy to give time and wait and work on dance etc but somehow i think writing should just come out ok first time, which it doesn't often, i usually have to reverse most of my sentences! and add in lots of words to make sense!
Sequencing is not my strength, more that 'circular and peripheral' vision.

However this blog is also a place to share and celebrate.
Fantastic to have done the Exhibition and have the Book in our hands and watch it finding it's way to other people.

Shallal 2 show percolating, very short notice but some fun stuff coming along for ...

FACES by Shallal 2, Wednesday 28 March Falmouth Art Gallery 6pm free

Zoe Osmond is making a poster.

I am here as i need to think about preparing a lecture/presentation for the Tretyakov Gallery i had to cancel the first date due to family illness however they got back to me asking for a later date so we hope to go...finger prints and all for visa, you have to go to London for this!
I've only ever done a 10 min provocation, and though i like people and talking! i am not sure talking to people in that format is a strength, however good to try?! impressed by their mission statement.

I do want to get the work/ethos out there. I looked online and found lots of good centres/organisations nearly all just geared for one or two groups of people and not working together in equality. I love the sharing and the fact that many people have used Shallal constructively for their own art pathways/ careers and they are not 'disabled/labelled.'

Rory - Tate and USA solo show
The Unspeakable Rooms written by Alaric Sumner and performed by Rory McDermott, Battersea Arts Centre, London, 1998
Ziggy - back into music teaching
Caroline - now co-runs Inner Ground Dance co...
Marie Ann Green Possum - painting dancers
George - more performing and working with No Ordinary Theatre company
Star - improvised dance in Bowie Lounge
Demelza - exploring inclusive dance in Barcelona
Anna - Art diploma
Skye - Music diploma,
Zoe - Foundation Art

Then report/information needed for funders via Barbara, i am usually too impatient to sit easily and help compile the information, so glad to have Victoria to work with on this!

Then our new R&D to write up for application/s, writing applications is hard for the creative process as you go further then your creative self would like to, it anticipates the unknown sometimes it can be good as it drives you but other times you have to work hard to find it again, it's as if the idea/ creativity has been birthed/given away, too early.
There is less room for the quiet voice anymore and that is what art has to listen to.
"Dreaming and Scheming."

As someone who really enjoys process i have enjoyed "Only Artists" on Radio 4, when i have heard it. It's reassuring and comforting to hear about how people struggle and approach creative work.

Friday, 9 February 2018

book day and news

The BOOK is here and there is so much to talk about!
Had a chance to look at it slowly last night and got the approval of family, my first audience and valued critics, so grateful to them for putting up with me!

Love to Victoria and George our compilers and editors, (a mammoth task) who sadly can't be with us today, George maybe in the air flying home!

Pep and Molly in rehearsal with Demelza (hand waving!) Zoe and Kerry behind
A big day today balancing all the events within the event!
Our last 2 shows were full of group dances, thats a lot of us in a company of up to 30!
When i first envisaged this event i thought a few solos dances and poems..
now it is 20 mins of highlights from the shows with 12 dancers, 2 poets with BSL by Demelza and a set by Skye Anna Mackay, we have so many talented musicians around.

The young group of friends in Shallal Dance Theatre of Anna, Annis, Skye and Aaron are back in the radius at present:
Anna has helped curate the show
Anna & Annis's book is getting good reviews...

sneak preview of Shallal's new book! sorry no natural light so dark image, dawn is nearly here but not quite
INHABIT by Anna and Annis is a limited edition print of 3! although requests are coming in
compared to our new book Celebrating Heritage 100 copies!
looking forward to giving company members their free copy - it will sell at £15
Skye is putting on a benefit for us as part of the end of her course
 "I am organizing a live acoustic music event in the Falmouth Art Gallery, which is towards my final project on my music course and, we would love to dedicate the evening to raise money for 'Shallal' as a thank you from me, for having such a great childhood by being apart of Shallal. 
The event will be 4pm - 6pm oSaturday the 10th of March. 
The music will consist of my duo and two supporting musicians. My duo will be performing all original songs, so what we perform will be new and exciting material. 
I would love for you to be there and everyone at Shallal to come along and enjoy the evening."
and Aaron is back in the company.
Recent email.....
"have just been to see Shallal’s show – it’s glorious, every single bit – well done to everyone involved!"
Cat Gibbard
Programme Curator
Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange


Lots of exciting things coming up..
snap shot through some of my week.....
Tuesday Lou and i chatted about our next bid for research and development in improvisation and performance spaces and audience!
Wednesday Zoe O is writing an application for Shallal 2 - thank you Zoe.
Shallal 2 went to Falmouth Art Gallery - some lovely photos to share soon, wonderful portraits to respond to for a, made in 4 sessions! show
21 March 6pm
Conversation with Nigel re new studio use

Esme in front of portrait she liked in Falmouth Art Gallery

Thursday meeting with Jo and Brenda from Continuum dance they saw SDT show at HFC and want to work with us!
in the background....researching Visa application so i can go to Moscow to Tretyakov Gallery Festival? will it all work out in time? hope so

Debs and Colin got to work, on Wednesday for EY and FAD, through the snow, Colin and Kerry are working on another application for the Penzance OH group.

Eddie has been away from SDT for a few weeks working hard for an exhibition but keeps in touch, he sent me this photo of some of his work, which i wanted to share with you.

Friday, 2 February 2018

Doorways Exhibition and from gallery to gallery news of Russian trip!

An old blog unposted......
It's a wonderful thing to work with a good team and thank you to George and Victoria for creating the book with design consultant Jonathan How.
They are working so hard and still keeping me in the loop!
Barbara Santi's initial idea to develop the 2012 show into this amazing project, really paid off and we have many other people to thank along the way! The book is creating a pressured but interesting space for this reflection. 
It highlights the benefits and disadvantages of working from home and self employment, and working with an indecisive and scatty creative director with a very poor filing system!!
We always intend to archive and then something more 'present' comes along, we have been refused an application which could have revoluntionised our systems but, 'heyho and on we go!' and thank you to everyone who has to put up with me!
Yesterday we watched a film of the show, thank you Lou, and Steve came in to finish portrait photos.

Jonathan by Steve Tanner

I have been searching back through this blog which works well as a memory and diary for us.
George is off to America for 3 weeks! i have been doing my Book Homework and an old friend has an invitation to Russia for me, and maybe in the future some of the company! fingers crossed it will happen and off to Moscow Tretyakov Gallery for a talk and showing films! at the end of March. I hope to take Anna with me...

Todays blog:
from one Gallery to Another:
Anna and I head of to The Exchange Gallery Engine Room today to hang the Doorways Celebration Exhibition with dear friend Oli Raymond Barker. Oli has been part of a collaborative group exploring work at Back Lane West residencies over 3 years! and is a beautiful sensitive photographer,
(he and his wife Zeph also used to lodge with us in our Blue Hut - small world).
He also happens to be a technician installing exhibitions at various galleries, so are looking forward to working with him. And as you have probably realised if you read these ramblings, i need people around me with patience and skill to translate what i try to do and say!

So yesterday after having struggled to write a short Resume of Shallal and myself?! for the Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow,  
(this required asking another child to help me, Mary is 23 and has a degree - i can see how family businesses start! - she kindly gave me notes and feedback).
I heard back that they will pay for my travel and visa, they are holding a festival 26, 27, 28 March, we will stay with our good friend Olga Klodt who is an icon painter. 
Her work was included in Modern Icon Exhibition held in 1989 in the Znamensky Cathedral in Moscow and she now teaches in Moscow and Jerusalem.

 Love the first Value of the Tretyakov Gallery which is.....
"We believe that art, enlightenment and creativity change people's lives for the better."

The gallery holds some of the most famous of Russian icons

and also one of Anna's favourite artists at present:

Yesterday afternoon while Colin was mounting drawings, Zoe and Toby were involved in last minute art!
The best often comes at the last and i take comfort in having heard that Turner was still 'painting' his paintings that were already hung just before an exhibition!

So off we go with packed car to see which treasures we can hang!

Excited for next Saturday:
 to hear dear Skye sing, always a treat, she will perform for 20 minutes, 
we also have approx 15-20 minutes of dance extracts from the shows 
and some of the wonderful poetry 
throughout the 2 hour opening!
As well as the book!
                                 Thanks to The Tanner Trust for funding the book.

Hope to see you there!

I uploaded this, checked my emails and found helpful information from George about film loops, ending with this....short video of:

...(George) throwing a pan of boiling water into -17 degree bone dry arctic cold Minnesota air!....... 

I love the blog for being able to share this with you to!

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

AMATA show audience responses

Steve Tanner photo from HFC...Toby, Pep, Colin and Anna behind boat.....i do feel privileged to work with these crazy peeps!
So here we are after a successful show - Many thanks to all behind the scenes:
James and Nick (and team) at AMATA for support: parking, ( a big thing with so many of us coming from all directions) organisational and technical and just making our whole visit smooth and easy. Victoria, Bea, Anna, Annis and Nigel and all the company and Mike for emergency delivery!

At the end of each show we ask our audience to fill out evaluation forms for us and our funders.
I received a lot of positive feedback from the audience straight after and people wanting to join!
Lovely to have Dot with us who spearheaded our first ACE application for this project and hadn't seen the fruits of her labours...
Fantastic to have Tamsin there from Heritage Lottery!

It's the flu time of year, so Victoria has taken a well needed late break and i'm laid up at home but enjoying rereading responses and digesting the show.

1. Did you enjoy the event?
Yes a lot = 34    Yes a little = 1

2. Why?
Lots of talent and enthusiasm. A range of emotions
An innovative way of communicating a story
Creative, original, emotional, inclusive, beautiful
So many reasons, difficult to write
Made me smile, warmed my heart. Gave me Joy.
Sheer Joy!
The music and dancing was attractive
Moving, Fun, great entertainment Brilliant
energetic, vibrant and filled with passion and drive
To see such life affirming expression from such an evidently committed group was joyful
Such diversity & and a joy to watch everyone enjoying performing
It touched my heart
Not something I usually see in Cornwall - very refreshing.
Because it is all so sincere and your hard work shines through
inclusive and magical
it was very entertaining
Moving, funny, beautiful, wonderful!
The soundtrack was brilliant, the story was interesting and the sense of humour was good.
It was a fantastic performance
surprising, varied, graceful, risky
the enthusiasm of the performers
it was a modern take on an historical event and was hugely entertaining
Good historical stuff
very moving
Excellent dance movement
Very dynamic and enjoyed the flexibility
It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me want to dance!
Entertaining, good music & encouraging cast members less fortunate to take part
So much talent and enthusiasm
It was agood balance between verbal and non verbal ways. I liked the poetry side a lot. Although i couldn't capture the whole piece cuz of English not my mother tongue. I'd like also to see more of freestyle movement. red & pink (poem) is top

3. Have been to a Shallal event 
Often = 9,     Rarely = 6,    Never = 15     with Twice = 2 and Yes = 1

4......Did it highlight any heritage themes?
Yes a lot = 22,     Yes a little = 6,      Not sure  = 1

5. ........Did it increase your understanding of inclusive arts?
Yes a lot  = 28,       Yes a little = 3,       Not sure = 1

6. .......would you come to a Shallal event again?
Yes a lot = 30,         Yes a little = 3

Any other comments....
Amazing! Thank you!
Inspirational - Anything possible
Perhaps the poetry written performances could be published - may raise funds
Well done to all!!
Thank you - very much enjoyed the performances
The disabled actors performed brilliantly
We would see again
Just a lovely event, Well done Heritage Lottery for supporting this.
Exceptional performances by everyone
It makes me want to dance again
Keep going it's a joy
Keep up the good work
You should get writing published
a tremendous beautiful bit of theatre which brought a tear to our eyes and a smile on our lips
the story telling and the music are both beautiful and enchanting
Nice to see these young people included and happy
Well structured
Moved through all the emotions form laughter to tears. Astounding
Wonderful! Authentic! Moving! Delight to witness! v. talented!
I loved the show, thank you so much!
looking forward to seeing you all again
Thank you very much! I enjoyed the warmth of the circle, it feels a lot and I to me it is the most beautiful thing about Shallal.

"Thank you so much for the Shallal show on Friday night.
The standard of the work was so high and I was immediately lost in the creative world of the dancers.
Its a great achievement with such a big and varied cast.
I love the Passmore Edwards story, and find it very moving; the elevation of people regardless of who they are - its so timely now, with the library funding cuts, but also more broadly in this culture of money and power.  And the Godolphin work is so steeped in atmosphere and history. It speaks volumes for the time spent on research and for the collaborative devising process, to create something so abstract and poetic and yet accessible to an audience."