Rhiannon cast me in her other performance projects: Legacy, Baby, Last Dance on Earth and Inauguration/Trump. We’d discussed elder dance for some time and both agree that most performance dance for older people usually involves chairs and a lot of meaningless arm waving. Even when big name choreographers are brought in to work with an elder dance company they usually resort to the sitting-arm-waving choreography – descending to the lowest common denominator. There is little challenging choreography for groups of older dancers who can still run, leap and turn (although perhaps not quite as well as they did in their youth!). Rhiannon’s concept of Dissidents presenting an image of older dancers challenging what’s normally seen,therefore resonated with me and I was pleased to join the group.
What makes you a Dissident?
I’m my own person, caring less and less what others think of me. I’ve always said that throughout my life I’ve cultivated amiable eccentricity to make my third age performing life easier for others to understand.
What does the Voodoo Child piece mean to you?
Jimi Hendrix was part of my teenage and college years. Sadly, I never saw him live, but I was always aware of his music. I remember dancing to one of his tracks at the Art of Movement Studio (choreography by Henry Metcalfe) which was an unexpected and unusual choice of music at that time in the college.
Do you face any challenges in taking part?
Making my stiffening and aching joints behave the way I want them to i.e. as if I was still twenty! It was great to be part of the (B)Old festival at Queen Elizabeth Hall. We were treated very well and it was good to feel as if we were a company on tour. Any potential stage fright was alleviated by knowing the choreography so well. I enjoyed the performance and felt that I gave as much as I could. I think the spectators enjoyed us too! I hope that Rhiannon will continue to develop new work for us – perhaps one day we’ll have a full-length show
Written by Mary Cox
Photos by Clickska Photographer