Flowerfield Arts Centre hosts Alternative Energies performance

On Tuesday 28 March, our Intergenerational Dance Project, Alternative Energies, gave a short performance at Flowerfield Arts Centre in Portstewart to a lively audience of friends and family.

This project is part of DU Dance (NI)’s focus on intergenerational work celebrating how age is no barrier to dance and reflecting how historically dance has been a social gatherer of people of different ages and genders.

Alternative Energies seeks to address the lack of connection between the generations. The work is physical, impacting on participants’ general health and also very sociable which helps with feelings of isolation and bolsters mental well-being.

The piece called ‘Teranga’ has developed out of work which the group has been engaged in over the past seven weeks.  Material for the performance began as movement ideas for the class that were then further expanded for the stage. As always members of the group have brought themselves wholeheartedly to the process of making and creating work.  The weekly classes at the Ramoan Centre in Ballycastle are filled with great energy.  Dr Philip Johnson, who has been leading the group since it started in September 2021, says of the importance of the project: “There is great richness to be gained in an intergenerational dance class. It is a place of sharing between the generations that rarely happens outside the immediate family environment.”

Let’s hear from some of the audience at ‘Teranga’:

“Inspirational, Warm, Truly special for Ballycastle, Encouraging, Uplifting.”
“It was good. My grandparents were in it.”
“I thought it was pretty neat and Rita was very good.”
“The performance was very enjoyable and really relaxing as well as entertaining. Thank you.”
“Well coordinated and choreographed.”
“I thought it was lovely to see all the different generations dancing and enjoying themselves.”
“The whole performance was filled with joy, I loved it!”
“Tonight was very good I enjoyed it.”
“What a wonderful performance. It was fun, a joy to listen to! Congratulations Philip, you make a real difference to Ballycastle and area.”
“A great experience seeing so many faces that I knew from Ballycastle, the performers have enjoyed their dancing immensely.  Impressive!”

This is the second of three performances the group will deliver in 2023 and they are working alongside a filmmaker to record the process and performances as the group develops.