Over the festive period the we joined forces with a range of artists, dancers and circus acts to deliver performances at care homes across Haringey.
We called the initiative ‘Little Window Therapies’, as social distancing requirements meant performances took place in the gardens of the homes, with residents and staff sat safely inside.
Little Window Therapies is part of our ongoing Creative Learning programme that uses the arts to educate, inspire and entertain people.
One of the Little Window Therapies contributors, Jordi Ripley, who along with Armengol Miranda Trujillo perform as duo Absolutely Radishing, explains more:
Our performance backgrounds are different. Armen has performed aerial silks for many years in locations ranging from Gran Canaria to Ireland. I have performed aerial rope at festivals, but my main experience is in contemporary dance. We met at the National Centre for Circus Arts (NCCA) and have enjoyed collaborating together, mainly in the medium of theatre and clowning.
Being BA students at NCCA has given us various opportunities to put our ideas forward and when Ally Pally wrote this wonderful concept for Little Window Therapies we just had to be part of such a brilliant cause. So, we put out heads together and our combined skills and came up with a clowning and acrobat partnership around the idea of gardening, hence the name ‘Absolutely Radishing’.
Niether of us have done anything like this before. The idea of street performance has always interested me and we just felt it was such a good idea. It was also as good a time as any to dive in and create.
Our performance was based on the idea of being rubbish gardeners, here to do work but getting distracted by the audience behind the windows. Using a variety of different gardening props to balance, throw, drop and generally cause mayhem with snippets of dancing and Acro in-between.
We did two shows, outside two different care homes. Both were completely different spaces which was a good challenge to be able to quickly adapt to the space given.
The highlights for me was when the window was forgotten and the idea that we were separated by a window left our minds. Moments like throwing a tennis ball to an audience member and them trying to catch it, or placing our hands on the window as they did the same from the inside. Blowing kisses, waving, waving handkerchiefs and smiling at one another truly did bring such warmth to us as performers and I hope to the residents of the care homes and staff too.
Being part of this project feels very important as I believe more like this needs to be going on around the country, forming those connections that has sadly been lost recently due to covid-19.
Find out more about Alexandra Palace’s Creative Learning programme here
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