Tuesday, 1 October 2013

The tango, the waltz, right and wrong steps

We've had a few weeks now at our new venue for the project making memories. Limecroft Respite Home in Oldham is a welcoming place to work, with friendly staff, a quiet room to run our workshops and heathy supplies tea and biscuits on offer. This week I worked with the poem written the previous week about dancing- and encouraged the participants to dance the words round the page in the form of a concrete poem. I created blank dance step instruction templates, which they filled in.

Phil and my approach has always been to try new creative exercises out- even if they might feel a little uncomfortable at times, we believe that without experiment and the option of failing now and again, we can't really learn. 

This is a respite home for people with dementia and some for people with dementia their writing and reading skills are deteriorating. One woman in the group also had a visual impairment- however she surprised and delighted herself and her visitor by what she could achieve with her writing with a little encouragement. It's about creating an atmosphere where we can take risks, a safe place where peoples achievements however large or small are celebrated.

What about the resulting concrete poems? I think they look beautiful. I enjoy the many ways you can read the poem, either the standard left to right, or you can follow from the word start, then follow the numbers 1 2 3.... Small steps, but each one carefully chosen, and for some, each word hard won.

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