Moving Together is a new project exploring loneliness and belonging. We are working in partnership with anthropology researcher Dr Bronwyn Tarr, from the University of Oxford.
Can we ease feelings of loneliness using movement and music? This exciting project looks at the nature of loneliness and belonging. Moving Together shows how shared experiences are important for personal and community health. Recently the issue has become more relevant as so many of us feel a sense of isolation.
Over the coming months we will be working with members of the public who are affected by loneliness and asking them to share their thoughts and ideas about how they feel. These will be turned into, drawings, movements, video and more as ‘seeds’ of inspiration that express their emotions. Choreographer Gemma Peramiquel and dancers will translate those seeds into short dance pieces (gifts) to soundtracks made by composer Quentin Lachapele. Film maker Michael Lynch will record these gifts to share online and combine them for an online ‘flashmob’ experience, bringing people together in synchronised movement.
Read this interview by our research partner Dr Bronwyn Tarr on HOW TO LIVE A HAPPY LIFE
Visit the Mind website for definitions and tips ABOUT LONELINESS
The Marmalade Trust founded Loneliness Awareness Week and have tools and tips online
Visit the campaign website LETS TALK LONELINESS
The NHS have an advice page about dealing with loneliness
Workshops / February-March 2020
We are working with people from the Archway Foundation, a charity for those struggling with loneliness. In a series of workshops, we have been talking with them about their life experiences and using creative tools, to think about loneliness and connection.
In a follow-up session with Archway clients we brought in researchers, music and movement therapists and performing artists. Together we explored loneliness and how the arts might help and support connectivity.
Seed Collection & Video Gift Creation / May-September 2020
We conduct interviews with participants, in which people of all ages share their experiences of loneliness and moments of connection. These voice recordings will inspire musical scores and choreographies that will be made into short video gifts. These ‘gifts’ will be returned to those who inspired the dances in the first place. All of the video gifts will be posted to an online platform, so that anyone can see the full collection.
Online Flashmob / October 2020
During IF Oxford, it’s time for everyone to join in and learn some of the ‘gift’ choreographies. Look through the collection and see which moves inspire you the most. Join one of our online tutorial sessions to learn each of the choreographies. Finally, everyone will come together at a specified time to dance simultaneously on the Zoom platform with the choreographers – they will see us all moving together in synchronicity, inspired by our own experiences and in our own spaces. The Flashmob will also be recorded for further use. Check out the festival website in due course, for timings and dates.
Short Film / October 2020
The next phase will bring together everything we have created so far to inspire a film on loneliness and belonging. It will be based on the initial interviews and workshops from earlier in 2020. Parts of the flashmob and video gifts will be included, and the soundtrack will merge verbatim recordings, soundbites and music elements. This film will be published on YouTube for a wide audience to access.
Evaluation / November 2020
We will be looking at all parts of the project in detail at the end, to understand what impact the creative process and all its outcomes, has on those taking part. We want to find out if the arts can play an important role in the alleviation of loneliness.
Stage Production of Dance Piece / January-March 2021
Once safe to meet again in person, we will develop a 20min dance piece inspired by all of the project elements. It will be a live performance from a diverse cast of dancers. After its premiere we hope to perform the piece at events and showcases. We intend to keep the conversation about loneliness going and raise awareness about the impact it can have on people’s health and wellbeing. We also want to celebrate belonging and how the arts can bring people together.