Seashore is a new Sally Chance Dance performance project with and for young children aged 3 and under, including babies. Seashore will be created and performed by the children in collaboration with their adults, and with professional artists for presentation in DreamBIG Children’s Festival (Adelaide, May 2019).
The information below is for families, parents and carers who might like to bring a baby/ child or group to participate in workshops or attend the performance.
>> Please read on for more.
From Sally Chance -
My belief, based on many hours of spending time through my artistic, education and peri-natal infant mental health work with babies and very young children, is that they have skills that are ideally showcased through a live performance. This is because they are curious, observant, in tune with the rhythms of communication and hard-wired to seek out connection with the adults around them and with each other.
This belief is supported by recent developments in cognitive science, which have transformed the way we view babies and very young children from being ‘blank slates’ to powerful agents in their own lives, with the support of their secure adults.
In her book ‘The Philosophical Baby’ (2009. New York: Picador), American cognitive scientist Alison Gopnik argues ‘for a new view of … fundamental philosophical ideas (such as imagination, truth, consciousness, identity, love and morality) based on babies and a new view of babies based on these philosophical ideas.’
Similarly, the goals of my company’s dance work are as follows – we are looking for new ways of making performance, which meet and communicate with very young children, and a new view of very young children based on the wonderful ways in which they respond to these performance works.
Seashore will be a 35-minute piece of dance-theatre, presented with live music. From mid-March we will meet weekly (Tuesday mornings) for a Dance Play Lab at the Restless Dance Studio in Adelaide. Our Dance Play Lab will be as child-led as possible, however adults are invited as artistic partners with their children into the heart of the creative action.
Three professional artists – dancers Steve and Felecia and musician/ composer Heather – will also be involved. Steve, Felecia and Heather will create fragments of performance directly inspired by the content created in the lab to then ‘play back’ to the group the following week. In this way, the show will be created by the families, by the artists and by everyone together, ready for presentation at DreamBIG Children’s Festival.
Dance Play Lab – Weekly Workshop Details
The culmination of our pioneering journey will be four scheduled performances as part of DreamBIG Children’s Festival. Figuring out how this might work for young families is really the nub of our project, so my goal is to be highly organised but incredibly relaxed about it. We’ll talk about it as we go. The festival performances are: 24, 25, 31 May and 1 June 2019.