In 2016, the Community Dance Project headed to Rêvanous. This organization offers a range of services and activities with the aim of autonomy and social inclusion for persons living with light cognitive disabilities. The Rêvanous residences create a diverse community of people over 55 years of age or living with a functional limitation.
Dancer-choreographer Anne-Flore de Rochambeau and dancer Keven Lee led 20 workshops in 2016 and around a dozen in 2017. The project has allowed them to create a trusting relationship with the participants. The aim is to demystify dance, to make participants feel like they can move in their own way, to give them another perspective of their bodies and of movement as a way to escape and play.
At the start of the project, we invited participants to be inspired by concrete objects or daily activities.
The participants mostly wanted to do well, copy the dancers, locate the form so as to reproduce it. They very much wanted what they were doing to be recognizable by the rest of the group. The challenge was to bring them to distance themselves from the concrete, to seek out more abstract sensations or qualities. The performer-dancers then worked from abstract images or colours, as well as on the vocabulary to describe movements (slow, fast, heavy, light, fluid, in tension, explosive, suspended…). In the last few weeks, the participants developed more confidence to try new movements and to generate their own.
In the middle of the process, we reevaluated the primary objective to make a choreography with the participants in favour of a final workshop open to other residents in order to privilege the learning process and the qualitative development of the project.