Creative Connections – who is doing great work and where

Grand Gestures

Grand Gestures, group members pictured above, dance to enrich lives, theirs, and the people they visit in nursing homes follow their activities at:

Some of you met Grand Gestures Facilitator and celebrated Churchill Fellow, Paula Turner, in 2013, at workshops, for ACT Dance, in Brisbane, and community events organised by Enthusiasts living in: Texas, Stanthorpe and Warwick. We had a lot of fun as Paula introduced us to the transformative power of creative movement and dance. People who had appeared quiet, subdued and inarticulate, came to life, engaged with one another, played, laughed, danced, truly joyous events for all concerned.

Shared Reading Groups
A shared reading group is a relaxed space for people to read a short story, poem or part of a book aloud, reflect and then discuss it. The focus is on what each story means for the people in the group. Everyone is welcome to contribute their thoughts, feelings and experiences, but there is no pressure to speak unless you feel comfortable. In a shared reading group, there is no ‘right’ response to a book.

The group facilitator is not there to ‘teach’ anyone else about what they’re reading. Facilitators are there to help make sure the group’s discussion keeps moving, and that everyone who wants to talk gets a chance to do so.

This is what is so powerful about the experience of shared reading — it creates an immediate sense of connectedness and community.

Social reading activities stimulate thoughts, feelings and memories, enabling people to reflect, share experiences and meaningfully connect with each other.

Shared Reading NSW is based on the pioneering work of The Reader Organisation in the United Kingdom:

Improvised Dance

The Joy of Improv transformed into a rollicking troupe of actors, storytellers and singers through the wonders of improvisation.

Founded in 1989 under the artistic direction of Nancy Havlik, the Dance Performance Group is a small group of dancers and musicians who create improvisation-based pieces based on the stories embedded in our bodies. The ensemble is grounded in a sense of curiosity and in a taste for discovery. The finished performances take a sideways look at the world, out of the corner of the eye, “with a greater appreciation of the beauty of individuality, shown through the varying styles of the diverse performers” (Carmel Morgan, Ballet News).
Nancy teaches creative movement and inter-generational workshops for older adults under the auspices of AFTA. Her program Moving Art received a 2011 Met Life grant. In collaboration with artist Donna McKay, it presented a series of workshops for older adults combining visual art and creative movement.

Circle Dance is a very effective way of including people and giving them a real sense of belonging. The dance can be enjoyed sitting or standing (as you will see if you Google Pathfinders, Circle Dance), both can very effectively be done at the same time.