Empty Nester

Category: Docu-Dance

Company: Tommy Chavannes

Year:  2014





The increase in the elderly population and the political pressure to downsize, places strain on this group to move out of their familiar surroundings at an age when creeping memory loss is a real issue and many are beginning to experience the onset of dementia. My project aims to explore the relationship between memory and place through dance from the point of view of the elderly.

In the case of this film, which is a pilot for the project, I interviewed Maureen Gallagher who lives alone in her house in Newcastle upon Tyne. I interviewed her about her personal experience in the house bringing up her children and her relationships with walls and the rooms then and now.

Her daughter is the dancer in the film so she then interpreted the words of the edited interview. It is also an exploration of the interpretation of spoken narrative through dance which I am also interested in. Then I was able to make music that worked around the piece.

I am looking for males or females who live alone in a house that used to support themselves and their family. It would involve an interview with the participants regarding thier thoughts of memory and their home. Once I have completed the interviews I will edit the content and I will work together with a choreographer and contemporary dancers to translate the spoken words through body movement and gestures within the space of the homes and captured through film. The filming would take place within the home with complete respect and sensitivity to the space and home owner.