Young at Arts - Feast of Music & Dance © David Lindsay

Celebrating Older People with free Weekends of Wonder

by aprilskipp on September 30, 2016


Yorkshire Dance, alongside many other organisations in Leeds and beyond, will be celebrating Older People’s Day on Saturday 1 October 2016 – an International Day established to recognise the achievements and contributions that older people make to our society and raise awareness of the challenges of ageing.

To coincide with the International Day of Older Persons, Yorkshire Dance will be running three Weekends of Wonder throughout the autumn consisting of free events for adults over the age of 55.

The first takes place at Yorkshire Dance’s base on Quarry Hill on Sunday 9 October. Older adults are invited to become the Company of Strangers to explore the themes of ageing in a comedic yet thoughtful performance created in one day. Friends and family are all welcome to the performance in the evening.

Over at the West Yorkshire Playhouse on Saturday 29 October, Swedish filmmaker Sara Lindström premieres her latest film Dancing On My Own, made with collaborators from Yorkshire aged 8 and up. York-based dance artist Sam Lawrence will also show Steady Past Your Grandma, Whilst She’s Dancing, a dance film featuring four generations of women in her family.

The final Weekend of Wonder of the season will take place on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 November. Older adults from across Leeds are invited to make a film in a weekend with the Writing Squad. This is an opportunity to work with young writers and film makers from the Squad, to be a writer, camera operator, actor, boom and grip.

To book a place on any of the activities, please call Yorkshire Dance’s Box Office on 0113 243 8765.

These free events, also including refreshments, are part of a larger project called Young at Arts.

Young at Arts is a 2-year project commissioned by Leeds Older People’s Forum and delivered by Leeds Education Arts Forum (LEAF), a partnership of Leeds Grand Theatre & City Varieties, Northern Ballet, Opera North, Phoenix Dance Theatre, West Yorkshire Playhouse & Yorkshire Dance.

Estelle Donohue, who has previously attended one of the Young At Arts Weekends of Wonder said “It was good to see so many golden age people enjoying themselves. It’s nice to know that they are not forgotten.”

Young at Arts is just one strand of Time to Shine, a 6-year programme recently launched by Leeds Older People’s Forum and funded by the Big Lottery Fund’s Fulfilling Lives: Ageing Better.

Fulfilling Lives: Ageing Better is a new programme that aims to reduce social isolation and loneliness amongst older people (50+). Leeds is one of the 15 Ageing Better areas, selected from an original 100. The project has received funding of approximately £6m and will reach at least 15,000 older people in the city.

A range of other Young at Arts programmes have been taking place in communities across Leeds since October 2015. Two are taking place now:

  • Yorkshire Dance is offering dance sessions for three months at Richmond Hill Community Centre (12 Sep – 19 Dec)
  • Opera North and Phoenix Dance Theatre bring a combination of singing and dancing to Morley Town Hall (19 Sep – 5 Dec)

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