Denmark Arts Council community festival

Denmark Arts Council community festival

Doone McAlary

Denmark Arts Council’s community festival Brave New Works #23 held 3-6 November 2016 featured performances, exhibitions, community workshops, music, dance and artists’ talks.

The highlight of the festival was performance Living Testament, directed by Silvia Lehmann which was the outcome of a powerful two-year community process. The eight performers in Living Testament held the audience entranced as they moved around the majestic set of a large circular hand-crafted rug which morphed into a number of objects/props throughout the piece.

Participants in Brave New Works #23: Living Testament. Picture: Hazel Blake

The project was based on the lives of five women from the Bible. Their stories were woven into song, music, spoken-word and movement during a series of workshops in which a 100 + cross-generational women participated.

The workshops included creative-writing, set design, costume- making, music, drumming and theatre. Along with offering fabulous skills development and long lasting friendships, a safe space was created to explore past, present and future – as women and as community.

A Living Testament CD has been produced containing 10 songs written and composed by Denmark women. The CD will be launched at the Denmark Festival of Voice 2-5 June 2017, and is available for purchase from Denmark Arts Council.

Karen Atkinson wrote in the Denmark Bulletin November 17 2016 “…nothing prepared me for the beauty and power of this moving production. The fabric of cultural heritage, the weaving of stories, the stitching together of truths, the unpicking of the remnant of lives of Tamar, Rahab, Naomi, Ruth and Bathsheba in ancient tales seamlessly interwoven with contemporary women’s experience, provided the rich thread that connected the songs and stories written by the women in the months before the performance….”

Denmark Arts Council is a recipient of Royalties for Regions Creative Regions and Country Arts WA Core Arts Fund.

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