News: Turtle Key Arts use dancing and singing to empower people at home with new projects

Turtle Key Arts are visiting the vulnerable, encouraging them to dance and sing in a Covid-safe way with their new projects Turtle Song Roadshow and We’ll Dance Again. During the pandemic, many community arts projects have been adapted to be held online. Now with restrictions easing, Turtle Key Arts wants to re-establish human connection with their new projects, which are free to all participants, and see dancers and musicians visit vulnerable people in West London, bringing live performance straight to them.

Turtle Key Arts in partnership with Amici Dance Theatre Company are running We’ll Dance Again. Amici is a unique company integrating disabled and non-disabled artists and performers, challenging conventional attitudes about disability and the arts. Members of Amici and freelance dancers are visiting disabled people in isolation in their homes, residential homes, special educational needs schools and assisted living. They are dancing together, in a Covid-safe way, offering the arts as a vital and rewarding escapism for these participants. The sessions are carefully planned in order to ensure all participants’ and workshop leaders’ safety during these fun and creative improvised dance sessions.

Turtle Song Roadshow sees music brought straight to those living with dementia to encourage a positive outlook through music for those affected by isolation and depression. This departure from the usual Turtle Song format, where people living with dementia and their companions come together for weekly sessions to write songs and put on a live performance, allows those who have been sheltering to experience Turtle Song from the comfort and safety of their homes. Professional composers and music students will visit people living with dementia in their own homes, residential housing and dementia units and day centres to create songs with the participants. Each individual can share their personal stories by contributing to the lyrics and melodies being composed, resulting in a shared filmed online performance by all the participants, musicians and music students.

Turtle Song is run in partnership with the Royal College of Music and English Touring Opera. We’ll Dance Again and Turtle Song Roadshow are funded by Arts Council England.

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