A BOLD Presentation

March 8 – 12 2017 saw the inaugural BOLD Festival in Canberra, Australia. The BOLD Festival, celebrating the legacy of Dance in Australia, is the brain-child of Liz Lea, dancer, choreographer and event organiser.

As a new comer to the dance theatre scene, a ‘mature mover’ (over 50), and facilitator of dance and performance, I was honoured to present and perform at the BOLD Festival.

The invitation came about through the successful project, “The Forging of Men”, designed and performed with 6 rural men, under the directorship of career theatre-maker, Sue Hayes.

The presentation to The Bold Festival was in the form of a short Pecha Kucha (powerpoint slides presented within 5 minutes). Below is the text to go with the slides. To enjoy the presentation, please open the slides and arrange them beside the text below

Slide 1 Cover slide: This presentation is about my recent journey into dance.
Slide 2 From my years of health work I recognised that a healthy community requires robust empathetic leaders who are the enzymes for bringing that community into integrity and discourse.
Slide 3 ACTUALLY being fully alive, being fully human, is a function of wonder, inquiry, creativity, and performance / action.

Novelty, the surprised recognition of a distinction, is the source of wonder and a vital ingredient for brain development and learning.

Slide 4 Performance is that we are in action in the world and there are witnesses.

Performance is where we get to become adults, leaders, and dancers.

Performance is the wonderful, human thing about life.

Slide 5 The performing arts can be a fantastic access for ethics and leadership training by:

·      supporting the empathetic imagination of the live of others and;

·      the possibilities of self as leader

through the conditions for wonder, inquiry, creativity, and performance.

Slide 6 Over the past 7 years I have designed human sized board games, as a fun approach to movement training, and a way of seeing the world through the body.
Slide 7 2011 – My first dance project with Jess Jones on the Atherton Tablelands.

The project was an awakening for me to the possibilities for facilitating dance theatre work with untrained people.

DANscienCE 2013 was an inspiration – a motivation to develop my own skills as a mature aged dancer, and find that breakthrough into establishing a community dance group.

Slide 8 Mastery – the ability to recognise and perform as by the finest distinctions as a function of performance before increasingly discriminatory witnesses.

Taking any age you were and any skill (technical or creative), plotting novel and masterful experience over time might give some indication of your actual neural and physical ageing robustness.

Slide 9 I have been creating small dance programs for the middle to older aged person for a few years. From that came a vision and a model for an inclusive dance training program that I call rEvolve with connotations for dance as transformative in life.
Slide 10 In my rEvolve program I work with several characteristics of training and design to allow the most embodied expression of an idea. The team works by building through exercises by collaborative feedback until eventually, there’s the performance.
Slide 11 I recently began to feel it is time for me to take a stand for a male culture that is authentic and embodied. At stake is the flourishing of our communities and nations.
Slide 12 In 2015, I found three men who were interested in attending work in dance / physical theatre . We called ourselves ‘Men in Motion’

We won a grant to bring theatre-maker Sue Hayes weekly from Cairns to Atherton to building a performance about our male identity

After we had commenced the development of the work, a further two men turned up, and so a performance was developed, “The Forging of Men”.

Slide 13 The men were, mostly, inexperienced in theatre, dance or any type of performance which gave us a perfect conditions to trial a ‘proof of method’ of the rEvolve model.
Slide 14 There was a moment in the project when Sue Hayes turned to the men and said, “Okay men, tonight you are going to touch each other.”

The contact exercises essential to physical theatre is another potential boon to a transformed male culture.

Slide 15 As the project progressed, one of the men told me, “You’ve been a bit bossy lately. I’m not enjoying myself.” The group conversation that resolved that tension showed up in the performance in what the audience saw about the team work.
Slide 16 I’m now facilitating two groups of about 12 dancers in total:

·      the all-men group for the contribution to male culture that could continue to make; and

·      there’s now an all-in group.



How to dream up a New Yorker cartoon caption

Cartoon for caption contest
Latest Cartoon in Caption Contest

The New Yorker cartoon editor threw out the challenge, can you, literally dream up a cartoon caption. Psychologist Deidre Barrett writes on the TED blog, How to dream up a New Yorker cartoon caption, how dreams can be used to unlock waking world problems and provide creative solutions.

Barrett writes: There are not all that many funny dreams, but at least three elements general to dream creativity can benefit cartooning:
1.  Puns: language use drops in dreams, but the sound of words plays a larger role relative to meaning,
2. The emergence of forbidden impulses: the sex and aggression that escape sleep’s indolent censor are fuel for humor, and
3. Bizarre juxtapositions: what our dreaming mind fails to label as “not making sense” will strike our waking sensibilities as funny.

Freud wrote in The Interpretation of Dreams of “visual representation”: the tendency of a verbal phrase to be represented by an image. Of Freud’s many punlike examples, the only one robust in a translation from German to English featured a sexual encounter in a car interpreted as “autoeroticism.” Many of the amusing dream images I’ve encountered are literalizations of idioms — a family’s “black sheep,” an ambivalent dreamer “straddling the fence,” and another finding herself and her husband “on the rocks.” A century ago, Winsor McKay’s famous cartoon strips, “Dreams of the Rarebit Fiend” (so named as the cheesy dish was said to produce weird dreams), illustrated  idioms showing up in dreams — as in a husband  ending up “in the dog house.”

It is not difficult to see how Barrett’s standard dream incubation instructions, as below, could be, with a little relevant modification, apply to any problem facing someone. Well, the experiment would be to try it out for yourself. Here are Barrett’s dream incubation instructions: and, I guess for other problems, replace “cartoon” with your problem. The key may be to capture your problem in a very concise and specific manner, such as a cartoon presents. Good Luck.

1) Place the cartoon to be captioned by your bed.
2) Review the cartoon image for a few minutes just before going to bed.
3) Once in bed, visualize the cartoon image in your mind’s eye.
4) Tell yourself you want to dream a caption just as you are drifting off to sleep.
5) Keeping a pen and paper–perhaps also a flashlight or pen with a lit tip–on the night table.
6) Upon awakening, lie quietly before getting out of bed.  Note whether there is any trace of a recalled dream and invite more of the dream to return if possible.  Write it down.