A visit from a Canadian MA student:
On March 16-17, I spent two days with Fallen Angels for my research project in Theatre and Social Exclusion for my MA in Applied Theatre. Being a Canadian studying at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London, I was spellbound when Zoe Zontou, one of our visiting lecturers, gave us an afternoon of insight into the visceral recovery work the company does. What struck a deep cord that day was the idea that the act of witnessing stories through dance theatre adds authenticity, depth and connection to the recovery process while potentially reconfiguring cultural stereotypes of addiction.
I followed up with Zoe and she got me in contact with Paul, the artistic director. Before I knew it, I was on a train to Liverpool, and then on to Chester to meet the Monday group. Warm tea and warm hugs greeted me - it was like being at a kitchen gathering at home in Nova Scotia! After this informal check in, we quickly got down to business. Some of the group had been there for a few months, others only a few weeks, but it was apparent how much this work meant to them - dancing and being with others who wanted to dance. The emphasis was on moving in a way that felt good tempered with encouragement and the keen outside eye of both Claire and Paul planting seeds of performativity. The unity and support of the group was palpable.
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