Dance and digital arts at L’Arbresle hospital!

For over a year, L’Arbresle hospital has been asking residents of nursing homes to undertake an artistic project like never before: a moving, interactive mural!

By Martine Pullara

Formed by the L’Arbresle hospital (near Lyon), on a proposal from Prose Event and in collaboration with the Maison de la danse, Brings life to the L’Arbresle nursing home universe is an excellent project that impresses with its content and development duration (over a year). Challenge ? Create with Ehpad residents a moving mural projected on a large screen, made from a special workshop: choose a subject – it is a farm with its elements (animals, tractors, buildings, flowers, clouds, sun, birds, wheat, etc.) –, draw it , creating music, learning and dance moves that, through digital recognition, make every element of the fresco move. The whole was expanded with an exhibition of citizen portraits around text and photographs with public restitution that will see their apotheosis in May 2023 after a visual artist helped attendees paint a fresco on the hospital wall.

Put citizens in the position of artists

“Starting point, says artistic director Nathan Belfer, is personal project of illustrator Corentin Asproni “Bringing life to the Corentin universe”. He suggested that they make the picture animated and interact with them. We purpose is to put citizens in the shoes of artists, supporting them in the process of creating original work with multidisciplinary and digital art; to help them harness their memory, their imagination to bring a dreamlike and interactive universe to life. » The challenge is bringing citizens to digital. And therein lies the masterpiece of Events Prose because even if the project is considered digital art by the creation tools and restitution format projected from the fresco, the vast majority (pictures, music, movement, etc.) is live performance and visual art. Strictly digital parts, such as gesture recognition by certain software, have been adapted and simplified so that occupants understand what they are doing when they are in front of a screen.

A unique, multidisciplinary and intergenerational project

So, for several months, people from 60 to 99 years old talk, think, draw, dance, create sounds, coordinate their movements with the elements of the mural to bring them to life before our eyes. Calling upon many artistic practices, they have created a total masterpiece by participating in all stages of its creation. A new project on Ehpad! “Our people have shown what they are capable of, says Véronique Manillier, art therapist, head of culture and entertainment at the hospital. Many thought they could not draw, dancing scared them and they finally proved that even in a wheelchair, even in a reduced state, you can still do something with your body. When, by their movements, they made an element appear in the fresco, the movements were more powerful than if they had only been made to dance to the music. This movement is rewarded with the arrival of elements in the fresco and it is very powerful. »

Assisted by students 3e from the SEGPA section of the Quatre-Vents college in L’Arbresle, residents started with graphic work, then they formed another group accompanied by Nancy Coullandaye, music therapist, with patients in the day hospital to develop farm-themed sound experiments. “If in the beginning of drawing is the most important step, said Corentin, all steps follow. The acting body is also important because it is the movement that creates the image. To carry out a project like that you have to constantly adapt, it’s not always easy, you have to meet everyone and be very present. Most were having a hard time, they forgot from one workshop to another, but each workshop had brought them emotions and even if they hadn’t made a connection, they had left something unnoticed. »

Done as part of Culture and Health, this project illustrates our real commitment to vulnerable people, said Ghislaine Hamid-Le-Sergent, person in charge of cultural development at Maison de la danse. They are full citizens who have the right to access culture like any other.. It’s not a matter of simple animation but the creation of total masterpieces that start hospitals, caregivers, young people, residents, with an extraordinary mix of artistic proposals – plastic art, digital, dance, writing and photography – and, in that sense, it really unique. »

Dancing for the first time in the hospital

Choreographer and dancer, Constance Besançon dived headlong into this dance challenge for the first time with parents who, moreover, had never taken part in a dance workshop. Warming up, improvising, working mirror moves to relieve cognitive and auditory impairments, she accompanied them with two dancer accomplices (Florie Mongredien and Orégane Le Nir) in their body awareness according to their physical abilities, to teach them the movements necessary for the appearance of the elements of the mural. “Despite their difficulties, they are all volunteers, this has allowed me to develop my listening skills, concentration, coordination and memorization, as well as rhythm and releasing music. This project offers a lot of possibilities in terms of dance. » With Constance, bodies (like wheelchairs) storm the hospital in a joyous frenzy, to feel alive again, to allow themselves to go to pleasure beyond pain, to the memory of gestures, to rhythms recovered and forgotten in silence.. .

They are the epitome of the farm and each brings a part of their life together

By building this project, residents create another hospital. Turn it into a meeting place where together they bond, in full awareness, without knowing it or feeling it without being able to say it. Submerging it into the perpetual motion in which the being returns to its place, standing, hesitating, deforming, sitting, with something always shining within it. Among those we met, was Yvonne, her whole body moving, long, sinuous, wedged into her seat, her neck bent, concentrated into the tips of her hands. All the time telling himself that he is useless and that makes for an amazing picture. “That’s ours stir brain, she says, to work on this project, we managed to give life through images with our memories of farming, it’s not easy, but this is good. » Rose, shy, who never stopped wrapping herself around her, listened to her own vibrations and claps. “To make the dog appear I struggled because I couldn’t hear very well, my arm hurt, but I finally arrived”, he said proudly. Joël, unforgettable with his deep voice, his laugh, his laugh wide-eyed and good humor, sneaking into the middle of a chair dance to advance the farmer. “It’s light to dance all that. I stay in the chair, I’m happy. I live my dream here, I dance like in my dream, make it move, we go there will believe in farming, it’s funny but good! » And Marie with her enlightened and deep gaze, her body leaning on her cane, making tomatoes grow between the ground and the sky, waving her arms like a ballet dancer.

Starting an explosion of memories to leave memories to live on forever, they create their own farm, depicting their reality and imagination, digging into dreams of virtual blessings. Alternately light, tired, grumpy, distracted, engaged, smiling, happy. Welcoming this project in this place means showing thousands of lives and no longer hiding or embezzling them. It gives shape to stories, to journeys, to the joy of being there. They laughed, drew, and danced, revealing with amazement and pride the many forgotten or buried talents. Restores great self-esteem.

Together, and despite their fading memories, they have pieced together the bits and pieces of life to form a whole, a colorful and moving work forever etched in the hearts of the public and on the walls of the hospital!

Brings life to the L’Arbresle nursing home universe, restitution February 4 in the Médiathèque de L’Arbresle at 11.00 Open to everyone.

In April at the Maison de la danse.

Visuals: @Ghislaine Hamid

Posted in Art

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