The Elders Ensemble of Prometheus Dance
“The Elders Ensemble, a formidable company of performers- all over 60,70 and 80 years young- reinvent dance as an emotionally provocative art form, one which embraces the spoken word as well as movement, one which can express the wisdom born from youth and lived through full life experience.”
Beverly Creasey – The Theatre Mirror
The Elders Ensemble of Prometheus Dance is a group of eight post-professional dancers ages 60-90. Formed by Artistic Directors Diane Arvanites & Tommy Neblett, they perform original dance/theatre pieces that tell of bittersweet stories of their lives as dancers, daughters, mothers and friends through movement, theatre and text.
The Elders Ensemble has been performing throughout the Commonwealth at theaters and venues for the general public since 2004 and has received a Gold Star Award from the Massachusetts Cultural Council for outstanding arts programming in the state. They have presented work at the State House in Boston for Transforming Violence (a celebration of the transforming power of art), Spoke of the Hub in Brooklyn, NY, The Multicultural Arts Center in Cambridge, annually at the Dance Complex, for Dance Month’s Tuesday’s at Noon, for a Governor Deval Patrick fundraiser, and at the Boston Conservatory. During August of 2010 the company was in residence at the Yard, an artist colony on Martha’s Vineyard, where the elders participated in workshops and began creating one of their signature works entitled Parish Blues.The Elders Ensemble provides free outreach performances at senior citizen community centers, healthcare, rehabilitation and assisted living centers for seniors who cannot travel to our concert venues.
Following each Elders Ensemble performance we hold a post performance discussion with the aim of reflecting on the work and gaining insight through audience perspective and feedback. Often the discussions address questions regarding dancer history, age, choreographic interpretation, performance experience, and relationship to one another. Most audience members are delighted and surprised at the power and beauty of these spirited women. Occasionally the content of the work brings about meaningful discussions which focus on social, psychological, or personal situation. The value of their age and depth of expression deepens our understanding of experience and life. The platform from which our elders perform is a gift to viewers regardless of age. The Elders Ensemble can teach us to cherish that which leads us toward old age. From elder to elder the message is to live life fully and express it honestly.
Dance has always been considered a young persons profession, but we limit ourselves when that viewpoint is taken. The Elders Ensemble moves us beyond those limitations by creating and performing movement that is physically challenging, emotionally provocative, and motivated by human history. It was formed to provide audiences and artists alike with a venue to express and experience the grace and depth of artistry that only elder dancers possess. Not only is this physically and spiritually beneficial for the performers, but audiences realize that youthful prowess is only one aspect of dance, and that the emotional weight and wisdom of the soul can only be obtained and expressed through the experience of living. The Elders Ensemble of Prometheus Dance is just that sort of opportunity. Several of the dancers studied with the founders of the modern dance movement (Martha Graham, Hanya Holm, Anna Sokolow, Jose Limon, Alwin Nikolais) and are a living link to the origins of the dance form.
The value of age and experience is vital to our understanding of life as a whole. From elder to elder the message is to live life fully and express it honestly.
The Elders Ensemble performs in theatre concerts and in outreach programs at retirement venues, senior centers, rehabilitation and assisted living centers. Since 2004, they have given performances at the following places:
Major Performance Venues
The Yard Artist Colony (Martha’s Vineyard); Spoke the Hub, Brooklyn, NY; The Boston Conservatory, The Dance Complex, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Outside the Box Festival (Boston Common); Oberon Theatre, Cambridge, Transforming Violence, The Boston State House (invited back for 2nd performance)
Retirement Complexes / Assisted Living Residences: Lasell Village, Newton; Orchard Cove, Canton; Cambridge Homes; Standish Village, Boston; Fuller Village, Milton; Brookhaven, Lexington
Senior Centers: Arlington, Belmont, Brookline, Ipswich, Milton, Needham, North Cambridge & Central Square, Somerville, Sudbury, Wellesley
Arlington Town Hall; Boston Alzheimer’s Center (invited back for 2nd performance); Cambridge Multicultural Arts Cen- ter; Lynn Arts Exchange; Hebrew Rehabilitation Center, Brookline; Wheaton College; Women’s Studies Research Center, Brandeis University, The Boston Conservatory
Joan Block, Eleanor Duckworth, Karen Klein, Julie Laevitt, Jennifer Lin, Sue Penney, Vicky Steinitz, Eliza Malouk
Dorothy Elizabeth Tucker, Alice DeLattre, Joan Green, Kay Gross, Anne Tolbert, Doris Millan, Marcie Mitler, Stella Penzer, Susan Lane, Sylvia Pope and Betty Milhendler
For booking information : http://www.prometheusdance.org/contact