Parasol Public – Ana Gallardo: A place to live when we are old

9 - 15 July 2012

A place to live when we are old is an inter-generational, dance-based piece by Argentinian artist Ana Gallardo. It was created in collaboration with  Ramiro Gallardo and Mario Gomez Casas as part of the foundation’s project Parasol Public. Bringing people of all ages together through dance, this week-long event at Bishops Square, in the heart of London’s Spitalfields, sees three mature, amateur dancers from Mexico offering demonstrations and lessons of danzón, a typical Mexican dance, to members of the public.

The site-specific project premiered with great success at the 29th São Paolo Biennial in 2010. For its London debut, Ofelia Martinez Herrera, Concepcion Marvan Pale and Lucio Romero Rojas, three dancers in their 70s, give presentations of danzón and encourage the public to join in. A place to live when we are old takes place on a purpose-built dance floor in Bishops Square with accompanying music, a site-specific wall drawing and video projection that together create a dynamic social environment.

In Mexico City, where Ana Gallardo lived for many years, the artist absorbed the culture of danzón, popularly danced by senior people in the public squares. The performance focuses on showcasing the sociological concerns surrounding age in modern society. For Gallardo, the project challenges the typically ‘unfavourable image of growing old, often associated with illness, financial constraints and physical or mental decline’. The project’s central themes of hope, community and enjoyment, play out through the shared experience of dance.

Location: Bishops Square, London

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