Bridge was an event at the Tower Bridge in May 2019. Entelechy Arts artists and residents from nearby Tower Bridge Care Home performed to the public alongside circus performers and poets in the iconic building.
Tower Bridge Care Home is a 10-minute walk away from the bridge itself. Local older people, their friends, family and care staff, know the bridge and its history like the back of their hands and hold memories of this London landmark that is just around the corner from where they live. When they were younger, some residents and staff remember the beach next to the bridge – the place where they swam in the Thames.
Entelechy Arts artists, Cai Tomos and Rainer Knupp have been working with the elders living in the care home since September 2018 and have built a strong sense of community through the sharing of creativity, stories and songs. As part of this event, they have collaborated in 5 sessions with producer, Julia Honess and poet, Anna Robinson to create a piece that conveys the essences of the bridge, explores and interprets circus, and reflects this powerful sense of Bermondsey community. The piece also includes Anna reading poems from her collection The Finders of London.
BRIDGE is about reaching out, across age and difference, about balance and construction, and how circus can be reinterpreted whatever age we are, even in a care home. Using a soundtrack created with residents and movement choreographed with locally foraged and crafted sticks from sculptor Shane Waltener, this piece will construct bridges, in the moment.
“Bridge seems the essence of what we’re doing, building bridges towards each other, where we meet in connection, somewhere in the middle.”
Cai Tomas, Entelechy Arts artist-in-residence
HANDS and BALANCE
Cai and Rainer also performed ‘Hands and Balance’ a physical theatre piece which reinterpreted their work with the elders. Building on elements of their piece with the Bermondsey elders, they constructed a new duet which explored balance, trust and the relational foundation of their work with the elders. Tuning into the sensory information of the location and building around them, they also incorporated images of people who have worked at the bridge.
This improvised piece of live art was accompanied by a soundtrack created with Tower Bridge Care Home residents and with Anna Robinson reading poems from her collection The Finders of London.