ISSN 2050-5337 - ISSUE 5

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Wednesday, 21 June 2017 11:33

Creative Aging with Quicksilver Featured

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What does creative aging look like? Music and movement brings people together. Musician and teaching artist, Anthony Hyatt, takes us into a day in the life of the Quicksilver dance company, a troupe comprised of older adults. Describing how he mirrors and responds to troupe members, deep and meaningful connections are revealed.


Abstract

The Arts for the Aging, Inc. (AFTA) Quicksilver dance company offers an innovative and replicable best practice model for the emergent Creative Aging field. The group utilizes improvisation techniques to fulfill its mission of engaging older adults in health improvement and life enhancement through the arts. The efficacy of this work is supported by a growing body of research that has identified mastery and social engagement as the two key components that are essential for participatory arts programs to be successful in delivering health and wellness benefits to their participants

Keywords

Creative aging, improvisation, mixed ability dance, music, health, wellness

 

‘I want two dancers: One from Quicksilver and one from Support Center....’

Their impromptu pas de deux took place in the center of the circle. The dancers turned round each other as they gestured with their limbs. The older one, in her mid-eighties and now standing on one foot, leaned her weight into the arm of the other dancer’s wheelchair. The seated one gracefully arced her arm up in response as she sang with the violin’s melody. The surrounding ‘audience’ joined in. Rocking their bodies they sang ‘Under the Boardwalk we’ll be having some fun....’

It was another day and another dance with Quicksilver, the Arts for The Aging Inc. improvisational dance company for seniors. The choreographic direction came from Nancy Havlik the company’s founder and co-director. The violin music came from this author, her co-director.


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Anthony Hyatt

Anthony Hyatt is a violinist and multimedia performance artist from the Washington DC area whose interest is in the role and use of improvisation techniques in the creative process. He is a teaching-artist working with many human service organizations including the non-profit, Arts for the Aging, under whose auspices he leads creative engagement programs at senior centers and for whom he co-directs the senior citizen dance improvisation company known as Quicksilver.

Anthony is a master trainer of the USA-based National Center for Creative Aging. He is a Dance for Parkinson’s teacher and he is an artist in residence in The Medstar Georgetown University Hospital's paediatric, cancer and palliative care programmes. Anthony is honored to be a colleague of the USA-based Creative Education Foundation and a leader/facilitator for other affiliated international organizations like CREA in Europe and Mindcamp in Canada. He does additional creativity consulting and facilitation work through his own organization which is called Moving Beauty. Anthony is also a valued member of the Creativity & Human Development Editorial Team.

Media

Scattered Light by DPG & Quicksilver Senior Dance Company
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