Dulwich's biggest intergenerational dance project

The first rehearsal of Synchronised, a project with Dulwich Picture Gallery combining forces once again with Rambert Dance Company took place in April. Facilitating weekly rehearsals with two local community groups, Blackfriars Settlement and The Salmon Youth Centre in Bermondsey, Rambert will teach participants to perform a piece from their stellar repertoire while taking inspiration from the Gallery’s world-famous Collection.
The culmination of ‘Synchronised’ will be a beautifully-crafted, intergenerational final performance at Asylum, Caroline Garden’s Chapel, in Peckham on Monday 10 June 2013. The show will be followed by a documentary film screening of the project at the Gallery in July 2013.
Over the eight weeks, a group of 7 - 18 year-olds from the Salmon Youth Centre, Bermondsey and older adults from Blackfriars Settlement worked with animateurs from Rambert Dance Company to rehearse the repertoire, ‘Hush,’ a light-hearted and affectionate celebratory dance of family life choreographed by Christopher Bruce (Winner of Best Modern Choreography, Critics’ Circle Dance Award in 2009). Each group rehearsed separately and will be reunited for their final rehearsals bringing their respective dances together for their performance at the chapel.
’Synchronised’ was launched at the Gallery in April; older and younger participants came together for the first time to enjoy a taster workshop with music from the ‘Hush’ repertoire. Collectively they explored the Gallery, finding links to the themes of family and childhood in ‘Hush’ in both the Gallery’s permanent collection and temporary Murillo exhibition.
The theme of family life also extends to the space where the final performance will be showcased. The chapel in Caroline Gardens sits in London’s largest complex of almshouses once known as the Licensed Victuallers' Asylum. In contrast to contemporary connotations, this site was not a place where former pub landlords were hidden away; instead ‘Asylum’ is used in the older sense, meaning “sanctuary”. This tranquil square was a haven for the staff and families who, after a long and loyal service to the brewing industry, could happily live out their days and the ‘Synchronised’ participants will draw upon images from these residents ‘at play’ in their rehearsals.
Asylum is also the perfect venue for this dance partnership to reside having been built only 13 years after the Gallery. This is the third project that has seen Dulwich Picture Gallery and Rambert Dance Company collaborate and the first time that there has been a cross-generational element.