Presented by Maya Dance Theatre together with Eva Tey and Imran Manaff, Behind Closed Door, highlights the social issue of social isolation and loneliness of elderly who are currently living their their families!
The project is presented as a website to enable audiences to journey with our elderly to experience their plight of loneliness and social isolation.
Artistic Director's Note
2020 has come as an uninvited visitor!
From as early as April this year, the arts industry amongst many has been forced to make changes. The whirlwind that is this pandemic has plunged many of us into the darkest corners! Yet dance and artmaking are exactly what keep us going.
Every artistic journey is filled with challenges and inspirations. We use these as anchors to work with and move forward; We began a new kind of journey when this pandemic was the challenge that brought the whole world to a stand-still.
We embraced the unfamiliar to explore this new space, to move again and discover within the uncertainties. Initially during the Circuit Breaker, we created works to connect with each other. Then we connected through dance with others near and far. Interestingly, the quick shift to digitalization not only brought new audiences to our space from beyond Singapore, it also created avenues for us to continue artmaking.
We embarked on our first digital work, “Stop and Smell the Roses” by choreographer, Shahrin Johry and filmmaker, Yahssir, M that premiered in June. Next, we created a digital ticketed performance, “Mighty Mousedeer of the forest” with Diverse Abilities Dance Collective (DADC), a unit within the company that celebrates co-existence of diverse abilities. We had an audience of close to 300 members witnessing the family friendly art performance.
Our next work, Behind Closed Doors is beyond a performance, it is a virtual tour incorporating dance, film, poem, interviews and inter-generational activities. Co-created by Creative Producer, Imran Manaff and content creator/choreographer, Eva Tey, this work brings insight and awareness towards the topic, “Social Isolation and Loneliness in Seniors and those living with families!”. October being the month for Mental Health Awareness, we decided to launch the virtual tour on 15th October via our website to support mental well-being of seniors.
We spoke to 15 different seniors and invited 5 of them to collaborate with us to co-create this journey. We are thankful to organisations like PAVE that address violence against seniors and Yu-en Senior Activity Centre and their director, Griselda for the support and insights on the topic. Cyril Wong pens his thoughts and interpretations of the topic through his poem, “a slow dance of hours in isolation”. Inspired by Griselda’s sharing from Yu-en Senior Activity Centre, a short dance film created by Eva looks at the plight of some seniors who are moved around different houses like nomads. It also sheds light on the concerns and impact of generation gap.
We are grateful to the 5 seniors who came along and generously shared their views. The younger generation also spoke about the topic through their own personal experiences. The segment, “Dot 2 Dots” is devoted to exercise and the need to connect; we played games, danced together and even learnt a skill from the seniors.
As one of them shared, “there is a difference between being alone and experiencing loneliness; at the tail end of our lives, we want to spend it wisely and with people. We can be alone, but not left to be alone. Loneliness is true; it is painful.”
We hope this work gives us a valid reason to reach out, to listen, to take time to be with our seniors who have given us their best. They were once in their prime, people with significant roles and contributions, just like many of us.
I truly wish to extend my heartfelt thanks to the Maya Team and the creative partners for their unwavering support. A special mention to Kailin Yong who never fails to bind us with his soulful music. I am very proud of Eva and Imran for boldly taking this journey with a topic that is challenging, yet in crucial need of being addressed. I am also grateful to our board that has stood strong with their support in these difficult times and to NAC for the timely creation of the Digitalization Grant that has certainly given a positive edge to the arts community.
Last but not least, you, our audience, for your kind support, Thank You.
I wish to end with a plea to keep the arts community alive with your generosity and kindness.
Behind Closed Doors celebrates the significance of seniors in our society
Maya Dance Theatre
“People tend to equate loneliness with elderly who live alone. But being alone does not mean loneliness, and loneliness does not mean that you must be alone.”
“It is important to be aware of these rising issues so that we are able to create a caring inclusive society that looks out for each other. I hope Behind Closed Doors will bring you through a creative, informative and reflective journey.”
- Eva Tey, Content collaborator/ Choreographer/ Dancer
"Behind Closed Doors is not about growing old. It's about what happens when we get old!
In this digital age, where conection is at the tip of a finger, and with everyone in possible reach of a communiaction device, there are many amongst us who are not fortunate enough to be able to connect or have someone to connect with. Our elderly (matured individuals i call them) are one such group; who are at times lonely and socially isolated. Their age and inability to adapt to a constant changing world has made them isolated and alone in our world! Sometimes a stranger to their own family.
Behind Closed Doors for me is not just an arts project but a call to action: to connect with our elderly before its too late for them .... and for us!'
- Imran Manaff, Producer
Welcome to the launch of BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, Maya Dance Theatre's latest project which aims to bring awareness to loneliness and social isolation amongst the elderly who are residing with their families!
Presented as a website, BEHIND CLOSED DOORS will take audiences on a journey through the eyes of our elderly as they experience loneliness and isolation in their own homes. This online journey wlll take an estimated forty (40) minutes.
Thank you and enjoy BEHIND CLOSED DOORS.
Get to know the cast of CAST OF BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
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