“Creating a new old” in Ireland

Imagine a country where the President is a poet who believes that the arts should be available to all and that artists should be able to live from their work.

Imagine a country where a doctor can prescribe an art activity to a patient instead of medication.

Imagine a country that has a month-long annual festival over the entire country that celebrates creativity as we age.

Imagine a country that is creating a national policy on aging and has artists on the committee.

Imagine a country in which people gather at dawn by a body of water and sing.

Wait, I don’t have to imagine it, I was just there: Ireland.

Sarah, Meg, Daniel and I were in Dublin last week for the Bealtaine Festival Conference: Creating A New Old.  It was three days of sharing, learning and celebrating creativity as we age. Dance Exchange was asked to be a physical diary of the conference. On the last day we presented When Mind Moves Memory, choreographed by  and Keith Thompson and me and commissioned by the MetLife Healthy Living Initiative at Dance Exchange.  We concluded our presentation by creating a dance with the participants using their gestures, movements and stories as well as text culled from the many inspiring speakers and exciting conversations we had. That evening, we performed a repertory concert for conference participants and the general public. Here are a few photos from our time in Dublin:


Conference banner


The conference venue: Irish Museum of Modern Art


Meg on the River Liffey


A beautiful view of Dublin


Pre-show flowers from our Bealtaine hosts


The DX team enjoying our last evening in Dublin

About Shula Strassfeld

Shula Strassfeld began dancing “too late” and has been dancing ever since. She joined Dance Exchange in 2007.