Care allows for play and freedom.
Two figures assemble and disassemble a workshop space. The equipment they use, their bodies and the space itself are assembled and disassembled in an increasingly imperfect present.
ROBA is a thing that is lost, taken or discarded. Something robbed from us. To be a roba, in Greek, is to be humiliated. As such, ROBA concerns itself with the experience of being lost and the coordinates of memory and space by which we lose ourselves.
This performance is a play of relationships and rhythms developed through a creative process that seeks to transpose the mental and physical disintegration of the conditions of Parkinson’s and Dementia into movements, songs and spaces. It is also part of a research project exploring the role of creativity in care, predominantly through the lens of play.
We are interested in play as a route of exploring:
the creative insights that the conditions of Parkinson’s and Dementia offer us as carers and non-carers
a process of freeing and dignifying the carer and cared-for in their lives and relationships
We want to suggest new ways people can co-exist through and with illness. In order to do this, we are emphasising the unexpected multiplicity and human fullness of such degenerative processes, seeking to move beyond the natural fear and pain implicit in them. We consider play to be a fundamental element and mode of learning to test, explore and open up new possible behaviours and attitudes for those who think about, work with and care for people with Parkinson’s and Dementia.
We hope the forms of play that we explore can help carers––professional and non-professional––to enrich and create freedom in the lives of the human beings that they care for, while opening other perspectives on degenerative illness and living with death.
The piece has been developed alongside the process of living and caring for a person who suffers from Parkinson’s and Dementia. It has all developed in a house that has held a husband and father with Parkinson’s and Dementia in its upstairs, while in the downstairs basement children and adults dance and play in a ballet studio.
ROBA is an archive of that time and space - its observations, pronounced efforts, difficulties - through a series of tragicomic performative sketches of the human mind and body living through and beyond its disintegration.
To support this process, the phenomena of Dopamine, Proprioception and Neuroactivity have been researched and explored poetically and mechanistically with the support of neuroscientist Dr Stephen Lenzi and ongoing consultation with Somatic Experiencing Therapists Louisa White and Heiko Geritzmann.
The company is creating a series of Forum events, ongoing research with creative and medical partners in Greece and the UK and designing an Applied Theatre workshop on Playing Care in consultation with David Glass (Artistic Director of David Glass Ensemble, Founder of the Lost Child Project and longtime Applied Theatre Researcher, Teacher and Practitioner).
cast & collaborators:
Co-production: David Glass Ensemble
Direction & Choreography: Korina Kokkali & Simon Gleave
Dramaturgy-Consulting Director: David Glass
Music & Sound Composition: Gary Salomon & Adam Clifford
Set Design: Thaleia Melissa
Lighting Design: Eliza Alexandropoulou
Costume Design: Alexandros Garnavos
Video Art: Christos Symeonides
Assistant Director: Dimitra Koutsokosta
Production Management: Vasileia Taskou
Performing: Korina Kokkali & Simon Gleave