Determined to transcend the more typical nursing home fare of mediocre karaoke singers, the Arts Council of the Morris Area’s 3rd Saturdays at Morris View program, funded by the Morris County Freeholders, brings professional performers in dance, comedy and music to the Morris View Healthcare Center on the third Saturday of each month.
One of the most unusual and exciting programs to date occurred on October 20th when eight members of the BALAM Dance Theatre brought dances (and costumes) from Bali, the French Baroque, Japan, Spain, classical ballet and Broadway to Morris View. A record audience of resident seniors attended, along with family members and staff who didn’t want to miss the day’s unique performance.
It was exhilarating and inspiring to see the joy and wonder on the faces of the residents. It was a reminder, once again, of how deeply the arts touch even the most frail among us.
As BALAM describes the performance on its blog , “A room full of seniors, most of whom were in wheel chairs, smiled, clapped and sang along throughout the whole show. It was remarkable how the dancers’ physicality beckoned the the frailest seniors back into the their bodies and into a more awakened state. Dance was truly healing in this context!”
Here are a few videos from the event:
Balinese dancer Nani Devi begins the performance of Oleg Tambulilingan, a depicting the courtship of bees.
BALAM’s Artistic Director, Carlos Fittante, dancing the role of the male bee, joins Nani Devi in the performance.
And, together, they portray a more lengthy, intricate flirtation before finally coming together at the end of the dance.
French Baroque Dance
Inspired by the court dances of Louis XIV, the “Sun King,” this dance, Entree d’Apollon (Entry of Apollo) was created by Feuillet in 1701 and showcases the elaborate footwork and costuming featured at the French royal court.
Spanish Dance and Song:
Castanets click as Carlos Fittante performs intricate love dance, La Madrilena, a Spanish Escuela Bolera with guest artist Barbara Romera of Danzas Espanolas.
Billed as “the world’s only Flamenco stand-up comedian,” Inma Heredia sings a passionate song about bulls and bullfighting.
Improvisation, Broadway style
Olsi Gjeci dances this wonderful improvisation to Stevie Wonder’s well-known song, “You Can Feel It All Over.”