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Rebel Elders
24 Apr 2015
Published To
“The performance itself was the most interesting act of rebellion and the incredible people within it defied all labelling. They were real.” [Real Time Magazine, Dec 2014]

Rebel Elders involved eight Ballarat residents (aged 71-93) and ten young musicians including a pianist, a grunge guitarist and some hip hop artists.

One aim was to disprove ideas revealed in the Human Rights Commission (2013) about the negative image of elderly people in the media who are often portrayed as dull, sick, grumpy or boring.

I wanted to focus on stories that people might not expect to hear from our elder folk – daring stories about risk taking and adventures. I was honoured to be welcomed into the homes of all elders and greatly appreciated their generosity in answering my questions. The result was a collection of audio pieces including tales of stealing petrol; being chased by bulls; and running away to Tasmania, aged fourteen (for five whole years!).

The musicians then listened carefully and chose stories they related to. They wrote thoughtful and inspiring music to emphasis the moods. These stories and music formed the soundtrack for a movement based performance by the elders who rehearsed with a director/choreographer for an intense month. Despite the elders lack of performance experience, a professionally executed show was presented. Some of them surprised themselves with their own ability and confidence and certainly surprised the audience. Fancy seeing an elder playing air guitar to a screeching distorted electric guitar track!

Rebel Elders will continue in 2015 with a music/video collaborative project.

Vic, aged 93: “It’s quite an experience for me, some people would be not game enough to do it. It’s really an eye opener for me. I’ve got an urge to keep going!”

More info at: www.roseturtleertler@com/community
Health Older People Young People Dance Music Performance Theatre
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