This summer, Ana Gallardo will bring some retro South American groove to the heart of Spitalfields. At the invitation of Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art, the Argentina-born Gallarda will premiere "A place to live when we are old" in the UK on July 9. The piece, which combines interactive performance and installation, involves three elderly dancers from Mexico. Ofelia Martinez Herrera, Marvan Pale, and Arnulfo Hernandez Hernandez will demonstrate the traditional danzón as it is practiced by the not-so-young in the public squares of Mexico City, where Gallardo lived for several years. And the audience is invited to join in.
This weeklong project will take place on a purpose-built dance floor on Bishops Square, complete with a site-specific drawing and video projection. The idea is use the cohesive power of dance to get everybody stepping in whatever their age group, and to counter — in the artist's words — the "unfavourable image of growing old, often associated with illness, financial constraints and physical or mental decline." "A place to live when we are old" was a great success when it was first performed at the 29th São Paolo Biennial in 2010. Let's hope that Londoners will loosen up enough to get shaking their pensionable booties.
Parasol "Public: A place to live when we are old," July 9 – 15, 2012, Bishops Square, Spitalfields, London