Arts Gymnasium prepare for a Halloween Fiesta!

Posted on 27 October 2017

Margaret Emerton, a participant of our over 50s Arts Gymnasium programme, shares her thoughts ahead of their performance as part of the upcoming Halloween Fiesta in Coventry’s Broadgate…

A long long time ago… so the story starts… The origins of Halloween date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced Sow-in), some 2000 years ago. Not the commercial false festival brought over from America, but a festival of harvest and celebrating the spirits of those lost, celebrated across the world.

With the story told we begin to release the inner child. At the home of Imagineer Productions, Coventry, the paste and tissue paper is in abundance. White Chinese lanterns are covered with paste and orange tissue paper. The meticulous careful ones apply the paste, followed by the orange tissue stuck on in a careful line, round and round until the next line.

Others slap and stick the tissue paper, overlapping with no specific order, until all of the white lanterns were covered. Left to dry, we returned a week later to draw and cut the scary faces, and then to cut the drawings out.

Finally the cut outs are strengthened. Left at the factory for the next few weeks. Now on to the movement routine, with limited space and just a few participants we start, with short sticks to represent the 2 metre poles.

Hold it to the left, hold it to the right. With each rehearsal the routine is changed, canon turns, straight lines turned. Do we lead on and off, do we circle as one or two circles? Do we get the cues right? We’ve nearly got it right. And now the final rehearsal, the lanterns complete with the 2metre poles to learn to handle. The final changes are agreed and now we see the young dancer who gives us some cues. Can we remember the routine and now put in some acting skill? Can we scare off the evil spirit?

Halloween Fiesta is a free event taking place in Broadgate, Coventry from 12pm – 7pm on Sat 28 October, featuring live performances presented by Coventry BID in partnership with Imagineer Productions. The Belgrade’s Arts Gymnasium will be performing at 4.30pm and 6.30pm.

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