A video installation, showcased at National Trust property The Workhouse in Southwell.
The austere building is the most complete workhouse in existence. It was built in 1824 as a place of last resort for the destitute. Its architecture was influenced by prison design and its harsh regime became a blueprint for workhouses throughout the country.
About the film
The Workhouse is a new dance film produced in collaboration with dancers aged between 55 and 79. The dance performance was entirely choreographed, rehearsed, filmed and edited remotely, using Zoom. It is directed by Sima Gonsai, working with Tom Dale Company, and with a soundtrack composed by Isabel Jones.
The choreography, performance and soundtrack for the film are inspired by The Workhouse, Southwell. Around 160 inmates lived and worked in a strictly segregated environment with virtually no contact between the old and infirm and the younger, non-disabled, men, women and children.
Throughout the pandemic, the 12 older dancers who took part in the project used video conferencing to work with choreographer and dancer Tom Dale. The film was produced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Overcoming the obstacles created by shielding and social distancing, participants created a film that captures the feelings of isolation older people have experienced during this historic time.
It cost £8 for an adult to enter to property, £4 for a child. It is free for National Trust members. The film is showing all day at no extra cost.
The film is located in the ‘Room with a View’ Gallery, on the Second Floor of The Workhouse. Please be aware there are two flights of stairs.