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Clown Care with the elderly at Hogar Santa Rita, February 2012

posted 26 Apr 2012, 05:08 by Didier Danthois   [ updated 25 Jan 2019, 04:43 ]
The 21st of February was a very special day for us at Teatro del Corazón. This was the first time that we presented our Clown Care activity in Tenerife with a group of clowns trained by Didier Danthois. Our Clown Carers performed for 25 elderly residents of the Hogar Santa Rita in an inspiring first step in the out-reach activity of the Sacred Clown in the local community.

The Hogar Santa Rita is an old people’s home developed by Father Antonio (1936-2011). The strong aspiration of Father Antonio was to create a home in which the elderly could live to a comfortable and healthy old age. This could really be felt through the great support from staff who assisted; there was a real culture of care. Padre Antonio would’ve probably been very pleased to see us and our activity taking place there.

During the session, the old folk responded in a special way, with a natural receptivity to the songs and to the mime-clown, more so than in any other country in which we’ve worked. This experience was moving not only for the elderly, but for the staff at Santa Rita who commented how calm and heart-warming the sessions were.

The event was filmed by the local TV station Mírame, who also interviewed Didier and the other clown carers. Didier commented on how special it was to be able to create a space that invited the elderly residents to open up, allowing the silence to unfold and allowing the heart to be touched. Sara Rajzman, herself a very experienced clown carer, had this impression: “The dance between moments of silence, and the different activities such as performance of songs and mime gave the sessions a beautiful balance in which a connection between all of us could really be established.”

Very appropriate for the occasion was the song “Adiós Con El Corazón” sung by Lyndi Smith and Sara Rajzman. Lyndi remarked: “This simple Spanish song made it easy for everybody to join in and for a powerful communication to be created, something that doesn’t usually happen in your ordinary performance.” For Lyndi, the session was the greatest gift she could’ve received… very fitting, as it was her birthday!!

The session came to a natural conclusion, in which flowers were offered. It was a moving end for everybody there. This was definitely a wonderful experience, helping the elderly to engage in relating and to establish further their sense of community. After the session they continued together singing more of their own local songs.

Teatro del Corazón are planning more sessions for the Canarian elderly soon.

Read more about Clown Care.