Since 2008, Phoenix Functions has been organising community events to explore the question of the performing arts in the transformative process in community. The events are listed here in chronological order.
2008 Barry Rowney, architectural historian, presents on the wealth of preservation of an archaeological dig of Romans in Egypt and the challenges with heritage in the tropics.Video clip of event.
2008-2009 Production of a play for schools for The Wilderness Society to educate children on the endangered species of Cape York, Queensland, Australia.
The productions were played at Edgehill State School and Trinity Anglican School. Photos
These two events were a trial of melding educational material with performing arts in the town centre.
The inaugural project was the design of a script writing workshop for social discourse. The project team included: Owen Allen, June Perkins and Liz Hurley. As a demonstration of the model they wrote a 10 minute play called 'Seven Rotations of Risk' that was performed at a theatre workshop at the Tablelands Folk Festival, 24th October 2010. Flickr Photos
10 people of diverse theatrical and occupational backgrounds attended a second Out of the Box Theatre Workshop in Atherton, Qld, Jan 2011. It was attended by 10 people . See Group Photo in Flickr
A one hour 'taster' workshop called Empathy was taken to the International Unity in Diversity Conference, Townsville, Queensland, Australia, August 2011.
The Train and Other Fantasies was a simple dance with children audience participation at the 2012 Tableland Folk Festival, Children's Festival. See Made2Move, below.
Made2Move was a facilitation model of contemporary dance class developed by Owen and a contemporary dancer team including Jess Jones, Rebecca Youdel, Sarah Collins and Miriam Torzillo to develop mature aged dance groups in the FNQ region. See also Dance
Contemporary dance for everyone run through 2012 to 2015 as a series of workshops. The inaugural workshops were funded by the Tableland Regional Council RADF Grants culminating in the performance called 'Trains and Other Fantasies' as above.
Further workshop series have seen the participation of elderly people, middle aged people, young adults, people with parkinson's disease, blindness, severe arthritis, stroke.
Among the variations of Made2Move, a series of 2013 workshops incorporated a meditative component called Sacred Moments / Elevations of the Mind; Made2Move; Out of the Box Theatre Workshop; and a social break.
With the University of the Third Age, Atherton, in 2011 Owen designed a human sized board game to encourage activity in play. Owen designed the game framework and the participants were guided through design of the activities. The degree of success of this project was exemplified in the words of a woman about the participation of her husband, "I haven't seen him laugh like that for many years".
In 2014, the TANKS Performing Arts Centre, Cairns, invited Owen to provide a Big Board Game for a one day Children's Program on the theme, A New World. The Board Game was concpetualised as A World I Like To Live In.
This dance was performed by courageous audience members at a Nepalese earthquake fundraiser of Friends of the Himalaya Children. Designed by Owen, the audience members volunteered on the spot and were taught the dance in 10 minutes. It is a testament to the possibilities for dance as a cultural moray
Phoenix Functions supported the promotion of contemporary dance as a physical, mental, cognitive and social health practice at the National Rural Health Conference in May 2015. Owen's conversations with David McMicken, Tracks Dance Co, Darwin, and submission to the National Rural Health Conference succceeded in a showcasing of the Grey Panthers of the Tracks Dance Company. Documentation of the performance and presentation of "Darwin by Dance" and other aspects of the Conference is HERE
Owen met Sarah Leversee of Art as Action, Boulder, Colorado, during a trip to the USA in 2014. Intrigued by their multi-genre,collaborative and inclusive work, Owen returned to Boulder in July 2015 to attend a few events of the company over a week, to observe how the small non-profit achieved its artistic and business outcomes.
The events included a small summer concert to which Owen performed a short 3 minute theatrical portrait.
Owen also attended Art as Action's 'Reconnect" Class, for all comers, based on Dance for Parkinson's Disease; and the performance team' review of their creative work on the theme, 'Tension'.
In 2015 Owen was invited by Sue Blythe of the Florida Coalition of justice and peace to assist her in a series of meetings and a workshop to progress a project to promote and educate children and the community in the Earth Charter.
Owen spent the week July 27 - August 2nd 2015 working with Sue and the Coalition in Gainesville, Florida, in clarifying the vision of the Earth Charter, the role of an educational board game and the possibility of developing an Grade 3-12 Earth Charter leadership cirriculum, and consolidation conversations with an extensive network including scientists, theatre and dance workers, a school principal, community radio, and other people interested in sustainability.
See Photos Here.
Since these meetings, the project has strengthened considerably in the numbers of people who are now performing specific roles towards 'illuminating the earth charter