Invisible Duets is an interdisciplinary, audience responsive, performance installation. It includes live dance performance, film projection, visual art and sound. It was researched, inspired and created with children on the Neuromedical ward at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Liverpool. Since 2006 Small Things have been researching using child-centred improvised somatic movement and dance with children and young people at the hospital, on acute wards, often on a one to one basis. This work has been described by the hospital as ‘ground-breaking’ and won the North West Public Health Award for Arts and Culture in 2008. Invisible Duets was a way of documenting and sharing the intimate movement duets between the child and dance artist.
The resultant artwork is designed to be responsive to its environment and audience and is a mobile performance installation touring hospital wards and enabling interaction with patients where appropriate. The films are of Lisa Dowler and children, who are patients on Neuromedical, sharing improvised duets and are projected using hand held projectors and are therefore in the control of the performer and can be responsive to the audience. The use of tactile costume and props also enable participation of the audience. The focus is to share the experience of the dance practitioner and children in a multi-sensory way, offering the audience an essence of the original experience.