(Cincinnati, OH) Pones brings back its trademark collaborative style for their fourteenth Cincinnati Fringe Festival performance entitled, “Keeping our Torch.” This piece tells the diverse stories of the aging community through movement, music and multimedia. Inspired by real life stories from community elders on the formative milestones of their lives, the knowledge they’ve gained and would like to share, and their hopes for intergenerational joy; this offering honors the experience of lives lived fully and how younger generations can learn from our elders.
Inspired by the Gloria Steinem quote, “At my age, in this still hierarchical time, people often ask me if I’m “passing the torch.” I explain that I’m keeping my torch, thank you very much—and I’m using it to light the torches of others.” This piece was supported by the MAP Fund, a national organization that invests in performing artists and their work as the critical foundation of imagining and co-creating a more equitable and vibrant society.
The process of creating “Keeping Our Torch” was an engaging ethnography-based process, in which stories were collected by Pones artists, who interviewed over 20 older community-members, and passed their stories along to additional artists to interpret into vignettes on creative aging. Culminating in a multidisciplinary arts experience, this performance highlights the varied experiences of our region’s aging communities and celebrates the wisdom of older generations.
Pones has been growing offerings for seniors through regular programming and partnerships with Twin Towers, Episcopal Retirement Services, Creative Aging, Carmel Manor, and other local retirement communities and living centers. People often ask “isn’t this work sad or challenging” and the answer is quite the opposite. Often these sessions leave Pones teachers feeling recharged and with a reinvigorated sense of what is truly important in life. We hear stories of isolation, of invisibility, and/or regret, but also of celebration, reflection, and gratitude.
Pones has been part of Cincy Fringe since 2009, holding multiple Critic’s Pick and Producer’s Pick awards throughout the years. To enjoy this engaging art experience, come to Gabriel’s Corner on the following dates: 6/7 and 6/10 at 7pm, 6/11 at 2:30pm, 6/13 at 8:45pm, and 6/16 at 7pm