We were thrilled to be asked to join our great friends Deva Victrix Legion XX, from Chester (or Deva in Roman speak!) for a special gladiator event at Connell Court Care Home in Southport. We had a ball.
|Meroe, Phoenece and Naima with the lovely ladies of Deva Victrix|
Having been a bit worried by the weather forecast for the day we all gave a huge sigh of relief when the sun came out – the gods were clearly smiling on us.
Phoenece, Naima and Meroe did a short set of just two dances - the warm up act for the main event which was a number of scantily clad gladiators beating hell out of one another – but all great fun.
|Naima and Phoenece getting ready to dance|
|Naima and Meroe - just a few last minute adjustments!|
Our audience was made up for the families and friends of the residents and they were all up for cheering on their favourite gladiator.
We did manage to get some of the staff and younger visitors up and dancing – one young lad in particular was very good.
|Connell Court staff joining us as well as our "ace" dancer Alex.|
We had just enough time to make a quick change from our Egyptian costumes in to our gladiator dancer outfits, while the head of the ludos (that’s the Roman name for a gladiator school) introduced his finest gladiators to the crowd.
These gladiator events are always quite moving because the oath that the gladiators make at the start of each show are the actual words that they would have used centuries ago …
“to be burnt by fire; to be bound in chains; to be beaten by iron; this I will endure!”
We then got to do our gladiator routine. It’s been a while since we’ve done this so it seems appropriate to tell you a bit more about it. The whole routine is to one of the tracks from the Gladiator film, and is done with veils – all very theatrical – but the idea being that the veils represent the souls of those, who may very well, be about to die; looked after and held safe by the dancers. Each dancer offers a “favour” in the form of a coloured ribbon – one for each gladiator. During the routine you can normally hear a pin drop and this event was no exception.
|Gladiator Dance (photo by Gill)|
With our dancing done for the day we settled back with the rest of the crowd to enjoy the show. The highlight was clearly a new recruit from the audience – the one who could really dance. He was given a new name – something more fitting for a gladiator – Short Articus! He was pitted against the meanest looking one of the bunch Anti-Claus and certainly held his own. You can check out how he got on by clicking this link - Short Articus.
|After show photo with some of the residents and staff|