We have been excited for some time about our performance and research project CID - Collective Identity, and we are thrilled to announce that we have been awarded Arts Council Funding to deliver the first phase of R&D for this project in partnership with Poplar Union over the summer. The project places collaboration at the heart of the process, and most importantly, places equal value and weight on all contributors. Visual artists, musicians, dance artists and people with Parkinson’s will all come together to explore the intimate art of dancing and the value of collective creative expression - which are inseparable.Read More
Last week, with an international audience of over 75 guests, I was delighted to host and present the first Dancing with Parkinson’s in Practice symposium in collaboration with the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (NHNN) and Institute for Neurology.
The symposium was opened by colleague and friend David Leventhal, Founding teacher and Director of Dance for PD, who generously shared his thoughts on the practice of telling stories - we have to honour the real stories and find ways to share them… This set the tone for the evening and the values of our programme, which champions the voices of people with Parkinson’s and puts their stories at the centre of the practice.
The evening followed with presentations from Danielle Teale, artistic initiator of Dancing with Parkinson’s, and Ben Beare, research Physiotherapist and collaborator for the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery programme. Teale and Beare have been working together on a pilot research for the programme, and the presentation was an honest insight into the challenges of researching dance, and the pitfalls of data capture measures. Teale and Beare are continuing their research partnership and exploring new approaches in the continued programme from May 2019.
The main event of the evening was an opportunity to hear from our expert panel of dancers with Parkinson’s. Chaired by Alison Williams, who sits on the Dance for Parkinson’s Partnership UK Steering Group, and is a dancer with Scottish Ballet’s Dance for Parkinson’s Programme in Edinburgh.
Dancer Leslie Mapp who is a long standing member of Danielle Teale Dance, Dancing with Parkinson’s in Hackney at St. Joseph’s Hospice, gave a moving speech about the power of dancing and a true insight into the experience of a dancer with Parkinson’s. You can read an abridged version of this on the blog from a previous entry: Swan Song
Then the remaining panel, dancers Anne Prest, Steve Harris and Angie Heathfield, were invited to speak about their experiences - why dance, what keeps you coming, does the space affect your experience, what is important to you about leadership… all these questions opened a valuable dialogue between audience and dancers about their experience and what we can learn from them.
The Dancing with Parkinson’s programme at National Hospital for Neurology continues in May 2019 with regular classes and research taking place, funded by the National Brain Appeal. Keep in touch with us for more information and sign up to our newsletter for regular updates.
Parkinson’s is firmly set aside up with my coat when I arrive at Danielle’s class at St. Joseph’s Hospice. I put my fuzzy cotton wool toes into my dance shoes and I am Elaine... a dancer. I may be a wobbly one but I can laugh at myself. I’m here and that’s what matters.Read More
Welcome to Dancing with Parkinson's, a specialist session run by Danielle Teale in east London, one of a growing number in Britain, each part of an international movement of community dance classes, tailored for the special needs of people with Parkinson's…
During these dance classes I am taken out of myself – feeling the pleasures and rewards of moving freely in space. And this release was not just an escape from reality, it was therapy for reality.Read More