Themes arising – week 1

In week 1 of the CID project we explored what dance means to us, how we identify with ourselves and what is different between dancing and other groups we belong to. In group and one to one conversation we explored these themes together with interesting subjects and discussions arising.

  • Creativity – the dancers in the room all identify as creative people, but when asked if they like to express individual ideas or enjoy being part of a group, there as a more divided opinion. Group connection brings empathy which enables a freedom of expression free from judgement. So individual creative ideas can be shared within the safety of the group environment – one of the benefits of a setting specifically for people with Parkinson’s.
  • Trust – the ability to work as equals and in a truly collaborative way involves a great deal of trust, and in this context the longevity of the relationship between me (Danielle) and the dancers creates a positive environment for experimentation in which the dancers are confident to explore without fear
  • Touch – the importance of the personal relationship between dancers and leader and their comfort to express themselves is shown in the way with which the dancers use touch freely in one-to-one and group tasks. I am naturally free with touch and think it is profoundly important to break the kinaesthetic barrier and connect with people to feel moved and to move others. This features highly in my work and was also a feature of our workshop exploration
  • Expression of ‘myself’ – identity is a hard thing to define, but one theme that always arises in dance is that movement enables us to express ourselves. Whatever that ‘self’ is that we are expressing it comes from an internal and visceral place of expression that goes beyond words.
  • Visibility – the CID project aims to bring visibility to an often hidden practice of dancing in community contexts. Dancing with Parkinson’s often falls within the specificity of a health practice and has a lot of visibility as a successful model, however I believe the dancers and their achievements themselves deserve more visibility – for the outside observer and from the perspective of the dancers – for the dancers to see themselves as the inspiration behind, the subjects of, and the instigators of art making.
  • Aspiration – this project provides dancers with Parkinson’s the opportunity to perform and demonstrate their achievements in an exhibition format. The excitement that comes with this challenge is palpable for some people and has raised the energy of the dancers and their willingness to give both physically and in dialogue.

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