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Moving Kinship: Merton Arts Space

Moving Kinship: Merton Arts Space

Moving Kinship: Merton Arts Space


Moving Kinship is a transdisciplinary project that takes place in UK and international participatory ecologies hubs located in arts centres, museums, hospitals and grass roots organisations. Created by Beatrice Allegranti in 2016, the project involves making bespoke and trauma-informed live and digital performances with and for audiences as a way of engaging ethically with the many complex and intersecting challenges we are confronted with in our troubled world. Working  across forms (choreographic, film, conversational, illustration, writing, capoeira, music), the aim of the bespoke hubs is to activate modes of collaboration, collectivity and nurture cultures of multiple belongings and care. The hubs often give rise to full scale artistic works (listed below). To date, Beatrice and her team have worked intergenerationally with families affected by rare early onset dementia, youth environmental activists, LGBTQI+ communities and activists, as well as artists and scientists in the UK, Norway, the Netherlands and Japan.

South West London Participatory Dances

This page documents Moving Kinship at Merton Arts Space. Participants have offered us poignant and often overlooked insights into their lives during our where we have created bespoke choreography and music based on families experiences of living with one of the many dementias. The creative process is informed by a unique blend of dance movement psychotherapy and choreographic practice that Beatrice has developed over the past twenty years.

The bespoke choreographic material is being also being developed for a dance theatre work-in-progress: I’ve Lost You Only To Discover That I Have Gone Missing touring London during the Autumn 2017.

Below is a short video documenting early pilot hubs that took place during 2017  at the Ply Art Gallery, Hornsey Arts Centre, North London. The video includes reflections from participants and dancers.

Below is a short video documenting an early South West London Hub pilot that took place during 2017 at Merton Arts Space and St George’s Hospital. The video includes reflections from participants and dancers.



 Since its inception the project has demonstrated a safe, supportive and playful environment where capacity is celebrated whilst losses are also addressed over time. By working with families affected by dementia you have shown through this project and your research emerging out of it, how it is possible to develop a way of ‘listening with movement’ and this impacts positively on family communication and relationships. The project has attracted large and diverse audiences and has positively impacted the participant’s lives and the perception of living with dementia.

Anthony Hopkins OBE

Head of Library, Heritage and Adult Education Service, Merton



Photos: Julia Testame


‘The Participatory Dances allowed the bodies to speak the feelings and emotion which cannons be described by any words‘. Aneta, Dancer



‘It was incredibly liberating to see mum enjoy and be so engaged in the dance. For the first time in a while I was able to leave her own enjoyment without feeling guilt or responsibility’. Rafi, Family Carer and Participant




‘I think the Participatory Dance has surfaced a lot for me as a carer and made me realise that I could use some sort of help, counselling or therapy – I’ve buried a lot’. Judith, Family Carer and Participant

Photos: Aidan Orange. 1 2 3 4 6 7IMG_3508

‘This project helps both participants and performers understand wider existential thoughts and feelings in a supportive and creative environment’. Luke, Dancer


Photos: Julia Testa



Week by week, I don’t know the word but maybe it becomes more, like serious…I feel like we are witnessing an operation or something…quite…with lots of care, and the direct gaze from every participant. We are kind of witnessing an operation – operating dementia.” Takeshi, Dancer