Moving Kinship at Merton Arts Space
Supported by an Arts Council England Beatrice Allegranti has established Moving Kinship Hubs North London at Alexandra Palace and South West London at Merton Arts Space. The hubs are for people living with the rare/young onset dementia and their families.
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
‘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
‘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