Dance Well – movement research for Parkinson’s, was born with the aim of including people with Parkinson’s disease through contemporary dance in the artistic and social life of their territories.
It is an initiative promoted since 2013 by the Municipality of Bassano del Grappa with its CSC – Centro per la Scena Contemporanea, member of the European Dancehouse Network.
The classes, free of charge and open to all, are held every Monday and Friday morning at the Museum of Bassano del Grappa (after the lockdown every Friday at the botanical garden Giardino Parolini). The Dance Well classes then reached other locations in the province of Vicenza, and they are now held every Tuesday morning and Thursday evening at Teatro Civico in Schio, and weekly at Villa Margherita in Arcugnano. Since then, the practice spread around Italy and around the world: nowadays, classes are held also in Turin, Rome, Florence, Verona (Italy) and in Tokyo, Kyoto and Kanazawa (Japan).
The artistic spaces where they take place, and the source of inspirations that the context brings, distinguish the initiative from many others held in traditional dance studios, rehabilitation rooms or gyms. To underline with even more clarity that Dance Well is an artistic practice, participants are called Dance Well dancers.
Several Dance Well teachers lead the classes throughout the year, bringing diverse approaches and styles with their artistic proposals. Additional specific workshops and initiatives are held monthly to develop the culture of dance amongst the participants, and encounters with international dance artists, along with the commission of performances involving the Dance Well dancers, are included in the summer festival programme of the city. They enrich the offer of opportunities to dance together, to develop the passion for dance, to encounter audiences and disseminate the experiences.
Every summer an intensive Dance Well teaching course is held in Bassano del Grappa, for people with a strong artistic background in dance that would like to become Dance Well teachers. The Dance Well teachers are in dialogue with International researchers and artists to keep developing their skills and exchanges of knowledge. The practice has been investigated and monitored by a team of researchers from Casa di Cura Villa Margherita in Arcugnano, a leader on Parkinson studies and part of the NYU Fresco Institute for Italy, and it has appeared in Dancing with Parkinson’s by Sara Houston, principal lecturer in the Department of Dance at the University of Roehampton in London.
Classes are held in several cities in Italy and internationally:
– Teatro Civico di Schio (Vicenza, Italy)
– Casa di Cura “Villa Margherita”, in Arcugnano (Vicenza, Italy)
– Palazzo Strozzi Museum, Florence (Italy)
– Lavanderia a Vapore dancehouse, in Collegno (Turin, Italy)
– ParkinZone Association, Rome (Italy – classes take place at Palazzo Spada Gallery in Rome)
– Dance Association ARTE3, Verona (Italy – classes take place at Museum of Frescoes “G.B. Cavalcaselle” in Verona)
– Orlando Festival, Bergamo at the Accademia Carrara Museum
– Triennale, Milan
– AMAT Marche, at Villa Colloredo Mels in Recanati
– Villa Parco Bolasco, Castelfranco Veneto
– Teatro Stabile dell'Umbria, Terni
– Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Tokyo (Japan)
– Italian Cultural Institute Tokyo (Japan)
– 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa (Japan)
– Mizunoki Museum of Art, Kameoka, Kyoto (Japan)
Through the continuous practice of Dance Well it is possible to achieve a better quality of life, to feel empowered, improve the sense of rhythm, balance and movement, develop interpersonal relationships to combat the isolation that often companies the disease, develop creativity and explore new forms of expression.
The artistic practice di Dance Well developed also in two new experiences, held in Bassano del Grappa:
DANCE WELL – Explore
A dance practice for the visually-impaired, that aims to bring awareness and own the movement possibilities of the body, in collaboration with the project Hi-s.eu @hisxp.
DANCE WELL – CREA
A practice developed from the Dance Well – Movement Research for Parkinson, of contemporary dance classes for women cancer survivors and patients, in collaboration with Associazione Oncologica San Bassiano onlus.
Since 2022 Dance Well is also an European project, supported by the Creative Europe programme of the EU.
The project expands their skills, competences and knowledge to widen the possibilities of becoming meaningful for the societies they live in, contributing with their innovative approaches to wellbeing and sociall cohesion.
The project is led by Comune di Bassano del Grappa, K3 -Tanzplan Hamburg, Le Gymnase CDCN Rubaix, La Briqueterie CDCN Vitry sur Seine, Tanec Praha, Lithuanian Dance Information Centre, Fondazione Fitzcarraldo and Fondazione Università Ca’ Foscari of Venice.
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