Dancing through Parkinson’s
The Benefits of Creativity
More on Creativity & The Brain…
“Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming. To find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow.”
– Kurt Vonnegut, writer and humorist
It is well documented that creativity is enhanced by the desire to maintain and assert one’s identity. Art adds and uplifts, it brings something into existence that was once not there. The act of engaging in a creative activity brings beauty, knowledge, meaning,
emotion, value, and a sensory experience to one’s life. All these concepts can be an antidote to symptoms caused by age, injury or a movement disorder.
From a neurologist perspective, viewing art, and experiencing art develops both the motor and mirror neuron systems in the brain. Motor neurons are responsible for the execution of movements like reaching towards the top shelf, while the mirror neurons involve the understanding and empathizing with the action of others, like a deep knowing of how it feels when watching someone extend an arm up high. This means one can’t get away from the impact art has on the brain. Whether creating or witnessing, art engages our brains in emotional processing to understand the intention and perspective conveyed in the artwork.
Blossomed is a Screendance Film inspired by the collaborative artistic device, Exquisite Corpse, where an ending movement is passed to another dancer until a full dance is woven together. Invertigo Dance Theatre’s program: Dancing Through Parkinson’s creates a movement chain-letter to celebrate how dance brings the Los Angeles Parkinson’s community together.
Each frame highlights a new environment and movement motif that celebrates the individual, while building on collective creativity. The Tulip flower is incorporated in each segment to represent our colorful community. Blossomed layers original poetry and music, created by the Dancing Through Parkinson’s members, to integrate the personal struggles of living with Parkinson’s, while illustrating the power of dance to enrich the lives of those affected by the disease.
Blossomed received an honorary mention in the World Parkinson’s Congress 2023.
Living On One: Micro-Documentary
A micro-documentary created by Optimist Films featuring long time DTP dancer, Jack Gregory.
“People dance every day for all different reasons. Some dance to work out, and some dance to be part of a community. Jack, who participates in a dance class for people with Parkinson’s, finds happiness in moving his body and doing it in a group while wearing his “crazy socks.” Dancing Through Parkinson’s is building confidence, community, and well-being through dance therapy.” -Lightbeam Stories
Participant’s of Invertigo’s Dancing Through Parkinson’s program dance the Nelken Line as part of the Pina Bausch Foundation’s The Nelken Line Project.
Filmed on the Santa Monica Pier.
This video is a special submission for the World Parkinson Congress 2019.
Film produced by Joey Merholz and Mel Metcalfe.
Music: “West End Blues” by Louis Armstrong/Universal Music
Arts Infusion | Joaquin Gamboa
In 2022, Invertigo Dance Theatre was awarded a grant from the Parkinson’s Foundation to enhance learning and deepen core curriculum through the Arts and Neurology Infusion Initiative. DTP partnered with LA-based neurologists in an informative exchange focused on the latest medical research and movement therapies used to support those living with PD — and! — Invertigo invited four guest artists to teach genre-specific dance classes to our DTP community.
Our four multidisciplinary guest artists to engaged participants with varying movement disciplines. From Salsa to Jazz, Tap to rhythmic drumming, each specialty workshop allowed for versatility and movement translation and enriched perspectives on culture and storytelling. This video features our first Guest Artist, Joaquin Gamboa offering a lively how-to on rotating hips and complicated foot work through Salsa partnered dance.
Video by Glyn Gray
Dancers from Invertigo’s Dancing Through Parkinson’s program created this special video for the PD Crane Dance Project. This film along with many other video submissions from the worldwide PD community was compiled into a single continuous video and shown at the 5th World Parkinson’s Congress in Kyoto, Japan 2019.