For the next 24 hours enjoy the amazing work by Dancing Through Parkinson’s (DTP) Teaching Artist, Rachel Whitingand our incredible DTP Community!
Dance for PD Community Festival: Around the World, Around the Clock
24 hours of free classes, presentations, and events
April 29-April 30, 2022 | 9 AM EDT to 9 AM EDT (Easter Time)
Online at the Festival Website: https://www.danceforparkinsons.online/
Dance for PD® started as an idea, launched as an experiment, and 20 years later has emerged as an innovative, award-winning global program that positively impacts thousands of people with Parkinson’s, their families, and care partners in more than 300 communities in 25 countries.
To celebrate 20 years of innovative community programming – and to honor everything you’ve done as a member of our community – Dance for PD is hosting the Dance for PD Community Festival: Around the World, Around the Clock, a FREE 24-hour virtual celebration featuring classes, panel discussions, and film screenings that highlight the diversity and breadth of the Dance for PD family.
About Beyond the Reach performance:
The spring performance included various communities in the performative space to highlight the power, beauty and importance of difference and disability as a creative force. The performance will feature a multi-generational cast including dancers from Robin Olive’s Straight Up Abilities, Invertigo Dance Theatre’s Dancing Through Parkinson’s, ASL Performing Artist Zendrea Mitchell and New York-based dancer/choreographer Pamela Quinn. The evening featured poetry by Poet Laureate Francine Ringold, original musical compositions by Brian Tagamori and Michael Tiamo and film by multimedia movement artist Morgan Bronk Lutz.
The Dance Titles featured
Video Morgan Bronk Lutz
Notes: A film exploring the world with all five senses.
Motion of Dreams
Dreamtime, poetry by Francine Ringold
Original composition by Brian Tagomori
Performers Brian Tagomori and Rachel Whiting
Notes: A trio of artists create a world that invites curiosity and searches for what is beyond the reach of a hand.
Doing our (Bess)t
Performed by Dancing Through Parkinson’s
Choreography and concept: Rachel Whiting in collaboration with the dancers
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Le Nozze di Figaro
Costumes: Jeanie McNamara
The Movement Efforts -Body-Effort-Space-Shape (BESS)- developed in twentieth-century Europe by Hungarian dance theorist Rudolph von Laban are the inspiration for Doing our (Bess)t – Laban viewed movement in space as the fundamental principle of life, seeing it as a redemptive tool to overcome the challenges of modern life. This form of movement analysis is a way to understand and to speak about the body moving in time and space.
Our dance channels imagery of tasks, conversation, competition and play.
The Performing Artists
Rachel Whiting (creative director, choreographer, performer)
My dance journey began in a small studio at the back of a strip mall in Colorado. It was there I was introduced to the glorious world of dance through discipline, imagination and play. Those principles have guided me on the circuitous pathway to completing a Master’s in Dance at the University of Wisconsin’s Peck School of the Arts, graduating in May 2022! In Denver I performed with Kim Robards Dance and David Taylor Dance Theatre. In New York I danced with Milton Myers, Ton Simon, Brenda Daniels, Mark Jarecke, Henning Rübsam’s Sensedance and as an apprentice and faculty member at the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. My academic training began at the Juilliard School, later completing my BA at St. Mary’s College of CA. In Europe I was guest lecture at Oure Idrætshójskole (Denmark), and dancer with Skånes Dansteater (Sweden). In addition to my private business of Pilates and Gyrotonic movement therapy, I am a teaching artist for Dancing Through Parkinson’s, Straight Up Abilities and The College of Performing Arts (AMDA).
My research into dance and disabilities has taught me about the essence of movement and I believe the communities and artists I am a part of carry this intrinsic spirit. As an advocate I examine my own work to ask who has access and equity within. I believe the art’s ecosystem requires work from all sides, disabled and non-disabled. Together we can support and celebrate the power of art.
Francine Leffler Ringold Ph.D., (Dramaturge, narrator)
Francine was the Poet Laureate of Oklahoma 2003-7 and a 2003 winner of the “Writers Who Make A Difference” award from the nationally distributed Writer Magazine — and several other awards. Her name is also synonymous in the minds of many with Nimrod, the international literary journal that she edited and championed for over 47 years.
Fran’s published work ranges from poems to plays to guides for creative writing and includes: Still Dancing: New & Selected Poems, and The Trouble with Voices, both winners of the Oklahoma Book Award for Poetry, 1996, 2004; prize-winning plays, including one-woman presentations based on the lives of Mercy Otis Warren and Isadora Duncan; and two volumes detailing her creative writing approach, with examples from her students: A Magic Journey: Writing and Painting at Gatesway (a school for persons with developmental disabilities), and Making Your Own Mark: A Guide to Writing and Drawing for Senior Citizens (with art therapist, Madeline Rugh, Ph.D.) She has also published a memoir: from Birth To Birth: a Memoir and Guide to Writing Your Memoir, 2016. Fran recently published: The Way We See Now: A Collaboration of Photography and Poetry with photographer and U.S. Magistrate Judge Sam Joyner.
A devoted teacher, Fran has taught literature, creative writing, and theatre at the University of Tulsa, and in the Oklahoma State Arts in Education and Artists in the Schools programs. She has taught in prisons, The Center for the Physically Limited, Gatesway Foundation for the Developmentally Disabled, at Resonance Foundation in a special program for children of parents who are incarcerated, as well as in diverse classrooms in public and private schools.
Fran is the mother of four grown children and four fast-growing grandchildren. From the age of 7, she wanted to be a dancer. Circumstances prevented her from attending classes. Now, at the age of 88, because of Invertigo’s Dancing through Parkinson’s program — she is.
Brian Tagomori (Composer and performer)
My guitar playing had always been a personal experience. I never thought that I was any good and shied away from playing for people. It wasn’t until my diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease in 2018 that I let go of my insecurities and realized that playing guitar and creating music was now an essential therapy for my physical and cognitive maintenance. My collaboration with Whitney LePon produced The Ostrich Song. This song would become my first contribution to Dancing through Parkinson’s thanks to instructor Heidi Buehler. It was through the friendships I formed within Dancing through Parkinson’s that I now also have a platform to collaborate. I am home.
Morgan Bronk Lutz (rehearsal assistant, creative collaborator, video artist)
Morgan Bronk Lutz is a dancer, camera choreographer, creative director and multimedia movement artist. Morgan identifies her invisible disabilities as a source of power. As an arts advocate, she is intrinsically motivated by creative community engagement. She grew up in Charleston SC. Dancing at various ballet and competitive dance studios. In 2017 she graduated as a dance major from the prestigious Charleston County School of the Arts. She has done dance course work at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and the Boston Conservatory at Berklee. In 2020 Morgan received her BFA with honors from AMDA College of the Performing Arts in Hollywood CA. In 2021, she graduated from Full Sail University in Winter Park Florida as the Salutatorian with an MFA in Film Production with a concentration in screen dance. Her choreographic voice focuses on finding the connection between visual art and dance. She explores on and off the camera and aims to create thought provoking, bold work. She blends her dance choreography and artistic vision with experimental videography, screen projections and editing. As a camera choreographer she thrives in experimental and avant-garde approaches to cinema and dance.
Zendrea Mitchell (ASL Performing Artist)
Zendrea is a multi-talented artist and teacher who has graced stages as an ASL songstress, actor, dancer, and poet. Being Deaf and a Signer has allowed Zendrea to navigate the world visually, where the movement of the body, hands, eyes, and lips has made space both tangible and alive. Zendrea infuses ASL rhythms to not only decipher and transform music, but to relate to it as well. Zendrea was molded as an ASL performing artist beginning with being raised in a musical family, as a member of a signing choir while a student at the California School for the Deaf in Riverside, and a member of the Black Chorale Ensemble at Syracuse University. She received additional training from the National Theater of the Deaf and Deaf West Theater. She is a graduate of Gallaudet University where she received her Masters of Arts in Sign Language Education (MASLED). As an instructor with StraightUp Abilities (SUPA), Zendrea enjoys teaching the dancers both ASL and songs in ASL. As the students sign back to her, she is reminded of her dream–if all the world signed, not only would this open eyes and hands, but the doors of the mind. Zendrea is truly privileged to be a part of this production.