• ParkiDance

    Start of Pilot Project

Start of Pilot Project


Every week, the atmosphere in Akar Studio is intently concentrated as a group of older adults meet together for a dance training. What all the participants have in common is that they have Parkinson's Disease to varying degrees. Research into the effects of dance training for individuals with Parkinson's has shown remarkably positive results. This Bern-based dance training, ParkiDance, is a project from the heart of Silena Bertolino, who is highly invested in leading an effective and fun training. Silena asked me to collaborate with her group by choreographing a short piece that could be performed in Dampfzentrale in summer 2024. I am happy to have now started this collaboration.

I decided to create a cross-generational group for the piece, 'Old and Young'. In April, ParkiDancers were joined by 10 year old dancers for the first rehearsals. It is interesting to have the speed of youth and the different speed of those-with-more-years-on-earth in the same space, as we play with rhythm, repetition and variation. The exchange is rich and cuts through the layer of competition that often accompanies a homogenous group. Everyone meets the others where they are. A piece is slowly taking shape although the time we spend together seems to be flying, as expressed by one of the participants during the last rehearsal;

'Are we already finished? Please can we rehearse double as long tomorrow?'

One of life's most pleasant experiences is feeling like time flies whilst being creatively engaged. This pilot project will hopefully roll out to provide further performance opportunities for the group. Let's see where it leads us.

Looking for a unique choreographic collaboration?

With a diverse range of experience in choreographing for dance and theatre companies with professional, international, cross-generational and inclusive casts, Vanessa Cook offers a positive partnership.