For those who cannot…
Artistic Director Dr. Seónagh Kummer invites you to participate…
For 10 years I experienced the aging process with my mother after she could no longer be independent. I watched her experience the effects, losses and pains of Altzheimer’s and Dementia with extraordinary grace. The experience of staying very present with her during this time has been profound, and I collected treasured life lessons.
My mother is a person to whom I am very deeply joined to in an ancient way, as a friend of my soul. I began to develop dance movement about her experiences, and our experience together of being in relationship during these changes, of helping her find pieces of herself, of walking beside her throughout her slow losses, fears, suffering, and loneliness. I am working toward some meaningful projects related to this disease, and collaborating with theatre artist Carolyn Dunn, and dancer-collaborator Rosa Rodriguez Frazier.
One of our deepest longings as humans is to have love and friendship. The person with dementia often experiences a deep loss of loneliness and isolation that is worsened when she or he cannot remember the friend from the day before and thus cannot build or develop friendships. For the dementia person the soul-knowing of another person can still continue to be present as a sensed belonging. Even if there is a sense of being both outside of time and in the moment, the dementia person who carries the wisdom of awakening to the eternal, to the timelessness within oneself, may still be able to feel a sense of belonging to an energetic complexity of life. In this way, she or he can continue to deepen her presence on earth.
As I develop movement for a dance piece I am creating I am opening up to a wider community interested in movement ideas about memory, time and belonging. My mother’s experiences teach me to explore deeply this sense of belonging on the earth, and as part of this process I am developing movement about timelessness and memory in belonging. Movement can help us attune to different fluids of our bodies such as Cerebrospinal Fluid, and this can help to create a sense of equanimity, balance, and being at peace in the moment, which relates to timelessness and belonging. The experience of such movement is healing and helps to create a sense of peace.
The next series will begin in October 2023. This class is open for anyone who wants to explore a healing process through movement. The class will also likely benefit or attract individuals who are helping–or have helped–a beloved, an aging parent, a spouse or another close person, through a dementia journey. Classes are open to anyone at any level of movement and dance ability who is curious about this process, and movement options will be offered for different body types or degrees of strength and flexibility.
Check back here and on the events page where we will offer specific workshop times beginning in October 2023. When we play together in movement (online classes), we form a sensed community. I will listen to you and guide you through improvisational work during the class, and in this way I am building on my understanding of the topic. The prompts I offer may help you with telling your story, and your story may become part of a collection of stories that leads me to new insights and creative directions in my work.