Feb 13, 2017 (Toronto) - "I always assumed that seniors were fragile before these workshops, when in reality they are some of the strongest people I know. Disabilities are not only physical. This is one of the best things I’ve ever been a part of.” - Intergenerational Dancer, Cassie White, age 22.
Since the spring of 2016, the Dancing with Parkinson’s (DWP) Intergenerational Dance Project has brought two groups of seniors – those living with Parkinson’s Disease and others seeking greater community engagement – together with a group of youth dancers from Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts, to collaborate on a series of free, monthly dance workshops.
With its goal of tackling ageism, which often leads to greater social isolation for seniors, the project bridges the generational divide by encouraging its young participants to both support and learn from the elders involved. And, as intergenerational dancer, Glen Harris, says, "For the elders, to see the hopes and dreams in the young participants, and to feel… again that we too have hopes and dreams to be realized."
Dance is an inclusive art that has the capacity to transcend differences or barriers - including, age, socio-economic status, and physical or cognitive abilities. And, that is exactly what this pioneering troupe of 30 seniors and youths exemplify in their original, collaborative choreographies that shine a light on the meaningful concerns and playful parallels across generations.
Facilitated by dancer and choreographer, Anisa Tejpar, and Artistic Director, Sarah Robichaud, founder of Dancing with Parkinson's, the project culminates in the DWP Intergenerational Dance Project Showcase, Saturday March 4,, 2017, at Randolph Theatre, 736 Bathurst St. Showcase begins at 1:30pm (Doors open, 12:30). No ticket required. Wheelchair accessible. For information visit www.intergenerationaldance.com
The DWP Intergenerational Dance Project is produced by Dancing with Parkinson's with the support of the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council, in affiliation with the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts and funded in part by The New Horizons for Seniors Program, designed to help ensure that seniors benefit from, and contribute to, the quality of life in their communities through social participation and active living.
We welcome members of the media to attend our rehearsals and public performance for what might be one of the most profound and meaningful commentaries on youth and aging today:
- Workshop Rehearsal, Sun. Feb. 26th 2:20 pm, Randolph Academy, 736 Bathurst St.
- Dress Rehearsal, Thurs. March 2nd 3:10-4pm, Randolph Theatre, 736 Bathurst St.
- Final Rehearsal, Sat. March 4th 11:30am-12:30, Randolph Theatre, 736 Bathurst St.
- Showcase, Sat. March 4th 1:30pm, Randolph Theatre, 736 Bathurst St.
The showcase will be followed by an audience inclusive movement as well as a Q & A with the seniors, youth and organizers.
"Learning from the seniors has opened my eyes to what the future may hold for me. It has made me realize how important it is to live presently and to connect with others,” says Sarah Stewart, Intergenerational Dancer, age 21.
“I learned not to dwell on my problem, but to use the strength of all the other participants to strengthen myself both physically and mentally” - Glenn Harris, Intergenerational Dancer, age 68
"Words don't cut it." - Patricia McPhail, Intergenerational Dancer, age 70
Media Contact, Interviews & Print-Ready Images: Miriam Schacter, Project Manager
Newscasts, radio coverage, introduction video and project info at: www.intergenerationaldance.com or find more information at www.dancingwithparkinsons.com