Building Communities – Dance with Parkinson’s

Transforming identity, developing artistry, discovering new communities.

Saturday December 15th
14:00 – 15:00
Bíó Paradís, Hverfisgata 54

The presentation will encompass three unique experiences coming from Germany, Italy and the U.K., dealing with the topic of dance and Parkinson’s. It will illustrate not only the impact dance has on people confronted by the neurodegenerative, progressive movement disorder, but also how engagement in this field can positively impact artistry, professional development, audience engagement and the shaping of a more diverse dance culture. The trio of presenters comprise a variety of perspectives spanning from dance artists, institutions, scholars and local citizens, offering new approaches for building communities.


Since 2006, Roberto Casarotto has been director of the International dance projects for the Centro per la Scena Contemporanea di Bassano del Grappa (CSC) and Operaestate Festival Veneto. Associate director of Aerowaves, he is a member of the board of EDN European Dancehouse Network. Currently involved in several international projects supported by the EU Creative Europe, Europe for Citizens and Erasmus + Programmes, he develops initiatives aimed at supporting artistic research, mobility and artistic development in the field of dance and the engagement of communities and participation of citizens in cultural activities. He is the initiator of Dance Well – Movement research for Parkinson in Italy. Prior to working for dance organisations, Roberto was a professional contemporary dancer. He is the author of the book Nigel Charnock published in 2009 by L’Epos. Since January 2015 he has been Artistic Director of Balletto di Roma.

Monica Gillette was the co-artistic director of two research projects by Theater Freiburg and Freiburg University – BrainDance (2014) and Störung/Hafra’ah (2014-16) – in Germany and Israel, the latter in collaboration with Yasmeen Godder Company. For these projects, Monica co-created a multifaceted research design, bringing together dancers, neuroscientists, physicians, philosophers, young researchers and people with Parkinson’s to explore movement and movement disorder. Currently, Monica is working on the EU project Migrant Bodies–Moving Borders, which focuses on developing new and relevant actions for the inclusion of refugees and migrants through dance initiatives. As a choreographer she creates participatory performances, most recently involving women aged 17-74 who had been impacted by cancer and school teachers managing the ongoing challenge of culturally changing classrooms. In 2017, Monica and Yasmeen Godder were awarded the inaugural Shimon Peres prize by the German foreign minister for their artistic leadership in the Störung/Hafra’ah project.

Dr. Sara Houston is principal lecturer at Roehampton University and was commissioned in 2010 by English National Ballet for four years of research on the impact of their Dance for Parkinson’s program. She developed an innovative research method that focused both on qualitative and quantitative approaches to measurement and evaluation. Several aspects of the dancing experience were investigated, such as how people engage socially and artistically in the program, how dance may affect functional mobility, how experiences of dancing may affect everyday lives and what motivates people to dance and keep dancing. Since then, Sara has become one of the world’s leading authorities on dance for Parkinson’s and her book, Dancing with Parkinson’s, will be published by Intellect Books in 2019. The book maps the first 15 years of dance for Parkinson’s as an artistic practice and discusses aesthetic and other outcomes of dancing using themes found in her research; ones of beauty, grace and freedom.


Cover photo: Roberto Cinconze
Roberto Casarotto: Matteo Carratoni
Monica Gillette: Lisa Ros
Sara Houston: Mike Massaro