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Wednesday 25 July: Advanced dance for Parkinson's day

Presented by People Dancing and the Dance for Parkinson's Partnership UK and curated by English National Ballet and Dance for PD®, a program of Mark Morris Dance Group.

Course tutors: David Leventhal (Dance for PD®) and artists from English National Ballet.

This one-day professional development lab is for dance artists who have at least one full year's experience teaching dance for people living with Parkinson's. During the lab, dance artists will experience and develop creative warm-up ideas, delve into English National Ballet's repertoire Voices of America featuring the work of choreographers Aszure Barton, William Forsythe and Jerome Robbins, and explore creative concepts around the use of repertoire and thematic approaches to creating dance with people living with Parkinson's.

There will be an open dialogue across the day where practitioners can discuss, debate and share their experiences whilst identifying best practice and tackling ongoing challenges.

Course applicants must:
  • have more than one year's experience of leading dance sessions for people with Parkinson's
  • have completed an introductory dance for Parkinson's course
  • have over 12 months experience in devising dance material for others
  • have been working in dance for a minimum of five years.

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Application forms

When push came to shove

The People Dancing Summer School will welcome one of the world's leading lights in the growing field of dance for
Parkinson's. David Leventhal joins us from his Brooklyn studio - here's his blog on pushing the seemingly immovable

David Leventhal
David Leventhal is a founding teacher and Program Director for Dance for PD®, an internationally-acclaimed program of the Mark Morris Dance Group that has been used as a model for classes in more than 140 communities in 17 countries.

He's trained hundreds of instructors around the world, co-produced three volumes of a successful Dance for PD At Home DVD series, and has conceived and designed innovative projects like Moving Through Glass, a dance-based Google Glass App for people with Parkinson's. Leventhal is a recipient of the Alan Bonander Humanitarian Award and the 2016 World Parkinson Congress Award for Distinguished Contribution to the Parkinson community.

He has spoken about the intersection of dance and health at such events as the Lincoln Center Global Exchange and the Edinburgh International Culture Summit. As a dancer, Leventhal performed principal roles with the Mark Morris Dance Group from 1997-2011 and received a 2010 Bessie (New York Dance and Performance Award) for his performing career with Mark Morris. An honors graduate of Brown University, he serves on the boards of the Davis Phinney Foundation (USA) and the Arts and Humanities Program at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center (USA).
English National Ballet
English National Ballet brings world-class classical ballet to the widest possible audience - delighting them with the traditional and inspiring them with the new.

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Tamara Rojo, the Company has diversified its repertoire, adding new works from 20th Century choreographers, commissioning eminent contemporary choreographers including Akram Khan, Russell Maliphant and William Forsythe, and staging new, invigorated productions of the Classics. In 2017, the Company was awarded the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance, and Outstanding Company at the National Dance Awards.

English National Ballet’s repertoire and artistic vision is at the heart of its innovative Engagement Programme, which produces world-class activities that promote inclusion and diversity, all delivered by exceptional professionals and reaching over 40,000 people every year.
Since 2008, Dance for Parkinson’s has been an integral part of this programme, with English National Ballet being heralded as leading dance organisation in the UK for its work in the field: creating a recognised model of delivery and training and two significant research studies underpinning the work produced by 1University of Roehampton. The programme reaches over 1,500 people living with Parkinson’s each year, helping to raise the public profile of Parkinson’s, give access to and advocate the benefits of dance and cultural activities for people with Parkinson’s. English National Ballet’s model is delivered in London, Oxford, Cardiff, Ipswich and Liverpool with hub partners Oxford City Council, National Dance Company of Wales, DanceEast and MDI.

Inspired by the repertoire, weekly sessions incorporate live music, dance, rhythm and voice, to promote artistry, freedom of expression and well-being. The programme has been featured in the media and at numerous conferences including AESOP Arts in Health Conference and Showcase, ISPA New York, and is an online case study for the 2Cultural Commissioning Programme.

“English National Ballet has helped demonstrate the broad benefits of dance for people with Parkinson’s, both physically and psychologically. From engaging with participants in their Dance for Parkinson’s classes, it is evident that arts intervention can improve health and change lives for the better, with dance often referred to as a ‘lifeline’ for people with Parkinson’s. We are delighted to partner with this innovative organisation.”

Steve Ford - Chief Executive, Parkinson’s UK.

Note: English National Ballet, Dance for Parkinson’s: Investigative Study 2 by Dr. Sara Houston and Ashley McGill MSc, University of Roehampton.

Please see below to download the Advanced dance for Parkinson's day timetable: