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Beatrice Allegranti explores dementia through dance

10 Nov 2017

Pictured: Sabrina Gargano and Luke Birch. Image: Julia Testa

This December, One Dance UK member Beatrice Allegranti presents I’ve Lost You Only To Discover That I Have Gone Missing, inspired by stories of young onset dementia.

During 2017, Beatrice Allegranti Dance Theatre created bespoke participatory dances for people living with the rare diagnosis of young onset dementia and their families. This dance theatre work-in-progress emerges from the stories shared and relationships forged.

An international cast of four dancers – Luke Birch (UK), Sabrina Gargano (Italy), Takeshi Matsumoto (Japan), and Aneta Zwierzynska (Poland) – takes to the stage to share the impact of these autobiographical dementia stories on their own bodies. Through a choreographic blend of dance theatre woven with Jill Halstead’s commissioned soundscore, the audience is invited to bear witness to the challenges faced when engaging with wider existential and ethical taboos that the dementia stories have provoked. These include loss (of self; language; identity; relationships), fractured intimacy, caring for self-other, safety and consent. The work-in-progress offers audiences an embodied kinship – allowing for the ineffable experiences of dementia to be collectively shared.

Excerpts of this work have been shown at the Open Senses Festival (May 2017), Babel in Bloom (June 2017), The Wellcome Collection (July 2017), and The American Dance Therapy Association Annual Conference, Texas (November 2017).

The evening bill at Merton Arts Space (2 December 2017) and Alexandra Palace Transmitter Hall (9 December 2017) includes pre-performance short films documenting the Participatory Dances, a participatory audience workshop and a post performance Q & A.

Beatrice Allegranti is an award winning choreographer, UKCP Reg. dance movement psychotherapist, feminist writer, researcher and educator having worked with Steve Paxton, Ian Spink, Rosie Lee, Deborah Hay and Jill Halstead. Her artistic portfolio includes ten commissioned dance theatre ensemble and solo works (Bochum Dance Festival; Riverside Studios; Richmond Dance Festival) and, over the past decade, she has made and toured ten dance films (Olympic Studios Cinema; Bergen International Festival; Arts in Mental Health Festival, Hong Kong; National Museum of Porto; University of Urbana-Champagne, Illinois). Her artistic focus is ‘body politics’: the intersection of autobiographical and socio-political factors such as sex, gender, race, class, age, religion, sexuality, size and dis/ability that shape our relationship with own and each other’s bodies.

Her work has been described as ‘aesthetically complex…emotionally and intellectually engaging’ (Henriette Thune, Feminist Review for Becoming Bodies, 2013; 37mins). I’ve Lost You Only To Discover That I Have Gone Missing has been described as ‘incredible…breathtaking’ (Julian West, Created Out of Mind at Wellcome).

To find out more, please visit Beatrice Allegranti’s website.