Reflections is a touching and uplifting film danced by participants of the NDCWales’ Dance for Parkinson’s programme and is now available to watch, along with a mini-documentary online.
The film is the best example of National Dance Company Wales’ ongoing commitment to making dance for every body, and every ability; as it has the power to improve both mental and physical wellbeing.
Reflections is created this year in response to Afterimage, a magical dance piece by Fernando Melo which was toured as part of NDCWales’ 2019 Awakening tour. NDCWales Artistic Director Fearghus Ó Conchúir prepared the film’s choreography throughout the Dance for Parkinson’s classes this spring with class leaders Yvette C Halfhide and Helen Woods. Filmmaker Jonathan Dunn shot and edited the piece.
When talking about the film Fearghus said:
“all kinds of people can move, they move in different ways, they bring different knowledge, different kinds of bodies and experiences, but for me, creativity is a way to help that be visible, to show how dance can be different…It's been important to build a choreography, and a way of working that could look after and respect and cherish the individuality of all the different people who are participating and that means on their good days, and on the days that are not so easy for them.”
Afterimage was a dance piece that used huge mirrors so that subjects could appear and disappear live on stage, the set was inspired by an illusion known as Pepper’s Ghost. The dance featured choreography drawn using audio-recorded conversation as a rhythm for movement.
For the Reflections film, Fearghus used these ideas with the dancers and created a choreography and a film which speaks of memory, reminiscence, loss, reunion, friendship and love.
Participant Wendy said “Not only do you see people with Parkinson's but we all laugh, and it’s wonderful to know that you can all laugh even though you've got this terrible illness, you want to go on, life hasn't finished.”
You can watch the film and accompanying mini-documentary in their entirety online now via National Dance Company Wales’ website and social media channels.