January 18-19, 2018 at the Mandel Cultural Center in Jaffa, Israel

MOVING COMMUNITIES is a conference celebrating three years of dance classes that brought together dance professionals and people living with Parkinson’s disease at the Yasmeen Godder Studio in Jaffa, Israel. The conference, which took place on January 18th and 19th 2018, invites participants to re-examine and experience anew the connection between thought and movement, dance and well being, and art as a transformative force in the community. It will focus on different practices of teaching dance to people with Parkinson’s, as well as on the exploration of new initiatives that connect creativity, body and community.

Our Contemporary Dance Classes for People Living with Parkinson’s began as a part of the “Störung/Hafra’a” Project – a collaboration between the Yasmeen Godder Company, Theatre Freiburg in Germany, and the Excellence Cluster BrainLinks-BrainTools at the University of Freiburg. This collaboration, which proved to be immensely rewarding on many levels, continues to this day in the form of two dance classes a week. Led by professional dancers and supported by a group of volunteers from the dance community and beyond, the classes employ a wide range of movement practices, from Capoeira to the Alexander Technique and from voice exploration to improvisation. The classes create a unique encounter that continues to be a source of inspiration and change both for the danceteachers and for the PD (Parkinson’s Dancers), whose illness has forced them to become movement experts.

The community that has evolved from these encounters developed a wide body of knowledge, which we’d like share, challenge and expand. MOVING COMMUNITIES will incorporate experiential workshops, performances, guest lectures and panels led by internationally acclaimed dance professionals, academics and the PD dancers.

Among the guests are: David Leventhal – a founding teacher and Program Director for Dance for PD®, a program of the Mark Morris Dance Group that has now been used as a model for classes in more than 250 communities in 24 countries; Roberto Casarotto, Director of dance projects for the Centro per la Scena Contemporanea di Bassano del Grappa (CSC) and Operaestate Festival Veneto and initiator of Dance Well – Movement research for Parkinson, and Monica Gillette, dancer/choreographer and co-artistic director of two research projects “BrainDance” (2014) and “Störung/Hafra’ah” (2014-16), both of which researched what role knowledge that is specific to dance can play in trans-disciplinary and societal contexts. These highly regarded innovators and teachers will talk about their work, their thoughts and philosophies as dance ambassadors in the community.

Guest lectures also include Prof. Zali Gurevitch poet and professor (emeritus) of Anthropology at the Hebrew University, And Prof. Edan Segev of Computational Neuroscience, Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

We invited everyone to participate in this multi-generational and multi-disciplinary event, which views the meeting between diverse bodies, contexts and fields of expertise as a fruitful and significant factor for artistic creation and the development of communities.

The 2017’s Classes and the conference of Moving Communities were made possible thanks to a generous grant from The Ted Arison Family Foundation.

for the full program