Māpura’s new programme of music, movement and visual art for people with disabilities.
An array of music is used to inspire dance-movement, rhythm and pulse. Participants are led through a movement based warm up. They are encouraged to listen, to breathe, and connect to their self - to immerse themselves in the music, and to respond. The music and dance-guidelines stimulate a kinaesthetic experience in the ‘dancers’ – they are encouraged to ‘imagine’ movement when not necessarily able to physically make that movement; to use their imagination and mind to extend their body beyond what they think is possible.
People in wheelchairs are accompanied and assisted by the arts facilitators and care-workers. Working in tandem the ‘dancer’ and care-worker involve themselves fully in the exploration of movement and rhythm, interacting with other participants. Tools such as long elastic bands and pieces of fabric are used for sensory stimulus – and to explore lines of connection between the dancers. The group is encouraged to interact with one another, moving and playing together.
The movement and rhythm releases great joy for participants. It promotes a sense of liberation and capacity for spatial expression; and generates a sense of newness, and freedom of expression.
The dance- movement experience is then translated into visual imagery through innovative art making practices (paint, pastels, 3-D).
- Increased health & wellbeing
- Freedom of creative expression
- Social confidence
- Mental and physical stimulation
- Participation in a fun, challenging, innovative and interactive programme
- Experience of increased capabilities in physical expression and mobility for people who are in wheel chairs or living with physical impairment (as in stroke-affect).
Background – 2013 Pilot Programme in Dance & Movement
In 2013, Spark Centre piloted their first dance-movement programme: “The Artist in Movement”. It involved music, movement and visual art, and was delivered to a group of ten Spark Centre artists – people living with a diverse range of impairment, including a number of people with cerebral palsy who ‘danced’ in their wheel chairs, partnering with people with stroke-affect and other kinds of disability.
The pilot was led by Kerry-Ann Stanton in collaboration with Spark Centre. Kerry-Ann, an experienced dancer and educator, and Friend of Spark, conducted this pilot programme as part of her Post Graduate Diploma in Dance Studies at the University of Auckland. Kerry-Ann was accompanied by Spark Centre Director (Registered Arts Therapist), Suzanne Vesty, and Arts Facilitator, Sacha Kronfeld.
This pilot was very successful and well received. It has led onto a regular programme in dance and movement now being offered as part of the Spark Centre calendar.