Paul Hudson: Dementia-friendly creative engagement

The art of actively being creative is a powerful way to connect to yourself and the world around you. Festival Theatre’s flagship project “An Audience With…”, delivered in partnership with Janice Parker Projects, explores the lives and experiences of six dancers; some living with dementia, some not; spanning three generations. Together all six dancers have a combined age of 380 years: they explore what it meant to dance in the days of Variety Theatre, what it’s like to dance together now and what this means in the future.

The participants include three women in their 80s and 90s who were prolific professional dancers and performed at the Empire Theatre (the predecessor to the Festival Theatre) in the 1940’s and 50’s. This project celebrates their work and collaboration in co-creating and authoring a series of live events and workshops, a film and publishing a book celebrating their creative journey together over 2 years. For those participants living with a diagnosis neither they, nor their families, identify with their dementia – the only ‘D’ word that matters here is what it means to Dance!

Paul’s presentation took us through this work.

View Paul's presentation in the video below.