Friday’s filming day felt like a celebration – of my mum’s birthday (she would have been 100 on the 16th July!), of dance, of well-being, of this wonderful project and idyllic summer weather.

Jaka, Danielle, Pavel with camera and I began with the idea of threads, moving round my flat tracking memories, from my Mexican kitchen to the places represented in pictures on the piano – Yorkshire, Cumbria, Norfolk and further afield – and on to people – family, friends – in hall and bedroom. We danced, Danielle and I, our responses to the paths we’d traced and themes we’d discovered – flight and freedom, family, the natural world.

Our focus was on the relationship between words, the area where I am most at home, movement and sound. We explored possibilities, Danielle initiating a movement which I would mirror, then I would do the same. Or I would suggest a word or phrase and Danielle would respond with movement and vice versa with Jaka accompanying us with his mesmerising music.

Or we would each try moving and speaking simultaneously (‘that’s something I can’t do – it’s a Parkinson’s thing, not being able to multitask,’ I commented – ‘except that you can, you are!’ Danielle).

Another feature of the condition I was sure would interrupt the day was my tendency to fall regularly. It was only after the team had left and I was sitting on my own with my thoughts that I realised that it hadn’t happened: another example of the way dance asks the impossible of us and rewards us with its achievement.

We recorded sequences in almost every space in the flat, sometimes looking outside through windows and doors onto the balcony as the breeze blew curtains and blinds to and fro.

Danielle had suggested beforehand a process of ‘bathing’ my home and it felt like exactly that, a kind of magic dust sprinkled on my past and present, the people and places, words and ideas that make up my world. I remember saying in a Zoom class some weeks ago that dancing as we did felt as if my home was ‘blessed’ and this was an extension of the same profound process, almost a healing. I feel enormously honoured and privileged to be involved in this amazing project and love the way it renders each of us a part of something precious, a new group identity. How incredible that our shared experience of a ‘movement disorder’ has made this possible, thanks to the imagination and dedication of Danielle and Jaka and the team.  

We found time for Jaka to contribute to the process of word-spinning as inspiration for movement and also for lunch on the balcony, as well as cake – and hugs! Lastly there was an interview and an opportunity for me to read a poem. It was a wonderful day, intense, emotional and tiring but immensely rewarding and I’m really looking forward to seeing the film that is created and also to joining the group live in Poplar in the autumn!

Kate Swindlehurst