By Effie McGuire Ward

Effie McGuire Ward (Dance Collaborator for the CID Project) reflects on the second session of the project

Investigating Parkinson’s

Following our physical practice, we came together for a group discussion and reflection. One of the topics which particularly resonated with me from this discussion was that the workshop had been a safe space to embrace the condition of Parkinson’s for artistic investigation as opposed to having to fight or hide the indicators of Parkinson’s in the ‘real world’.

For me, dance very much instigates this interplay with our relationship to ourselves and provides situations where we become more aware of when we are choosing to embrace (or perhaps accept) our individual traits and choices, as well as highlighting some things we might like to change and so may choose to fight against in an effort to grow our creative offering.

What was striking in watching other people’s duets, was how interesting and individual they were whilst all coming from the same framework. There was certainly a connecting and shared collective thread, but so much space for individual contribution through this possibility that each person in the room could embrace their own self. This brought about several unexpected moments which I’d never have come up with and which I kind of wish I had!

As a collective, I feel there is (perhaps subconsciously) an ambition in the room to find, develop and inhabit our own individual movement language where we can be comfortable but also offer a creative voice as artists with or without Parkinson’s. Having a space to embrace our own individual offer therefore is paramount to:

– noticing and accepting our habits
– embracing and developing them to become tendencies in how we might choose to move
– allowing our tendencies to grow to become our own distinct style or flavour which we can contribute to the collective

*This outlook on habits, tendencies and style was a provocation offered to me a few years ago from Kerry Nicholls as part of her Performance Mentoring Programme, the discussion of embracing or fighting in this week’s CID project brought it to the forefront of my thinking again