EXPERIENCE DAY 2023
A local Dancing with Parkinson’s group, run by Dance Network Association, were excited to work with Thurrock-based CoDa Dance Company this summer, trialling their exciting new digital dance activity.
Funding from Colchester Catalyst enabled DNA to bring CoDa into their weekly Dancing with Parkinson’s sessions in Colchester to test CoDa’s innovative new digital dance work created for, by and with neuro-disabled people living with conditions like Multiple Sclerosis, Acquired Brain Injury and Parkinson’s Disease.
Since 2018, CoDa Dance Company have been conducting artistic, practice-based and academic research into how dance experiences that integrate creative technologies can illuminate and alleviate the lived experiences of neuro-disabled people. In 2023, working closely with a team of neuro-disabled lived experience consultants, CoDa developed an interactive installation that aims to raise awareness about neurological conditions and to shift perceptions of disability.
Dance Network Association’s Dancing with Parkinson’s group were the first people to test CoDa’s interactive installation, including 3 of their newly developed and designed digitally immersive interactive experiences and a series of 4 digital dance films (using innovative creative technologies including depth cameras, VR, AR, and motion capture).
Karen, DNA’s Programme Manager said: “Working in partnership with CoDa, and using the technologies they are trialling, was eye opening for our dancing community and has allowed DNA to think more about the role that technology might be able to play in supporting our programme of work, and enhancing our offer of dance in the community.”
The workshops culminated in a 1-day Dancing with Technology Experience Day at Uni of Essex, co-delivered by DNA and CoDa, to share the installation elements and its benefits to the Dancing with Parkinson’s group more widely.
The day provided an opportunity for DNA’s Dancing with Parkinson’s dancers, their loved ones, others living with Parkinson’s, healthcare professionals and other artists to come and play with these exciting installations and technologies and to experience first hand the benefits that dance and technology can bring.
“We were thrilled to be able to test our new cutting edge research (funded by a £110,000 Arts Council England Project Grant) with DNA’s networks. Their fabulous Dancing with Parkinson’s group shared beautiful and valuable feedback which has informed CoDa’s future development of their work.” - Nikki Watson, Artistic Director, CoDa Dance Company.
DNA’s Dancing with Parkinson’s group were thrilled that dancing with the different technologies alleviated some of their symptoms. CoDa will be continuing to develop and tour their installation and associated workshops during their tenure as a new Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation 2023-26. DNA are considering how they might be able to use creative technologies in further delivery.
CREDITS AND CONTACT INFO:
CoDa Dance Company
CoDa is an award-winning, socially driven, female- & disability-led dance company telling real life differently.
CoDa is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation with a 10-year track record of creating site-specific, Extended Reality and stage productions, alongside workshop and education programmes. They are committed to working with marginalised people, with a particular focus on neurological conditions and those who would not otherwise access dance.
CoDa specialise in Dance and Neurology, delivering exceptional participatory projects in hospitals and communities for people that experience neurological conditions and disabilities, including (but not exclusively) Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, and Acquired Brain Injury. We give people joyful and meaningful experiences that inspire creativity and curiosity. Multi-year funding from the National Lottery Reaching Communities fund supports the delivery and growth of this work.
Donations: CoDa's Local Giving page
YouTube Channel: CoDa Dance Company
Photo credit: Dancing with Technology Experience day activity, co-delivered by DNA and CoDa Dance Company | Mikaela Jade Photography