Free Flowing is a Palazzo Strozzi scheme designed to include people with Parkinson’s disease by merging art with the spoken word and dance. It takes the shape of cycles of encounters held free of charge and open to all, where movement and gesture are devised as interpretative and relational modes of expression.
At the end of each exhibition we stage a public performance or a group action to acquaint the public with our work.
The project, which got under way in 2018, is the product of interaction with the experience of the Fresco Parkinson Institute in Florence and of the Centro Parkinson di Villa Margherita (Kos Care) in Vicenza, both of them international centres of excellence for researching and caring for patients with Parkinson’s or movement disorders, and in collaboration with the Dance Well project promoted by the CSC – Centro per la Scena Contemporanea in Bassano del Grappa.
Free Flowing takes place in front of the works in the exhibition and in the rooms of the Maria Manetti Shrem Educational Centre, an inclusive space accessible to all audiences and the heart of the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi’s educational activities.
The encounters are conducted by Palazzo Strozzi museum educators together with dance teachers Ilaria Corsi, Laura Scudella and Fabio Novembrini who have taken a professional training course entitled Teaching Course On Dance Well – Movement Research For Parkinson’s Disease.
What Free Flowing aims to achieve: art and dance for Parkinson’s
Every activity in Free Flowing is designed to encourage all participants, including those with Parkinson’s, to forge a relationship with art through body language.
Words, movement and dance are ways of exploring the exhibition space and the exhibits on display in the rooms: paintings, sculptures and installations become the starting point for a physical and emotional journey in the course of which participants are encouraged to observe, to listen, and to listen to each other.
The main object of the exercise is to experiment with new possibilities: through dance, a participant activates his or her body and inhabits the space together with the other participants. Physical language is the primary vehicle for connecting with art and with other people and for practising dance as a form of communicating and relating to places, works of art and bodies in movement.
In Free Flowing‘s activities movement is seen as a creative tool, together with the awareness that the practice of dance (thanks to the use of evocative imagery and of rhythm) has a positive impact on people with slow progression neurodegenerative and neurotransmitter disorders such as Parkinson’s but is important for the overall well-being of each one of us.
The project does not have a therapeutic intent in the strict sense of the term but it does aim to encourage emotional, physical, imaginative and relational stimulation to allow participants to take a different view of their condition in relation to a body that is changing and that still be both a source of pleasure and a means for participating and for creating beauty.
Free Flowing aims to provide new stimuli to boost the psychic well-being and foster the participation in society of people with Parkinson’s by creating fully-fledged dancing communities.
Our activities take place chiefly in the rooms and halls of Palazzo Strozzi but in April 2020 we began to host remote activities which were documented and placed at everyone’s disposal for the Tomás Saraceno. Aria exhibition. These initiatives (special WhatsApp groups, encounters on digital platforms and the exchange of audiotracks), devised to impart continuity to the project, have now become an integral part of the scheme in an effort to make participation easier even for people who have trouble getting to Palazzo Strozzi.
The project is renewed from one exhibition to the next.
Participation is free of charge but reservations are required.
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