Dance for PD® presented by Mark Morris Dance Group

Sunday, September 9, 2012
In conjunction with Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts

Image: Dance for PDPeople with Parkinson's disease are invited to explore how music and movement can be empowered into an exhilarating experience in a special day-long program taking place on Sunday, September 9, 2012 at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. The Mark Morris Dance Group and Quick Center for the Arts, in association with the Connecticut Parkinson's Working Group, the Parkinson's Young On Set Support Group of Connecticut, and the Brooklyn Parkinson Group, are presenting this day-long workshop designed especially for people with Parkinson's disease and their care partners. Students attending Fairfield University's School of Nursing will also be in attendance. The event features Dance for PD® classes at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and a lecture at 1 p.m. on the intersection of dance and Parkinson's disease by Dr. J. Antonelle de Marcaida, of Eastern Connecticut Neurology Specialists. All events are free and take place at Fairfield University's Quick Center for the Arts.

In Dance for PD® classes, participants are empowered to explore movement and music in ways that are refreshing, enjoyable, stimulating and creative. Since 2005, the Dance for PD® program has been presented in more than 75 communities around the country and the globe. The Dance for PD® classes, which are free of charge and feature live musical accompaniment, are the first to be offered in Fairfield County. Registration is available at, or by calling (646) 450-3373.

"Although participants from all over the world tell us they find elements of the class therapeutic, the primary goal of our program is for people to enjoy dance for dancing's sake in a group setting," said David Leventhal, Dance for PD® founding teacher, "and also to explore the range of physical, artistic and creative possibilities that are still very much open to them."

The Dance for PD® class is an aesthetic experience that focuses on developing artistry and grace while addressing such Parkinson disease-specific concerns as balance, flexibility, coordination, gait, social isolation, and depression. Teaching artists integrate movement from modern and theater dance, ballet, folk dance, tap, improvisation, and choreographic repertory to engage the participants' minds and bodies and create an enjoyable social environment that emphasizes dancing rather than therapy. Active demonstration by professional dancers inspires participants to recapture grace, while guided improvisation fosters creativity, and experimentation with movement.

The Mark Morris Dance Group (MMDG) and the Brooklyn Parkinson Group (BPG) started offering free dance classes for people with Parkinson's in the Fall of 2001, when BPG's Executive Director Olie Westheimer approached MMDG with the initial idea for a class. MMDG/BPG continues to offer two simultaneous weekly classes for more than 50 participants at the Mark Morris Dance Center in Brooklyn, NY, and has offered Dance for PD® master classes to communities in San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, Louisville, Ann Arbor, Seattle, Urbana-Champaign, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Orlando, Denver, Erie, Philadelphia, Toronto, Edinburgh, London, Auckland, and Tel Aviv, among others. The Dance for PD® program also provides teacher training and nurtures relationships among other organizations so that classes based on our model are widely available

The Dance for PD® method has been presented at the International Congress for Parkinson's Disease and Related Disorders in Berlin (2005), the World Parkinson Congress in Washington, D.C. (2006), Neuroscience 2008 in Washington D.C., and at the 2010 World Parkinson Congress in Glasgow.

The Mark Morris Dance Group has enthralled critics, dance enthusiasts, and novices alike with its amazing technical expertise, unique artistry, and signature use of music. The company returns to the Quick Center at 8 p.m., Saturday, September 15, 2012, with a program featuring works that span the choreographer's career and live music performed by the MMDG Music Ensemble.The program consists of All Fours(2003) Béla Bartók, String Quartet No. 4; Ten Suggestions(1981) Alexander Tcherepnin, Bagatelles, Op. 5; and Festival Dance(2011) Johann Nepomuk Hummel, Piano Trio No. 5 in E Major, Op. 83. There will be a post-performance discussion with Artistic Director Mark Morris.Tickets are $50, $45, and $35.

The Quick Center for the Arts received support for the Dance for PD® performances and the Mark Morris Dance Group from the Department of Economic and Community Development, which also receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts is located on the campus of Fairfield University at 1073 North Benson Road in Fairfield, Connecticut. Entrance to the Quick Center is through the Barlow Road gate at 200 Barlow Road. Free, secure parking is available. Access for people with disabilities is available throughout the Quick Center for audience members and performers. Hearing amplification devices are available upon request at the Box Office. Fairfield University is located off exit 22 of Interstate-95. For further information and directions, call (203) 254-4010 or 1-877-278-7396, or visit

Editor's Note: The Media will have access to these events, but advance notice is required. Photography, still and video, will be available, but on a limited basis.

Image: Martin Thall, a member of the Brooklyn Parkinson, dances with David Leventhal of the Mark Morris Dance Group. Photo by Katsuyoshi Tanaka.

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Media Contact: Mike Horyczun, (203) 254-4000 ext. 2647,

Posted on August 31, 2012

Vol. 45, No. 34

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