Kinesiphilia (literally “the love of movement”) is a project set up with the aim of creating a ballet by and for people suffering from Parkinson’s disease, those close to them and any other people involved.

The project has several objectives: to change the image of this disease and re-establish the truth about it, to include patients into a creative and collective project that gives them the opportunity to express themselves and the desire to look after themselves, insisting on the caring attributes of dance and music (as does its sister project "Logophonia") in this pathology, to encourage the creation of dance workshops for Parkinson’s patients and ensure their continued existence via the "Fit Your Mind" project (among others).

Dance, particularly accompanied by music, has proved to be a particularly beneficial tool for these patients, going well beyond other forms of exercises. It seems that due to the emotion that it elicits, dance enables paths to be activated that somehow short-circuit the damaged cells.

The testimonies from patients are touching:

“Dance transports me to a different planet, where the Parkinson’s is not as bad.”

“When I dance, I am no longer ill.”

“We dance together and then we are no longer a self-help group, we have left our disease at the door.”

“It is simply a marvellous experience.”

“Dance has aroused in me something that makes me want to carry on, and as long as it keeps doing that, I will carry on.”

For the few professional dancers involved in this approach who apply their “recipes” to Parkinson’s patients, things are clear: dance stimulates mental activity and connects the body and the mind, thus enabling solutions to be found and strategies put in place that assist movement. It makes movements more fluid and more graceful, it develops flexibility and muscle strength, it helps people gain confidence in themselves, it breaks down isolation, it develops the expression, the hearing and the sense of touch, it improves the perception of one’s body in space which will in turn improve the balance, it unleashes creativity and pleasure.

After some information sessions and invitations to sign up for the project via their local Belgian Parkinson’s Association, patients and their helpers will be directed towards the dance courses nearest them. The classes will be taken by specially trained dance teachers and will be supervised by healthcare professionals (nurses, physiotherapists or doctors).

The type of dance to practise, the music to play, the advice to be given (etc.) will be carefully considered by the various specialists involved (dancers, neurologists, musicologists, psychiatrists, psychologists, etc.).

The choreography will evolve as we go along, depending on what is being taught, drawing its inspiration from the dancers’ experiences, according to their wishes and the objectives we are working towards.

The show will be designed as a series of symbolic and didactic tableaux which successively tackle the themes of life, illness, the doctor-patient relationship, some therapeutic options butalso childhood, the passage of time, the quest for happiness and art at the service of medicine!

We want to move the audience, so that they leave after the show better informed on the disease and also comforted. There will be funny moments and serious moments. They will always be respectful of the person, and profoundly altruistic.

Finally, while we are hoping to stage several performances, a professional DVD of the first will be made and put on sale for the project.

We are also expecting to attract a television team to report on this original project and we will perhaps be able to incorporate some excerpts from it into the show.