Artists Miranda Tufnell, Tony Burch, Lisa Dowler and Cai Tomos discuss how creative and embodied dance practice can work alongside and in support of an overstretched healthcare system. How can the complex, sometimes controversial interface between clinical care and the creative arts bring a more whole-body perspective to healthcare, supporting health perhaps rather than solely treating illness? Tony, Lisa, Miranda and Cai share their experience using dance and movement practices in different parts of the healthcare sector, observing its capacity to bring people together and support them to care more effectively for themselves. They argue that dance can invite us to question, explore, and discover aspects of who we are, beyond immediate difficulties or illness, strengthening our capacity to connect with each other, and to adapt to change.
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This talk was part of Crossing Borders 2016, presented in partnership with London Contemporary Dance School.
Miranda Tufnell is a dance artist, writer and teacher in movement and imagination. She is also an Alexander teacher and cranio-sacral therapist. She has been showing her performance work in galleries and theatres across the UK and abroad since 1976, as well as developing pioneering arts and health work both within the NHS for a GP surgery in Cumbria and independently within the UK.
Tony Burch is a GP working across the health service, education and primary care as well as practicing contact improvisation in his spare time.
Lisa Dowler is an independent dance artist and Somatic Movement Educator. She has been researching the effects of improvisation and somatic practice in paediatric healthcare since 2006 at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Liverpool UK. Lisa is a Senior Lecturer in Dance at Edge Hill University, specialising in somatic practice, improvisation in participatory and performance contexts and environmental dance practice.
Cai Tomos works in participatory arts within various contexts offering workshops in dance for those in hospitals, mental health settings, those with addiction, older people, as well as professional actors and dancers accross the UK and Europe. His work is influenced by his preoccupation with the psychological and psychosocial aspects related to dance and dancing.