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Screening of Capturing Grace and talk with David Leventhal

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ArtYard

62a Trenton Avenue

Frenchtown, NJ 08825

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http://www.capturinggracefilm.com/

Director: Dave Iverson

Capturing Grace explores an unlikely intersection between two very different worlds: one is occupied by a legendary dance company, people who move with beauty; and the other by people who live with Parkinson's disease and sometimes struggle to move at all.

Following the screening, Dance for PD founding teacher and program director David Leventhal from the Mark Morris Dance Group in Brooklyn will discuss the making of Capturing Grace and the intersection of dance and Parkinson's more broadly. After taking questions from the audience, David will lead a brief, interactive dance activity to wrap up the event.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8k3-lwWRYYk

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The Mark Morris Dance Group's award-winning Dance for PD® program offers internationally-acclaimed dance classes for people with Parkinson’s disease and their families in New York City and, through our network of partners and affiliates, in more than 300 communities in 25 countries. In Dance for PD® classes, people with Parkinson's and their care partners and families are empowered to explore movement and music in ways that are refreshing, enjoyable, stimulating and creative. Born from the idea that people with Parkinson’s could benefit from the insight and specific techniques and methods used by dancers to guide their own bodies and minds, Dance for PD is an aesthetic experience that focuses on developing artistry and grace while addressing such Parkinson's-specific concerns as balance, flexibility, coordination, gait, social isolation, and depression. Launched in 2001, the program also delivers comprehensive teacher training, distributes innovative instructional media around the world, and nurtures relationships among other organizations so that classes based on the Dance for PD model are widely available.

The Dance for PD teaching approach is built on a fundamental premise: professionally-trained dancers are movement experts whose knowledge is useful to persons with PD. Dance for PD teaching artists integrate specially selected movement from modern and theater dance, ballet, folk dance, tap, improvisation, and choreographic repertory to engage the participants' minds and bodies. Dance for PD serves as an enjoyable experience that stimulates physical, social, cognitive and expressive engagement. The program started as a unique collaboration between the Mark Morris Dance Group (MMDG) and the Brooklyn Parkinson Group (BPG). The program launched in 2001, after BPG's Executive Director Olie Westheimer approached MMDG with the initial idea for a class.

The Dance for PD method has been presented at the International Congress for Parkinson’s Disease and Related Disorders in Berlin (2005), four World Parkinson Congresses (Washington, D.C., Glasgow, Montreal and Portland), Neuroscience 2008, Lincoln Center Global Exchange, and the Edinburgh International Culture Summit. Articles about the class have appeared in USA Today, Neurology Now, The New York Times, and Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation among other publications, and the class has been featured on NPR's All Things Considered, PBS Frontline, PBS NewsHour, CNN, NBC Nightly News, and CBS. A documentary called Capturing Grace, directed by Emmy-award winner Dave Iverson, premiered at the Mill Valley Film Festival in October 2014 and has received awards in six major festivals, receiving critical acclaim from The New York Times, among other publications.

Universities and colleges around the US host or co-produce Dance for PD classes on campus. By offering Dance for PD on campus, institutions of higher education provide opportunities for faculty and students in dance, music, health sciences and professions, and psychology to immerse themselves in this area of exploration while opening their doors to the community. Dance for PD maintains partnerships with Brown University, Connecticut College, The Juilliard School, New York University, The New School, Rutgers, University of Florida, Oakland University, University of Michigan, Gonzaga University, University of Florida, James Madison University and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, among others.

Dance for PD’s strategy includes leveraging the latest technology to make the program more accessible to its diverse and expanding network of constituents around the globe. MMDG partners with Canada’s National Ballet School to stream flagship classes and training workshops to new audiences from Australia to India. Meanwhile, the MMDG Dance for PD team worked with SS+K, a New York-based creative agency, to develop a Google Glass App based on the program’s exercises and methods. In partnership with the Foundation for Community Dance and the Dance for Parkinson’s Network UK, Dance for PD has created a ground-breaking online e-learning program that provides a best-in-class introductory training environment for teachers anywhere in the world. Since 2007, MMDG has presented more than 80 teacher training workshops, which have led to the replication of Dance for PD classes in 43 states throughout the United States, and in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Malta, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe. Evidence from 38 peer-reviewed scientific studies serves to underpin the effectiveness and benefits of the Dance for PD teaching practice. Research shows that the Dance for PD® model may relieve debilitating symptoms, aid short-term mobility, significantly improve stability, contribute to social inclusion, improve overall quality of life and self-efficacy, decrease rigidity and improve facial expression. The program actively pursues research opportunities with leading academic centers including Columbia University, Washington University in St. Louis, Stanford University, and Syracuse University. The program has been honored by several awards, including the Parkinson Awareness Award, Alan Bonander Humanitarian Award, the ADA Sapolin Public Service Award from the New York City Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities, and the William Pearson Tolley Medal for Distinguished Leadership in Life Long Learning. In September 2016, program director David Leventhal received a World Parkinson Congress Award for Distinguished Contribution to the Parkinson Community. In 2018, he received a Martha Hill Dance Fund Mid-Career Award for his efforts developing Dance for PD.

More information is available at www.danceforpd.org.

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Five core initiatives constitute the Dance for PD program:
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1. Sustaining current classes in Brooklyn, Manhattan, The Bronx, Staten Island and Queens and expanding Dance for PD class offerings throughout the New York City area with a goal of increasing access to underserved populations throughout all five boroughs.

2. Fostering collaborative partnerships among Parkinson’s disease, arts, and medical organizations in other cities to support establishment and sustenance of classes based on the Brooklyn model, and spearheading research efforts that continue to prove the safety and benefit of dance interventions for people with PD

3. Offering master classes when MMDG tours to cities where Dance for PD classes are already operating, and producing demonstration pilot classes in communities that have expressed interest in establishing a future Dance for PD program. This model supports replication in a highly cost-effective way.

4. Training and certifying qualified teachers in the Dance for PD approach and best practices, and sharing information with administrators and PD group coordinators so that they can carry out administrative best practices in support of local Dance for PD programs.

5. Creating a series of products and resources—website, teacher handbook, At Home DVD and Google Glass App for persons with PD, members’ and teachers’ online groups, online training and live streaming capability—that serve to support, enhance, and expand our mission and inform a wide variety of stakeholders about the benefits and strengths of the program. Members’ and teachers’ groups and virtual platforms aim to foster a global network in which information and ideas can flow freely to enhance the working knowledge of practitioners and participants.

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About David Leventhal
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David Leventhal is a founding instructor, lead trainer and Program Director for the Mark Morris Dance Group’s Dance for PD® program, which serves as a model for classes in more than 300 communities in 25 countries. He leads classes for people with Parkinson's disease around the world and trains other teachers in the Dance for PD® approach. He has co-produced three volumes of a successful At Home DVD series for the program and has been instrumental in designing innovative projects involving live streaming and Moving Through Glass, a dance-based Google Glass App for people with Parkinson's. He is a lead partner, with scientists from Columbia and Washington University in St. Louis, on an innovative research project investigating the effects of choreography on walking speed in people with Parkinson’s. He received the 2018 Martha Hill Mid-Career Award in recognition of his work developing Dance for PD, the 2016 World Parkinson Congress Award for Distinguished Contribution to the Parkinson’s Community, the 2013 Alan Bonander Humanitarian Award from the Parkinson's Unity Walk. He is a founding member of the Lincoln Center Global Exchange and a Thought Leader for the Edinburgh International Culture Summit. He has presented on the intersection of dance and Parkinson’s at Stanford, Georgetown, Brown, Columbia, Weill Cornell Medical College, University of Michigan, Penn State Hershey Medical Center, Rutgers, Tufts, University of Florida, UT Austin, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Liège and Peking Union Medical Center Hospital, among others. David serves on the Board of Directors for the Davis Phinney Foundation, and as an Advisory Board member for the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Arts & Humanities Program and the Dance & Creative Wellness Foundation. He has written chapters about the Dance for PD program Moving Ideas: Multimodal Learning in Communities and Schools (Peter Lang), and Creating Dance: A Traveler's Guide (Hampton Press) David designed and teaches a pioneering dance-based elective course that is part of the required Narrative Medicine curriculum at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. As a performing artist, he danced with the Mark Morris Dance Group from 1997-2011, receiving international critical acclaim for principal roles in some of Morris’ most enduring works. He received a 2010 New York Dance and Performance Award ("Bessie") for his work with the Mark Morris Dance Group. He attended Brown University where he received a B.A. magna cum laude with honors in English Literature. David was an inaugural trainee in the 12-month Emerging Leaders Boot Camp for Arts Administrators at the New York Foundation for the Arts and was selected to participate in the 2017 American Express Leadership Academy for Arts and Culture leaders.


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