The Jockey Club Dance Well Project is a creative movement programme designed for people with Parkinson’s disease and people of different ages and abilities through regular dance classes and activities in artistic spaces like galleries, museums and performance venues. Organised by the School of Dance of The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA) and funded by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, this three-year Project will launch the Dance Well classes in September 2022.
Academy Director Professor Gillian Choa adds, “One of the Academy’s main focuses has always been serving our community through engagement programmes of various performing art forms. We are delighted to lead this meaningful project, which aims to bring positive impact to the overall wellbeing of those with Parkinson’s disease, their families and close friends, and at the same time generate awareness of the disease in society. We are extremely grateful to Hong Kong Jockey Club for its kind support to the project.”
With a belief that dance can make meaningful contributions to society, life, and the human condition, the Jockey Club Dance Well Project is modelled after the Dance Well initiative introduced by the Municipality of Bassano del Grappa, Italy and the Centro per la Scena Contemporanea in 2013. The practice has since been extended to other Italian cities and adopted by Tokyo, Kyoto and Kanazawa in Japan. HKAPA introduces this approach to Hong Kong and invites local dance artists for collaborations to bring an inclusive dance experience to members of the public. Dance Well approach was included in the World Health Organisation Report in 2019 to promote psycho-physical well-being, complemented with conventional rehabilitation to creatively address the symptom-specific concerns of people with Parkinson’s disease.
Dance Well Classes - Explore Body and Soul in a Creative Way
Led by veteran teaching artists of different dance genres, Dance Well classes of the Jockey Club Dance Well Project are open to all: people living with or without Parkinson’s disease of all ages, along with their families, loved ones and carers. The dance classes, taking place at artistic spaces, engage participants in an inspiring and inclusive environment, which makes Dance Well different from conventional practices for people with Parkinson’s in gyms or medical settings. Participants are empowered to explore movement and music in ways that are refreshing, enjoyable, stimulating and creative.
Participants who join the Dance Well classes may benefit from various aspects: improve the sense of rhythm, balance and movement; find new forms of creative expression and aspirations; feel empowered; enjoy a better quality of life; open up interpersonal relationships in combating the isolation that often accompanies Parkinson's disease. They are encouraged to look at limits as opportunities, and to redefine the concept of beauty and excellence through creative and artistic expression. Some Parkinson’s participants of Dance Well in Japan reflected on the class experience, “I could have a different experience and feeling compared to normal rehabilitation. It’s important to have times when you forget your disease,” and “you can relax your body and free your spirit: you have a warm feeling all over.”
Scientific research of Dance Well will be led by the School of Dance of the HKAPA to assess the practices and impacts of dance on the physical functioning, psychological and social wellbeing of people with Parkinson’s disease in Hong Kong throughout the project period.
Jockey Club Dance Well Project – Dance Well Classes Details (first 2 series):
Venue: JC Contemporary, Tai Kwun (10 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong),
Ben Brown Fine Arts (201, The Factory, 1 Yip Fat St, Wong Chuk Hang)
Date: Sep 30, 2022 to Nov 25, 2022 (Designated Wednesday & Friday)
Time: 9:45 am – 10:45 am
12 Sessions, Free Admission
Venue: Rehearsal Room, Xiqu Centre (88 Austin Road West, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon)
Date: Nov 9, 2022 to Dec 30, 2022 (Designated Monday, Wednesday & Friday)
Time: 10:00 am – 11:00 am
12 Sessions, Free Admission
Event website and registration: jcdancewell.hkapa.edu
Dance Well class at artistic space
Dance Well classes open up interpersonal relationships in combating the isolation that often accompanies Parkinson's disease.
- Participants must follow the anti-pandemic measures and arrangements by the Organiser. The arrangement of activity may be changed in light of COVID-19 and government measures. Please refer to the event website for the latest arrangement. All the content of works are independently produced by the organiser/creative team, and do not reflect the views or opinions of the Project nor the Funder.
- The photos were taken during the COVID-19 epidemic. All the people at scene strictly followed the precautionary measures in response to COVID-19 implemented at that time.
The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (www.hkapa.edu)
The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA), established by The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts Ordinance in 1984, is a leading tertiary institution in the performing arts in Asia. It provides professional undergraduate education and practice-based postgraduate studies. The study encompasses Chinese Opera, Dance, Drama, Film and Television, Music, and Theatre and Entertainment Arts. Its educational philosophy reflects the cultural diversity of Hong Kong with emphasis on Chinese and Western traditions, and interdisciplinary learning. Since 2008, the Academy has attained the Programme Area Accreditation (PAA) status awarded by the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications (HKCAAVQ) to self-monitor and accredit its own Undergraduate and Post-secondary programmes in the five programme areas of Dance, Drama, Film and Television, Music, and Theatre and Entertainment Arts. Since 2016, the PAA status has been extended to cover Master’s Degree programmes and below. The programmes operated by the School of Chinese Opera are accredited by HKCAAVQ for recognition under the Hong Kong Qualifications Framework. Besides the main campus in Wanchai, Béthanie, the site of the Academy’s Landmark Heritage Campus in Pokfulam, has housed training facilities for the School of Film and Television since 2006. In the QS World University Rankings announced in 2022, the Academy is ranked 1st in Asia and 10th in the world in the Performing Arts category.