De Mentis: Silent Stories I, II and III was an independent performance study in collaboration with eight London-based artists and therapists exploring the lived experience of dementia. The final dance theatre performance was presented at Chisenhale Dance Space on the 25th and 27th of February 2011. The show included a pre-show photography exhibition ‘8 Stories’ (photography by Miltos Dikaros) and the short film ‘Fragments‘. A preview of the work was also presented at the 1st National Dance and Dementia Conference (Memory) in Liverpool (December 2010). A solo extract was also performed as part of the Embodying Loss Symposium at the Siobhan Davies Studio in London (June 2012).
Watch a Q & A at the 1st National Dance and Dementia conference here.
Artistic Direction and Production: Marina Rova
Photography: Miltos Dikaros
“It was an extraordinary performance and I was completely transported into the world of the elderly and dementia. Every so often I found that I was reminding myself that you were young performers who were embodying the strange behaviours of the elderly mentally ill, with such subtle accuracy, and not the actual elderly themselves. And the symbolism was unbelievably powerful and moving….the image of the precious empty suitcase and many photographs will stay with me for a very long time as it holds so much of the totality of the experience. Each performer in his/her own way conveyed something so real and the duet vignettes and group sequences were sometimes touching, sometimes very scary, sometimes hopeful and sometimes overwhelmingly distressing.”
“A very moving performance – every aspect of it was exquisite. It captured the essence of isolation beautifully.”
“I could see the dancer’s stories in the performance…it was reassuring to know that they were really processing the material and not just ‘putting it on’.”
“Very sensitively done and I could see it was a lived experience from choreography to performance.”
“There was so much going on that it became too much to process…then I realised that this is what happens in reality in a setting like this and made me think about what we choose to see.”