Moving for the mind

1 May 2017

On Fri 19 May, we are looking forward to taking dance to patients in hospital at the Radbourne Unit, a mental health care unit in Derby.

Presented in partnership with Déda, the workshop coincides with our performance of Witness, which we perform at Déda on Thurs 18 May.

Witness, our newest indoor theatre production, explores mental health issues and draws from the personal experience of our Co-Founder, Kevin Edward Turner, who will be leading the workshop at the Radbourne Unit.

Kevin, who has Bipolar disorder, experienced his own mental health crisis in 2013 when he was sectioned. Following on, he himself received treatment in a specialist mental health unit. Kevin hopes this personal experience will give him the understanding to connect with patients at the hospital, so that they feel the full benefits from taking part in the workshop.

Kevin says: “I hope to create a space where the people feel comfortable enough to express and share some of their own experiences. This doesn’t have to be through words, it can be through the dance or movement that they create. Movement changes the way you feel, it feels good to concentrate on your body and to feel the blood pumping around as you move. Also, sharing how you feel is a positive thing as it helps you better understand what you’re going through. I hope the people in the workshop get lots of things from it, but mostly I hope we catch a smile, a joke and that everyone enjoys it.”

Dance is a tried and tested method in helping to alleviate mental health problems as it can help you express and manage feelings that might otherwise be overwhelming. This is one of the reasons that mental health is an important theme in Déda’s programme.

Clare Limb, Déda’s Head of Learning & Dance Development says: “The activities that we have organised complement the performance of Witness and are part of a wider Arts and Health programme delivered by Déda’s Dance Development and Learning Team. We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Radbourne Unit and look forward to this being a starting point for an exciting partnership going forward.”

Kevin from Company Chameleon adds: “When I look back at my time in hospital, the more positive experiences were when people came in to do things with us. We did a drumming workshop one time and a drawing workshop another. I’m not a drummer and I’m not the best drawer in the world but I really enjoyed the sessions. I found them therapeutic as they gave me something to focus on other than the fact I was unwell in hospital. On a personal level, it feels like my own journey is coming full circle, and it feels good to be able to offer a positive experience to people who are suffering, perhaps in a similar way to how I was.”

The Radbourne Unit is run by Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, which provides mental health services across Derbyshire. Hannah Burton, Service Manager for the Radbourne Campus, says: “We are very excited that Company Chameleon have chosen to come and deliver a dance workshop at the Radbourne Unit. We try to offer lots of different ways to support people in their recovery from mental ill health, including a range of physical activities, and this dance workshop will complement our approach really well. With Kevin leading the workshop, and bringing his experience and understanding of mental health, we are confident that the participants will benefit greatly from the session.”

Witness will be performed by Company Chameleon at Déda on Thur 18 May. Tickets are priced £12, £10 concessions and can be booked online here.

A post-show discussion will take place after the performance, in which Kevin will be joined by the cast, Déda staff and Arts and Health representatives for a Q&A session.

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"10 was such a wonderful experience - I cant wait to see more of your incredible work!" "Effortless grace, strength, humour and athleticism - a visual treat!" "We brought 65 young people to your performance tonight - every single one loved it! What an amazing show!" "This show reminded me why I dance and what I’m constantly working towards! Thank you for this experience!" "Such beauty in the small moments of this show - please don't stop doing what you’re doing"

Thank you to everyone who comes to watch us perform and for all your wonderful comments and feedback!