Addiction and Performance explored in new bookMonday 15 June 2015
A new book looking at how dance, drama and music can aid in the recovery from alcohol and drug addiction was launched at Liverpool Hope University this week.
Dr Zoe Zontou, Lecturer in Drama at Liverpool Hope University, is co-editor (with Dr James Reynolds from Kingston University) of Addiction & Performance, which features research into cultural stereotypes of addiction throughout history, the narrative of creativity and addiction, and how programmes around the world are using the arts to aid recovery.
The North West is home to a ground breaking dance theatre charity – Fallen Angels Dance Theatre Company - which features in the new book in a chapter written by Dr Zoe Zontou.
Fallen Angels offers creative dance participation and performance activities for young people and adults dealing with and recovering from addiction. From its base in Chester, it works in venues across the North West including Liverpool.
Members of Fallen Angels Dance Theatre Company shared their experiences and performed, whilst contributors spoke about their research at the book launch event at Liverpool Hope’s Creative Campus on Shaw Street.
Fallen Angels was founded in 2011 by Paul Bayes Kitcher, who trained at the Royal Ballet School and at Rambert, danced for the Scottish Ballet and was a First Artist at the Birmingham Royal Ballet. After retiring from dance at the age of 30, Paul fell into addiction, and as a result of his recovery, founded Fallen Angels. Dr Zoe Zontou is a board member and has worked closely with participants from across the North West. The company has performed across the country, including the Royal Opera House in London.
Dr Zontou said: “Everybody who has joined Fallen Angels is in a process of reconstructing their identity as something other than an addict, and dance is an extremely effective way in which to do this. All performance is tied up with identity and personal narratives. The discipline and peer support that comes with devising a performance can be highly therapeutic and members of Fallen Angels have achieved more than they would ever have thought possible.”