Autumn 2023 marks the beginning of a new partnership between English National Ballet and Liverpool Hope University to deliver English National Ballet’s flagship creative health and wellbeing initiative, Dance for Parkinson’s, in Liverpool.
English National Ballet’s Dance for Parkinson’s offers people living with Parkinson’s, as well as their families and carers, the opportunity to take part in dance classes inspired by the company’s repertoire.
Accompanied by live music and led by highly experienced dance artists and musicians, the classes offer the opportunity to experience the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of dance.
Dance for Parkinson’s classes will be hosted in the inspiring surroundings of the Great Hall at Liverpool Hope University’s Creative Campus.
Students from the University’s Dance programme will have the opportunity to extend their learning by contributing to the programme as volunteers, supporting participation and working under the guidance of English National Ballet’s specialist Associate Artists, learning about the many career pathways that dance has to offer.
The programme also offers unique opportunities to attend performances, meet creatives, and gain behind-the-scenes insight into English National Ballet’s productions, particularly through the company’s links with ATG Liverpool Empire and other venues in the north-west.
English National Ballet’s Director of Engagement, Fleur Derbyshire-Fox, said: “We are delighted to be embarking upon an exciting new partnership with Liverpool Hope University.
"Collaboration between one of the UK’s foremost cultural institutions and a highly respected university will, we believe, provide an outstanding platform for developing this unique creative health and wellbeing initiative.
"We hope to continue sharing the joy of dance and its many benefits with members of the community, and warmly welcome the connection with a new generation of creatives studying at the University.
"We look forward to working with the team at Liverpool Hope to further embed this programme within the local community in our shared commitment to providing high quality social, wellbeing, educational and creative outcomes.”
Professor Stephen Davismoon, Dean of Creative and Performing Arts at Liverpool Hope University, added: “Dance for Parkinson’s is an inspiring project which enriches lives.
“We are therefore delighted to begin this partnership with English National Ballet, which reinforces our longstanding commitment to making the Arts accessible to all through community engagement and social justice initiatives.
“The partnership will provide valuable learning and career development opportunities for our dance students and we look forward to collaborating with English National Ballet to ensure people living with Parkinson's and their families can experience the joy and therapeutic benefits of dance here in Liverpool.”
Established in 2010, English National Ballet was the first UK dance company to develop a dance and cultural programme specifically for people living with Parkinson’s. Underpinned by research from the University of Roehampton, the programme can help with managing daily living with Parkinson’s through the components of the dance class, the creative freedom it promotes, and its social aspects.
English National Ballet previously partnered with Merseyside Dance Initiative from January 2014 until its recent closure to deliver Dance for Parkinson’s in Liverpool, developing a dedicated community of dancers, led by ENB Associate Artists Jennie Hale (Dance Artist) and Chris Davies (Musician). The partnership between Liverpool Hope University and English National Ballet is an exciting opportunity to grow and develop the programme further.
The first term of English National Ballet’s Dance for Parkinson’s at Liverpool Hope University runs on Thursdays, 1.30-3.30pm, from 28 September – 14 December 2023. Classes will take place at the University’s Creative Campus on Shaw Street, L6 1HP.