Zurich Opera House and the Tonhalle-Gesellschaft Zürich are launching a new collaboration – together with the performance group The Field and the Dance & Creative Wellness Foundation.
Connect is a dance project for people living with neurological challenges such as multiple sclerosis (MS) or Parkinson's disease. The impulse for this came from the new ballet director of Ballet Zurich, Cathy Marston, whose ballet "The Cellist" tells the life story of Jacqueline du Pré, who suffered from MS and died at an early age. It became clear very quickly that the establishment of a dance training for people with neurological challenges in Zurich would require the cooperation of several partners in order to lay a strong foundation of expertise and commitment and to establish the project in the long term.
This project, which is unique in Switzerland and Zurich, is the result of a cooperation between the Tonhalle -Gesellschaft Zürich, the Zurich Opera House, the Zurich performance group The Field and the Dance & Creative Wellness Foundation.
The project is supported by the Parkinson Society Switzerland, the MS Society Switzerland and the Neurological Clinic of the University Hospital Zurich.
The launch and information event for patients, relatives, professionals and interested parties will take place on Friday, 3 November 2023, in the Tonhalle (the event is fully booked!)
The pilot phase of Connect will start at the beginning of February 2024. The weekly training sessions will take place on Friday afternoons in the club hall of the Tonhalle Zurich.
Why dance and music?
Recent neurological research sees dance as an ideal intervention for neurological diseases and disorders such as MS or Parkinson's disease. They emphasise the potential role of dance and music in overcoming motor hurdles and improving psychosocial well-being and quality of life. The creative practice and approach of the Connect project is based on evidence-based research in the innovative field of dance and neurology. Movement offers participants the opportunity to create connection with themselves and their environment. Dancing shapes and promotes balance, expression, posture and one's own creativity.
The weekly training sessions are led by professional dancers with the relevant expertise. Musicians from the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich will provide live music in selected sessions. The participants can thus immerse themselves in a musically and dance inspiring environment.
The experience will also be enriched by joint visits to rehearsals at the Opera House and the Tonhalle, as well as encounters with dancers from the Zurich Ballet and musicians from the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich.
The content of the Connect training sessions focuses on a choreography of the Zurich Ballet or a musical programme of the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich over a period of several weeks. In the sessions, the participants examine these works from different perspectives under the guidance of the teaching artists. They also gain an insight into the rehearsal process of the professional production. For the winter/spring season 2024, the Connect team has selected two programmes: The Cellist (Zurich Ballet) and Electric Fields (Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra). These works provide a starting point for creative explorations.
Dates pilot phase
- Information event for those affected and interested. Friday 3 November 2023, 4.00 p.m., Vereinssaal Tonhalle Zürich. Please note that this event is already fully booked!
- Weekly dance training, every Friday 14.00-16.00, Vereinssaal Tonhalle Zurich. Start: 2 February 2024. Registration from 4 November 2023: connect_at_tonhalle.ch or tel. 044 206 34 52 (pilot phase: February-May 2024, optional project extension until July 2024)
Vereinssaal Tonhalle Zurich, Gotthardstrasse 5, 3rd floor, 8002 Zurich
Obstacle-free access to the rooms and disabled parking spaces are available.