Dance project for older adults

Dance for older adults Bern - an interdisciplinary project

In collaboration with the Konzert Theater Bern and the Dance & Creative Wellness Foundation, the Department of Dance Science of the Institute of Sports Science offers an interdisciplinary dance project with older adults.

The aim of the project is to promote the health and well-being of older people through dance and creative movement, in an inclusive project for autonomous older adults and those who use a walking aid or wheelchair. The dance-based sessions are fun, creative, stimulating, promoting social contact. Content and teaching approach are based on the latest scientific findings to promote enhanced learning, a sense of success and achievement for participants, stimulating neuroplasticity through creative challenge and the specific use of mental imagery and focus to guarantee a sound training.

The project is based on the season’s choreographic premiers of Konzert Theater Bern professional dance company and takes place on a weekly basis for 13 weeks in the Stadttheater itself. The project draws thematic parallels with the main-stage choreographies and is inspired by the movement vocabulary of the visiting choreographers. Beyond their own dance sessions, participants have direct interaction with the professional dancers in workshops, observing company class and the creative rehearsal process and have opportunities for personal, intergenerational exchange and naturally, performance visits.

Following the success of projects Einstein and Max Richter’s Four Seasons, for the third project spring 2019, the seniors tackle the surreal paintings of Paul Klee as inspiration. Klee is the starting point also for the two new Konzert Theater Bern productions by choreographers Etienne Béchard and Kor'sia.

In addition to the weekly trainings in the theater, participants may also take part in the scientific projects of students of the "Master of Advanced Studies in Dance Science" of the Institute of Sports Science of the University of Bern. Various aspects of well-being, cognition, coordination, strength and endurance are investigated in order to enhance our understanding of the effects of dance on this older population group.