Group raises Alzheimer's awareness through contemporary dance

MIAMI – Marissa Nick lost one grandmother to dementia in 2015 and the other to Alzheimer's disease.

As director of the Alma Dance Theater, she decided to honor them through contemporary dance, and choreographed a piece called "Flowers For Spring" because both grandmothers smiled whenever they saw their favorite flowers.

"It was like they were able to see the pieces of themselves in the flowers," she said.

During the show, the stage is filled with thousands of flower petals, spread out like fragmented pieces of their memories.

"When I first started the piece, it was more of a way for me to, I guess, express what I was going through being a dancer and artist. Since then, it has transitioned to a voice for those who do experience Alzheimer's and dementia, but also (for) the caretaker," Nick said.

Nick said the dance has led to open discussions among caregivers about the challenges they face.

For details on public performances of "Flowers For Spring," visit www.almadancetheater.com.

The Alma Dance Theater was a winner in the 2016 Knight Arts Challenge, a program designed to bring the community together through artistic expression.  

Those interested in competing can visit www.KnightArts.org for more information.

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