Sensing Mental Illness: Dance and Psychiatry Performance and Roundtable Discussion
Two dance pieces choreographed by Jane Mappin that seek to interpret mental illness through movement serve as bookends for this Roundtable. Mappin is joined by Daniel Firth.
Lewis and Lucie is a site-specific work on homelessness and schizophrenia: a poetic evocation of marginality and solitude. Ils m’ont dit speaks to the inner world of those suffering from mental illness, exploring the complexity of their relationships with others.
Of these two dance pieces the dramatist Arthur Holden writes: “choreographer/dancer Jane Mappin has created a startlingly vivid gestural language, precise and compassionate, to convey the wordless anguish of mental illness. Her performance, infused simultaneously with intimacy and detachment, manifests the profound ambivalence of a world forever at odds with itself in the face of madness; Daniel Firth is nothing short of astonishing in the subtlety and power he brings to the embodiment of a yearning, stricken man.”
Dance permits us to explore feelings, and it enables us to communicate things which words cannot. Dance makes for empathy. How can dance expand our comprehension of mental alienation? Specifically, how might a corporeal approach to mental illness, grounded in dance, unlock dimensions which a purely mental approach, rooted in language and observation, may miss? How can dance be used as a tool for the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness? This Roundtable assembles representatives from dance, creative arts therapy, psychiatry and anthropology to reflect on the lessons to be learned from Mappin’s choreography.
Performers and Speakers
This event involves two professional dancers, Jane Mappin and Daniel Firth, and, for the Roundtable: Sylvie Fortin (Danse, UQAM), Steven Snow (Creative Arts Therapies, Concordia), David Howes (Sociology and Anthropology, Concordia) and Pascale Des Rosiers (Psychiatry, McGill University Health Centre). The event is hosted by Silvy Panet-Raymond (Contemporary Dance, Concordia). It is sponsored by the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture in collaboration with the Centre for Sensory Studies and the Department of Contemporary Dance.
When: Friday, April 21, 2:30-4:30 pm
Where: John Molson Building, Room MB-7.255, 1450 Guy St. (Metro Guy-Concordia)
Open to the public. www.centreforsensorystudies.org