Exploring the Power of Dance to Support Embodied and Relational Capabilities

  • Pia Kontos, KITE Research Institute, University Health Network
    Coach House, Green College, UBC and livestreamed

    Wednesday, February 14, 5-6:30pm with reception to follow
    Coffee and tea available in the Piano Lounge at 4:30 pm
    in the series
    Embodiment as Knowledge Translation | Cecil H. and Ida Green Visiting Professor
  • Decreasing stigma associated with dementia and fostering dementia-inclusive communities are key public health priorities across national and international settings. While engagement with art has enormous potential to reduce stigma by supporting embodied self-expression, creativity and social inclusion, the arts have mostly been restricted to therapeutic interventions with the aim of reducing symptoms and improving cognitive and physical health outcomes. Research, too, is largely dominated by the interventionist paradigm that targets these outcomes. In this presentation, Pia will discuss these limitations by drawing on empirical research on Sharing Dance Older Adults, a novel dance program for people living with dementia in residential long-term care settings. The analysis presented, which draws on a relational model of citizenship, highlights the critical role of embodiment in creative self-expression and social engagement, and also addresses broader issues of inclusivity and the imperative to more fully support engagement with the arts for human flourishing. She concludes with some discussion of the interactive, educational and emancipatory power of the arts to effect individual and social change, and to illustrate this, she will screen a short documentary film that features the Sharing Dance program and is intended to support a broader movement to support dance for life enrichment.

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    Pia Kontos is a Senior Scientist at the KITE Research Institute, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, University Health Network, and Professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. With colleagues, Pia has helped develop and advance a relational caring philosophy and arts-informed educational initiatives to support the adoption of relational caring in practice. Her research draws on critical and relational theories and uses qualitative and arts-based methodologies as a means of promoting personal transformation and social change in dementia and long-term care. She has presented and published across multiple disciplines, primarily on embodiment, relationality, ethics and creativity.




    Organized by Green College Leading Scholars, this series invites perspectives on how to locate, understand, experience, enact and care for embodiment. How is the body activated as source and repository of knowledge? Where do we find generative inquiry into the affective and social dimensions of producing and exchanging knowledge? This series of lectures and roundtables explores the performance of care; relational accountability; and the emotional labour involved in archival work, storytelling, translation, healthcare, creative practices and teaching.

    Series Conveners: Abdul-Fatawu Abdulai, Nursing; Irem Ayan, French, Hispanic and Italian Studies; Stephen Dabugblor, Journalism, Writing and Media; Julia Henderson, Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy; Sara Ann Knutson, History; Jillian Lerner, Art History, Visual Art and Theory; Jasmin Ma, Kinesiology; Elif Sari, Anthropology; Rosanne Sia, Gender, Race Sexuality and Social Justice; Logan Smilge, English Language and Literatures; Helena Zeweri, Anthropology; and Mila Zuo, Theatre and Film

  • Unless otherwise noted, all of our lectures are free to attend and do not require registration.

February 14th, 2024 from  5:00 PM to  6:30 PM
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Speaker Series Embodiment as Knowledge Translation | Cecil H. and Ida Green Visiting Professor
Short Title Exploring the Power of Dance to Support Embodied and Relational Capabilities
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