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UBC Healthy Aging Research Seminar
Fostering Aesthetic Engagement through Filmed Research-based Theatre: An Arts-based Approach to Culture Change in Dementia Care




Pia Kontos, KITE Research Institute, University Health NetworkCoach House, Green College, UBC and livestreamed
Exploring the Power of Dance to Support Embodied and Relational Capabilities

Wednesday, February 14

5-6:30pm with reception to follow Coffee and

tea available in the Piano Lounge at 4:30 pm 

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 highlights broader issues of inclusivity and the imperative to more fully support engagement with the arts for human flourishing. I conclude with some discussion of the interactive, educational, and emancipatory power of the arts to effect individual and social change, and to illustrate this, I 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.

Livestream link:

More info here

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