Disorder / Ha-fra-ah

The participants of the University of Freiburg winter school approach the subject of movement and movement disorders from two different perspectives: an academic one and an artistic one. The focus is on people suffering from Parkinson’s disease. How do they move and what moves them? Investigation and empathy paired with observation and interaction all go hand in hand in the process, for at the place where research, dance and individual experience meet, it’s only possible to gain new insights if all those involved share their respective knowledge of entirely different fields and link them together in new ways.

An unusual, multi-faceted bilateral experience with considerable methodological underpinnings which brings together up-and-coming academics from the areas of neuroscience and medicine with dancers and patients. It’s about a concept of diversity that extends far beyond the question of interculturalism in Germany and Israel, which the participants will work on intensively in presentations, seminars, and not least dance classes. Which ways of thinking characterize everyday research and the dance world in both countries and what do “movement” and “disorder” mean both here and there? Do commonalities exist and how can the two learn from one another in order to “get moving”?

Perspectives emerge in the process that could not be obtained in an everyday clinical setting, yet are hugely important in order to incorporate the experiences of those affected into the research process. At the same time, the visits and return visits to Germany and Israel as well as an ongoing exchange via a blog that accompanies the project enable all those involved to establish personal and professional bilateral networks in the fields of both research and art. This is also aided by a presentation of the project’s findings in Tel Aviv at the end of 2015 together with a documentary film to accompany the entire project which will take the form of a German-Israeli coproduction.

The Disorder / Ha-fra-ah project takes place from February 2 to December 31, 2015 and is being organized by the BrainLinks-BrainTools Excellence Cluster at the University of Freiburg in collaboration with the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, the Theater Freiburg and Israeli dance company Yasmeen Godder. It brings together 16 up-and-coming German and Israeli academics from the fields of neuroscience and medicine with dancers. The focus is on carrying out research on movement and movement disorders in people suffering from Parkinson’s disease. Connecting academic and dance perspectives with those of people affected by the disease leads to new insights and forms of treatment in both clinical and research settings. The findings will be documented in various ways, including a presentation.