February 18, 2016

UAB’s Alys Stephens Center presents Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater, “Theater for the Heart and Mind” Feb. 29-March 5

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Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater will present free workshops and performances to students, patients and the community as part of a weeklong residency presented by the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center.

The Alys Stephens Center, along with ArtPlay, its home for arts education, and the UAB Institute for Arts in Medicine will work with SPDT for the residency from Feb. 29-March 5. Along with UAB departments, SPDT will work with professional and family caregivers, patients, and residents of independent and assisted-living facilities.

This residency is designed to serve and promote creativity in aging, and its community-inclusive workshops are perfectly suited for UAB, says Anna M. Thompson, executive director of UAB’s Alys Stephens Center.

“Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater utilizes the power of touch and movement to provide people new ways to communicate,” Thompson said. “These workshops inspire creative expression while also alleviating stress.”

The week will feature a free, one-hour performance at UAB Hospital’s North Pavilion at 1 p.m. Thursday, March 3, and culminate with a grand performance in the Alys Stephens Center’s Sirote Theatre at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 5. The Birmingham Sugar Babies, a women’s tap-dancing troupe whose members range in age from 50s to 70s, will perform in the ASC lobby at 1:15 p.m. Call 205-975-2787 or visit www.AlysStephens.org for more details.

This residency is designed to serve and promote creativity in aging, and its community-inclusive workshops are perfectly suited for UAB, says Anna M. Thompson. Workshops are set with the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Theatre musical theater students, patients from assisted-living facilities and community centers around the city, and caregivers at UAB.

Workshops are set with the College of Arts and SciencesDepartment of Theatre musical theater students, patients from assisted-living facilities and community centers around the city, and caregivers at UAB.

UAB’s ASC provides arts classes and programs to residents of independent and assisted-living facilities in the Birmingham area. ASC offers programs specifically designed to engage older adults in health improvement and life-enhancing activities through the arts. Research shows that regular participation in arts programs helps minimize age-related physical and cognitive impairments, and contributes to better physical, intellectual and emotional health. Some successful programs use the arts to address issues and work with individuals who suffer from Alzheimer’s, dementia and depression.

Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater is an internationally recognized performance company, founded in 1978 by Stuart Pimsler, and co-directed with Suzanne Costello since 1984. The company has been presented throughout the United States and internationally in Canada, Europe, Israel, Taiwan, Russia, Bermuda, China and Mexico. SPDT’s community-inclusive work, which engages a diverse array of people, has been lauded as a “National Model” by The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts has recognized its Arts & Healthcare work for its “Best Practices.” 

The company’s singular and elaborate work has garnered critical acclaim for its ability to situate highly physical, emotional vocabulary within stunning theatrical landscapes. In these imagistic worlds, SPDT creates poetic stories focused on love, loss and the need for connection. SPDT’s gifted company of performers and collaborating designers continues to realize a signature vision of “theater for the heart and mind.”

An array of workshops is set for the week in UAB’s Acute Care for Elders Unit. In “Life Stories,” a seated movement/story workshop for senior adults and veterans, participants give voice to their life histories. Through group sharing and gentle movement exercises, they find new ways to communicate their life experiences so that they may be heard, honored and celebrated. 

Public workshops include “Caring for the (Family) Caregiver” from 1-3 p.m. Monday, Feb. 29, at the ASC, 1200 10th Ave. South, and “Transforming the Doctor-Patient Relationship” from 3-5 p.m. Friday, March 4, in UAB’s West Pavilion Conference Center, Room E, 615 18th St. South.

Additional Info

  • Event Date: February 29
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