NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On October 29, the Rutgers University Dance department will be hosting a free one day public symposium on Parkinson’s disease.

The symposium will include a movement class designed for people with Parkinson’s disease as well as films relating to Parkinson’s disease and dance, a panel discussion on research advances, and dinner.

Titled “Moving Forward,” the event will be held at the Nicholas Music Center on Douglass Campus at 85 George Street, from 4:30 until 8:30 pm.

The movement class which will be taught by Pamela Quinn, is a well-known dance artist who has Parkinson’s disease herself and developed this style of dance as a type of therapy to help offers suffering from Parkinson’s.

The film portion of the evening will consist of several short films that show the different sides of the disease so that audience members can learn and or relate better.  The films being screened are “With Grace,” “Smaller,” “Neurodance,” “Portrait of two Artists,” “Planting Hope,” and “Power Forward.”

Speakers at the event include David Tamaki, Natalie Schultz-Kahwaty, Dr. Shabbar Danish, and Jeff Friedman.

Tamaki, who is a certified teacher of dance from the New Jersey Ballet along with Friedman, will be speaking about the 2015 Dance and Parkinson’s program to be held at Rutgers University, as well as new classes that will be offered during the 2015-2016 year.

Schultz-Kahwaty, of Easton, Pennsylvania, is a doctoral researcher and Adaptive Movement specialist who recent completely her Ph.D dissertation on dance and Parkinson’s disease, will be reporting on her recently completed research.

Dr. Danish is a neurological surgeon who works for the Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center.  He will be speaking on his research as well.

Friedman, one of the events main organizers, is an associate Professor of Dance Studies in the Rutgers Mason Gross School of the Arts Dance program.

He created the Dance and Parkinson’s program at Rutgers because of his long association with Pamela Quinn, whom he used to dance with at Oberlin Dance Collective in San Francisco, a post-modern dance company created originally in the early 1970s within the InterArts interdisciplinary program at Oberlin College in Ohio.

Friedman and Quinn lost touch for some time after the 1980’s, but then re-connected in 2003.

Prior to this, Quinn was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and had begun developing coping strategies through movement exploration.  Being impressed and moved by Quinn’s work, Friedman decided to start a program for Parkinson’s disease at Mason Gross, citing Quinn as an inspiration since the beginning of the program.

All events are open to the public on a drop in basis and the schedule for the evening is as follows:

  • the movement class will take place from 4:30 to 5:30pm
  • dinner and film will be from 5:30 to 6:45
  • the panel discussion will be from 7 to 8:30 pm.

All participants who wish to attend, for the purposes of catering a light buffet dinner, are asked to RSVP with Colleen Klein, the Dance Department’s Administrative Assistant, at 848-932-1345 or at [email protected].