Friday lunch time and I’m having one of those snatched ‘paths crossing’ conversations with Charlene:-
‘Every week when I see James he doesn’t remember that we’ve danced together. He remembers me but he has no recollection of us dancing. He says:
‘But I can’t get up out of my chair’, and I say “but you always dance in your chair”
So he says ‘OK’ with a puzzled look. He just doesn’t remember. And if I put on the music he’ll say “I know the song”, he’ll sing it, but he doesn’t really remember. It’s somewhere there.
He won’t get out of bed unless me and Zoe pick him up from his room together. Zoe always sings: “”Good Morning, Good Morning” to him and “Hello, it’s time for the rehearsal. Are you ready to join us?” and he sort of gets really cheery and we get him his wheelchair and we take him out. But when the music comes and Billy starts singing (in the theatre in front of an audience of 140 people) it’s like a different James. He’s got so much art and love and creativity in him.
His mind forgets and his body remembers. He remembers everything that we’ve done before with no problem. He remembers where to catch me, I’ll just prompt him a little bit and he’ll just do the rest. Each week I’ll add a little bit more on. I’ll say can we try it like this? And I’ll just add this bit. And he’ll say ‘Oh ok.’ And he looks a little confused but when he starts dancing, when he starts dancing it there no problem. There’s something magical about that man.’
Charlene Low is a dance artist working with Entelechy; Zoe Gilmour is a musician working with Entelechy.