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Dance Epidemic

On Friday 13 July 2018, more than 300 dancers from 29 different countries performed at the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) to promote well being in the hospital environment.

The dancers were from a diverse range of nationalities and ages, including 103 year old Eileen Kramer who was an original member of Australia’s first modern dance company and has danced everywhere from India to Paris, London and New York.

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103 year old Eileen Kramer performing at the Royal Adelaide Hospital

The performances, known as ‘Dance Epidemic’, were scattered across the hospital’s public areas and courtyards and captured the attention of staff, patients and visitors.

Michelle Cripps, Director, Centre for Creative Health, said the performances were delivered to the hospital as a gift from the dancers in an effort to improve wellbeing and patient experience.

“These kinds of activities are all about inserting light and happiness into what can otherwise a scary, stressful place for many people,” Michelle said.

“It was wonderful watching patients and families enjoying the performances, smiling and laughing together. Staff even got involved and had a great time too.”

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Michelle Cripps, Director, Centre for Creative Health with dancers at the Royal Adelaide Hospital

In January 2018, 10 of the ‘Dance Epidemic’ leaders spent a week at the RAH working with international artists Madalena Victorino from Portugal and Giacomo Scalisi from Italy, drawing inspiration from the hospital courtyards and artistic health environment.

Dance Epidemic was part of the Creative Gatherings Dance Project for the International Dance Congress held in Adelaide which also includes a significant research project – a collaboration between the University of Auckland, Queensland University of Technology, Australian Dance Council, Royal Academy of Dance, Australian Dance Theatre, SAHMRI and the Centre for Creative Health (CCH).

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