The moving moment a former ballerina with Alzheimer’s listens to Tchaikovsky, and her years of training come rushing back.
In her old age, the Spanish ballerina suffered from the memory loss syndrome and was in a wheelchair. But all it took was the power of music to unlock the memory of her bygone ballet years.
As the main, heartrending melody to the Romantic ballet plays through her headphones, a flicker of recognition and sadness sweeps across González’s face.
Within moments, her hands instinctively reenact the graceful movements she had performed on stage in 1967. At the music’s crescendo, González is completely lost in the performance, her motions and facial expressions exactly mirroring those she’d mastered decades earlier.
The video, interspersed with clips of González performing in Swan Lake in the ’60s, was originally filmed last year.
But as people across the world look to music for comfort, the clip has resurfaced and has been watched on social media by people across the globe, including choreographer and theatre director, Arlene Phillips.
“This has absolutely broken my heart this morning. The glimpses of memory, the sadness for those with or a loved one living with Alzheimer’s. Support @alzheimerssoc and @AlzResearchUK,” she wrote in her tweet.
“If music and dance can restore or hold memory, how precious.”
Last year England’s Health Secretary said dance sessions should be prescribed to more dementia patients, to prevent ‘over-medicalised’ treatment.
A study found that giving patients personal music playlists resulted in a 60 per cent reduction in the need for medication.
A number of other studies have shown how music can benefit those suffering from not only memory loss syndrome, but other physical conditions too.
Marta C. González has sadly now passed away. But the beauty of her art lives on, continuing to bring light in darker times.