Forgetting Natasha tackles dementia via dance and digital animation

This article is from 2011.

Forgetting Natasha tackles dementia via dance and digital animation

Multimedia and memory on the dancefloor at 2011 Edinburgh Festival

‘What would happen if you didn’t have memories?’ asks Heather Eddington, artistic director of dance film company State of Flux. ‘You would almost disappear, because essentially that’s what we base ourselves on – what we’ve done, where we’ve been.’

Eddington says it was a combination of her fascination with memory, along with witnessing her grandfather’s struggle with Alzheimer’s that led to the creation of Forgetting Natasha, State of Flux’s latest multimedia collaboration.

The piece weaves dance, digital animation from video artists KMA, and poetry into a story about a woman coping with the onset of early dementia. Along with poet Anna Mae Selby, Eddington gathered real memories from the three dancers, who all take on the role of Natasha, and shaped them into a narrative enacting her memories as they slip away. ‘We gave them lots of questions and then sent them off to speak into dictaphones. Everything that you hear is true.’

Although her background is in dance, Eddington credits her collaborative style to having parents who were both artists. ‘I don’t ever think “dance is what I do and that’s what I should use”,’ she says. ‘I’m much more open to thinking about the topic I want to look at and what mediums I need to achieve that with the best expression.’

Zoo Southside, 662 6892, 7–27 Aug (not 10, 17, 24), 12.30pm, £12 (£10). Preview 6 Aug, £6.

Forgetting Natasha

Forgetting Natasha

  • 3 stars

Discovering she was losing her memory, Natasha wrote down her life story, only to find she can’t remember where she put it. An immersive multi-layered performance using dance, poetry and digital media that tells the touching story of one woman’s experience of dementia. For this emotional new work State of Flux brings…

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