Video Shows Former Ballerina With Alzheimer's Disease Remembering Her Choreography After Hearing Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake

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Video Shows Former Ballerina With Alzheimer's Disease Remembering After Hearing Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake

Photo: YouTube / Música para Despertar

A video posted online showing a former ballerina now living with Alzheimer's disease reacting to Tchaikovsky has taken the internet by storm.

Marta C. González a Spanish former prima ballerina who formerly ran a dance institution in New York is sadly often unaware of her surroundings and finds communication extremely difficult. Amazingly though as she begins to listen to the music on headphones she springs to life and artfully moves to the music as she once did as a professional ballerina.

It appears that despite her failing memory her knowledge of music and dance is so ingrained that she has never forgotten it. The video contains a ballerina in the 1960s dancing to the same music, however it has now been revealed that this is not in fact Gonzalez herself.

Choreographer and theatre director, Arlene Phillips, wrote in a tweet after seeing the video:

"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 … If music and dance can restore or hold memory, how precious."

The video goes to show the power of music and its ties to memory. One organisation that takes music into care homes in the United Kingdom is 'Music & Memory'. They state on their website just what it is they do. They say:

"Our approach is simple, elegant and effective: We train care professionals in how to set up personalised music playlists, delivered on MP3 players, for those in their care. These musical favourites tap deep memories not lost to dementia and can bring participants back to life, enabling them to feel like themselves again, to converse, socialise and stay present."

Noted neurologist Oliver Sacks states that the link between music and memory is fundamental and that due to patterns it creates in the brain it can long be remembered even when many things such as people and places have been long forgotten. He says:

"The past which is not recoverable in any other way is embedded, as if in amber, in the music, and people can regain a sense of identity. . ."

The UK National Health Service, following the research into music and memory, has even began prescribing 'music therapy' to those with cognitive decline, hoping to make the lives of those people affected by diseases of age, and those around them, experience happier more fulfilled lives.

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Thinking Humanity: Video Shows Former Ballerina With Alzheimer's Disease Remembering Her Choreography After Hearing Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake
Video Shows Former Ballerina With Alzheimer's Disease Remembering Her Choreography After Hearing Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake
Marta C. González Spanish former prima ballerina who formerly ran a dance institution in New York is sadly often unaware of her surroundings and fin
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