Mother’s Day? In Tilburg they need a whole month!

Devotees have flocked to a tiny sanctuary during the month of May for centuries. They come to reflect, pray, pay respect, commemorate and celebrate Mary, the mother of Jesus, or maybe their own mother, all mothers, or just themselves. Join one mother on her annual pilgrimage to the ancient Hasseltse Chapel in Tilburg, The Netherlands. Please choose HD quality for best playback. Video 5:45 min, Dutch with English subtitles. Created and produced by Marcel Baaijens. With thanks to Henriëtte Peters.

 

 

 

 

Rhythm Beat (dementia) Blues Technique

‘Rhythm Beat (dementia) Blues’ Technique
by Marcel Baaijens

Rhythm is first experienced in the womb and one of the last memories to go. It is a non-verbal ‘language’ we can use to connect and interact with people with advanced dementia, especially at a time when verbal communication is diminishing. Applied as a simple dance the technique activates voice, body and soul.

Music and songs provide a structure and lifts spirits. Simple hand dances provide physical connection, a meaningful occupation of time and expression to music. ‘Rhythm Beat (dementia) Blues’ is beneficial to both giver and receiver. It will bring joy to family visits and caring situations.

The ‘Rhythm Beat (dementia) Blues’ technique combines principles of Base Stimulation, Holistic Pulsing, and Sitdance to effectively establish human interactions and meaningful connections. It is person-centred, intuitive, and easy to learn.

A 2-hour workshop with creator Marcel Baaijens will teach you the ‘Rhythm Beat (dementia) Blues’ principles and empower you to put the technique into practice. Workshops are available on request. To request a workshop or find out if one is held near you visit www.sitdance.com or the Sitdance Facebook page or contact Marcel through the contact form of this site.

Marcel is currently travelling through Australia and is available for ‘Rhythm Beat (dementia) Blues’ workshops and Sitdance sessions. His travel schedule is roughly as follows:

2018

Jan-mid Feb: Greater Melbourne area

Late Feb: South of Sydney

March: North of Sydney + Central Coast + Tamworth + Gold Coast + Brisbane

April: New Zealand

May: The Netherlands

About the Workshop:

1. Workshop content:
• Arriving, intention setting, warming-up, loosening-up
• Appreciating a half full glass
• How to approach and connect with someone non-verbally
• Person centered approach: learning to ‘read’ body language
• The basics of rhythms
• The basics of music and songs
• Sensing limitations and possibilities
• Practice
• Questions
• Evaluation

2. Workshop objectives:
• The workshop will teach the basic skills from the various disciplines that make up ‘Rhythm Beat (dementia) Blues’ technique
• The workshop is experiential in nature, meaning you get to experience the technique first hand, so the learning experience will be stored in both brain and muscle memory
• The workshop will empower you to implement the technique using your own choice of music as deemed suitable for the person you will be engaging with.

3. Workshop outcomes:
• You will know how to approach a person with advanced dementia for the purpose of a ‘Rhythm Beat (dementia) Blues’ session
• You will know how to use non-verbally cues to determine what to do next as part of a person-centred approach
• You will know how music and songs can be used to establish a meaningful interaction and connection between yourself and somebody with advanced dementia
• You will know how to intuitively ascertain the limitations and possibilities of a session.

4. Workshop facilitator Marcel Baaijens

Marcel Baaijens is a multi-creative Dutch New Zealander. He is a certified dance tutor (LBV Cert. Netherlands), a qualified art educator (M.A.A.E. School of the Art Institute, Chicago) and architect (MSc in Architecture, University of Delft, Netherlands). He also trained in Holistic Pulsing, a New Zealand healing modality, Interactive Drawing Therapy (a New Zealand client centered art therapy modality) and Dementia Essentials, Dementia Training Australia.

Marcel has over 30 years experience as a dance and art educator. He is the Founder, Developer, and Director of Sitdance, (world-wide), Founder, Developer, and Coordinator of the world’s first inclusive tertiary art education programme, (New Zealand), and Founder, Developer, and Director of innovative art programmes in New Zealand, Slovakia, and U.S.A.

Marcel dedicates his life to provide access to dance and art to those with limited access with the aim to offer participants opportunities for self-expression and wellbeing. He works globally. He is a keen photographer. You can follow his journeys, stories and photography through the Nontropolis and Sitdance Facebook pages and websites.

Waltzing Matilda LipDub opportunity

I have a great idea for an iconic Waltzing Matilda LipDub for an aged care facility. This will be a great activity for residents and staff, a great team-building opportunity and wonderful PR video for your facility or Corporate Group your facility may belong to. I expect that the production will take two days (rehearsals 1 day and shoot second day). If you don’t know what a LipDub is, have a look at the example below. It will be soo much fun, boost self-esteem and fulfil age old dreams of becoming a movie star. I will choreograph, direct, shoot and edit the lip dub. You may need to provide some props and the people. It will be an exclusive one-off choreography.

My availability: weekends and Christmas period
Till Christmas: Adelaide area
Xmas-mid feb: Greater Melbourne area
Late Feb-early March: Sydney and Central Coast
Late March: Gold coast/ Brisbane

If you are interested message me :).

Sample of a LipDub (not by me) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebD_drWYVaI&t=60s

Sitdance: Behind the scenes in Brittany, France.

Filming Sitdance tutorials is not as easy as it looks. Many aspects need to come together to film a tutorial. Have a quick look behind the scenes in a small market town in Brittany, France. Brittany is one of the six Celtic nations on the edge of Europe where I have been filming for the ‘Sitdance with the Celts’ programme.

50 Dutch cousins and a stray Romanian Sitdance in Amsterdam

Oh, my cousins do know how to throw a party, so I challenged them to do a Sitdance with me, and they did: in front of one of my cousin’s cafe in Amsterdam. They had a blast. This sitdance ‘ Tulips from Amsterdam’ was specially made for them as our parents, aunts and uncles are all from Amsterdam. A romanian guy watching us having fun could not resist to join us!

Getting ready for Kosovo.

Ismet Peja performing on television.
Tomorrow I will fly to Nis (Serbia), to get to neighbouring Kosovo. The main reason is to film a Sitdance tutorial there and to meet Ismet Peja, the singer of the song I am using for the sitdance. After a 2-years search I have been able to trace him. He is now 81, his son Vegim 60 is also a singer. Luckily Vegim speaks English as my knowledge of Albanian (most common language in Kosovo) is zero. I am really looking forward to meet them. I learned a choreographed, traditional style dance called Bracno Oro to this music, some decades ago and have loved it ever since. The sitdance will express the essence of the song as well as the dance. The title ‘Martesa Jone’ means our marriage, and if you google it you will find many Youtube clips of people singing it at weddings.
 
Kosovo has experienced war and instability. It has declared independence in 2008 from Serbia and is Europe’s newest country. Not quite recognised by all yet, but it is safe to travel there. Guess what my biggest concern is? Not the political situation, but the fact that I won’t have mobile services as I transit Serbia to get to Kosovo, as it will require yet another (Serbian) sim card. I will need one in Kosovo as the roaming charges of my UK one are just outrageously expensive. So I will have to find my way around the old fashioned way: with maps and asking people :).
 
Who would have thought that one would worry about mobile connection above anything else, say 30 years ago LOL. Below is a link to the video clip of Smet Peja performing the song on television.
https://youtu.be/oB4OKTHH_Rk

Meaningful, non-verbal, dementia friendly interaction.

As dementia progresses, it may become harder to have meaningful interactions. I combine principles of Base Stimulation, Holistic Pulsing, and Sitdance to establish a non-verbal interaction that is enjoyable and meaningful for all.

In this video I still used linguistic communication as Anne did comprehend, and also because it was a demonstration, but it can totally be done without words.

Music and songs provide a time frame, songs activate the voice and soul, simple pulsing/handdances activate the body and establish non-verbal contact. It can be subtle, but that does not mean its less effective or less meaningful.

Once words fall away, we have an opportunity to intuit, to ‘tune-in’ to the person. It is an opportunity to connect at a different level, a heart level, an opportunity to be truly present, resulting in quality time spent with a loved one.

Care staff may not have much time available for one-on-one interaction. For family members this may be a valuable tool to make visits enjoyable and meaningful. Training sessions for groups available on request.

Filming “My Bonnie lies over the Ocean”.

Take one:

I found a beautiful location to film the tutorial for “My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean”. There are many cute little harbours on the Isle of Man, but Port St. Mary proofed to be the right location with great scenery, the sun at the right angle, and very little chance of people getting in the way, or so I thought.

I was halfway through the first take when a woman decided to take photos of the boats on the water behind me. Oblivious to the film shoot in progress she wandered right on to the set. There was little I could do but wait patiently till she was gone.

Take two:

I cued the music, prepped the camera, ready for action. Nobody to be seen. I press the buttons and set on the folding chair. Just as I was about to start the pebbles supporting one leg of the folding chair gave way and I sank backwards. My arms tried to stop me from falling with the most peculiar balancing moves in all sort of directions. Luckily I did not keel over. I stopped the camera,  found some flat stones to support the leg, levelled the chair, and started all over again.

Take three:

Off with a good start I became hopeful that this would be the final take till, almost at the end, a few infamous midges (very tiny flies that inhabit this part of the world) arrived and started biting me. I managed to keep a straight face and finished the recording before the sun moved into a blinding position. Phew! I was a few bites richer, but also a tutorial. Job done!

Depending on the time of year there are two times lots each day that are suitable for filming. One a few hours after sunrise and one a few hours before sunset. Being able to figure out where the sun will be at the time of filming is essential. By now I am pretty good at making an estimated guess, but it is a guess nevertheless until I return the next day for the shoot. A short little video can sometimes take a few days to film and that does not include the editing. So it is very satisfying when in the end the music, the footage and the voice-overs all come together in a tutorial that works.

 

 

 

 

Getting ready

I am flat out getting ready for a year of travelling as coddiwompling digital nomad. This website will be officially launched on April 10, 2017. the day I leave Australia and head for the northern hemisphere. After a one-night stopover in Malaysia, I will arrive the 11 April in Nepal, the first destination on this epic journey. I am getting really excited, but till then I am buckling down to get everything done that needs to be done. Below is the trailer for the website. Looking forward to have you come along for the journey, Marcel