Ballet Dancer With Alzheimer's Remembering Swan Lake Will Move You To Tears

Marta C González was a prima ballerina in the 1960s, where she played the lead role, Odette.

Some things you never forget. A video of a former ballerina with Alzheimer’s disease has moved people around the world, after she remembered the choreography she once danced on stage in front of packed houses.

Marta C González was a prima ballerina with the New York Ballet in the 1960s, where she played the lead role, Odette, in Swan Lake, among many others.

The team at Spanish charity Asociación Música para Desperta allowed González to relive her youth last year, by playing her Tchaikovsky’s famous Swan Theme.

To their delight, she instantly recognised the music and began to move her arms to reflect the original choreography – as poised and graceful as ever.

González died later in 2019, but the magical moment has reached millions this week, after the video was shared on Twitter.

Asociación Música para Desperta
Asociación Música para Desperta

Pepe Olmedo, psychologist, musician and director of Música para Despertar, who appears alongside González in the video, describes it as one of “the most impressive moments that I have been able to live in all my life”.

″[I was] absolutely excited to be able to see her response, and to be able to accompany and facilitate this moment, so that she could fully enjoy it,” he tells HuffPost UK.

Olmedo has been able to witness other remarkable moments through the organisation, which is dedicated to educating people about the power of music in helping people with Alzheimer’s.

He and his team also provide training for professionals and families to create fulfilling experiences for those affected by the disease.

“We want to show another more positive side of dementia, and of the possibilities we have to improve their condition thanks to music, emotions, and an appropriate attitude on the part of caregivers,” he says.

The video from Spain comes after Nick Harvey, from East Sussex, shared a clip in September of his father, Paul Harvey, composing a melody, despite living with dementia.

The BBC’s Philharmonic Orchestra was so impressed by Paul’s composition, they orchestrated and recorded their own version – which Paul and Nick were then able to listen to on Radio 4.

It has since been released as a single, and two weeks later, it is number 17 in the official charts – and even Stephen Sondheim has sent his congratulations.

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