Bisakha Sarker MBE, is an independent artist and Artistic Director of Chaturangan. She has produced and delivered several pieces, experiences and workshops for people living with dementias and believes culturally diverse dance to be an integral part of the social and cultural fabric of 21st century British culture. Through her work, Bisakha continues the search for a style which embraces the demands of a body changing with time.
Please tell us about some of the work you have done to support, improve and contribute to the lives of, people with dementias?
I have delivered several performance pieces and events as part of my practice and work with our company Chaturangan.
I produced Fleeting Moments, a series of dementia-friendly, multi-art and multicultural performances in arts venue Bluecoat, and a tour of culturally diverse, dementia-friendly performances to Anchor care homes in and around Liverpool. I delivered an eight week-long dance for people living with early-stage dementia- an Indian dance in association with Arts4Dementia and Akademi - as well as preparing Dancing Moment, an online resource pack for teaching dance.
I performed and choreographed a short dance piece, reflecting on an ideal or humane way of responding to a person’s loss of memory. I have also led independent workshops in different care settings.
In 2010, Chaturangan organised an international conference on dance for the care of Dementia.
What was your motivation for getting involved in the field of dementia?
Researching a series of dementia-friendly, professional and culturally-diverse performances through Fleeting Moments in mainstream venues- they uplifted the collective spirit of the audience, participants and the artists.
What would you say has been your greatest achievement or highlight?
Dance uplifts my spirit fills me with strength, confidence and compassion necessary to navigate life through its many ups and downs. I wanted to share this joy of dancing as widely as I can.
To create a smaller version of our dementia-friendly performances to take into care homes and other places where people living with dementia and their friends and family meet.
If you could change one thing now to improve the lives of people living with dementia, what would it be?
To create a culture of care that provides better opportunities for bringing joyful events to the lives of those living with dementia.