Rosetta Life works with people living with life-limiting illness to shape and share stories that matter through movement, song, image, film and writing to transform the stigma of illness and change the perception of disability. In 2010 the charity collaborated for the first time with people living with the effects of a stroke and Odysseys was formed.
What does the project entail?
We bring trained professional performance artists into healthcare contexts to make ambitious public performances and works of art in collaborations with people living with the impact of neurological conditions, on wards and in the community.
We begin with workshops, these are offered weekly for 12 weeks. In each session participants work alongside singers, movement artists, poets, composers to share their stories and devise an original piece of performance that we build and shape together.
Those taking part, can then go on to train as ambassadors and tour, present and share the work with others.
‘It helps make new pathways in the brain, lost from the stroke – you have to concentrate, remember and learn new things, It proves you can make a recovery and retrain your brain. It’s marvellous, I sing the songs in the shower’
Colin Dalton, Ambassador
How did the work start?
Originally based at National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, we now work in clinical contexts across seven NHS Trusts, and in community contexts across three London boroughs and in Bristol, Reading and Oxford.
Stroke Odysseys, the touring performance company, was originally funded by Arts Council England and Wellcome Trust. The first performance was devised with a core company of 11, comprising 6 professional artists – two singers, two dancers, two musicians who supported five members of London Stroke communities. It was directed by Ben Duke and composed by Orlando Gough with animations from Magali Charrier and opened at London’s leading centre for contemporary dance, The Place, before touring to Lakeside Arts (Nottingham), The North Wall Arts Centre (Oxford), Mac Arts Centre (Belfast) as part of Belfast International Arts Festival, Circomedia (Bristol), The Point (Eastleigh} and Theatre by the Lake (Cumbria).
Part of the world’s largest research project into Arts in health
Stroke Odysseys is one of three interventions that have been proven to improve patient health. It will be trialled among larger groups of people within NHS hospitals as part of SHAPER, the world’s largest study into the impact of arts on mental health. SHAPER – Scaling-up Health-Arts Programmes: Implementation and Effectiveness Research – has been launched by King’s College London and UCL.
If you would like us to work with your community or receive information about forthcoming tours, please get in touch.