ASaP 2017 Symposium:


creative exchange between generations

generating art, ideas, community,
connection and reflection

Produced by ASaP Co-Directors Julie Adams Strandberg and Rachel Balaban

ASaP 2017 Symposium: Intergenerativity was a day of workshops, community classes, discussion, lecture/demonstration, and film. In its fifth year, the ASaP Symposium used intergenerative and transdisciplinary approaches to look at creating profound cultural transformation.

All events were located in Ashamu Dance Studio at Brown University and were free and open to the public.


schedule at a glance
march 4th, 2017

9:30 a.m. - Check-in
9:50 a.m. -  Opening Remarks by Peter J. Whitehouse MD, PhD
10:00-11:15 a.m. - Morning Workshops (Choose one - see detailed descriptions below)

  • Community Class - Dance for PD® - David Leventhal & Rachel Balaban
  • Dancing with Words: Defining Intergenerativity - Peter Whitehouse, MD. Phd
  • Art2Art - Kaia Sargent '17, Leslie McCauley '18, Rebecca Chernick '18

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. - Lunch on your own
12:30-1:30 p.m. - American Dance Legacy Initiative (ADLI) Lecture Demonstration/Film by Sarah Friedland '14
1:30-3:30 p.m. - Workshop led by Peter Whitehouse, MD. Phd
"Enhancing the creative conversation between art and science in the Anthropocene: how trees can help us understand intergenerativity"


Session Descriptions

Community Class - Dance for PD®
David Leventhal + Rachel Balaban
In Dance for PD® classes, participants explore movement and music in ways that are enjoyable, stimulating and creative. A 16-year collaboration between the Mark Morris Dance Group and the Brooklyn Parkinson Group, the program is appropriate for anyone with PD, no matter how advanced. No dance experience is required. In chairs, at a barre or moving across the floor, you will explore elements of modern dance, ballet, tap, folk and social dancing, and Mark Morris company repertory in a non-pressured, social environment with music that energizes, enriches and empowers. Classes modeled after Dance for PD now occur in more than 100 communities in 15 countries around the world. Must register by clicking on link below.


David Leventhal

David Leventhal

David Leventhal is a founding teacher, lead trainer and Program Director for Dance for  PD®, a collaborative program of the Mark Morris Dance Group and Brooklyn Parkinson Group that has now been used as a model fo rclasses in more than 100 communities in 15 countries. He's co-produced three volumes of a successful At Home DVD series for the program and has been instrumental in initiating and designing innovative projects like Moving Through Glass, a dance-based Google Glass App for people with Parkinson's. He has spoken about the intersection of dance, Parkinson's and health at the University of Michigan, Rutgers, Brown University, Stanford, Columbia, Georgetown, and Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Liège (Belgium), among others. He's featured in the award-winning 2014 documentary Capturing Grace directed by Dave Iverson. As a dancer, he performed with the Mark Morris Dance Group from 1997-2011, appearing in principal roles in some of Mark Morris' most acclaimed works. He received a 2010 Bessie (New York Dance and Performance Award) for his performing career with Mark Morris. He graduated from Brown University with honors in English Literature.

Rachel Balaban

Rachel Balaban

Rachel Balaban is Adjunct Lecturer in Brown’s Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies (TAPS). She is co-founder and co-director of ASaP, Artists and Scientists as Partners, at Brown where she advocates for arts in healthcare and facilitates studies of the theory and engagement with the practice of the arts in healing. Rachel serves on the Arts & Health Advisory Group, a collaboration among Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, the Rhode Island Department of Health and the Rhode Island Executive Office of Health and Human Services working to develop a statewide plan for arts and health, aligned with Rhode Island's current health care initiatives. Rachel is Dance for PD Coordinator for Connecticut and Rhode Island and regularly teaches People with Parkinson’s and their caregivers. She also teaches Dance for the Aging Population (DAPpers) at Brown for people with movement challenges. Rachel is committed to helping people access their vitality and health through the use of their own bodies and to make dance accessible to all populations. She leads movement workshops for schools, faculty, foundations, corporations, hospitals and other healthcare facilities. 

Dancing with Words: Defining Intergenerativity
Peter J. Whitehouse MD, PhD
Being human was about connecting through language, art, and many other means. In our Anthropocenic and noospheric age we need new forms of innovation through integration so we can go “between to go beyond.” We illustrated these ideas through a project that turned a whole school into a dance stage to celebrate stories of successful learning.

Peter J. Whitehouse MD, PhD

Peter J. Whitehouse MD, PhD

Peter is a Professor of Neurology and former or current professor of Psychiatry, Psychology, Cognitive Science, Neuroscience, Bioethics, History, Nursing and Organizational Behavior at Case Western Reserve University, Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto, and President of Intergenerational Schools International. He is also currently a strategic advisor in innovation at Baycrest Health Center. He received his undergraduate degree from Brown University and MD-PhD (Psychology) from The Johns Hopkins University (with field work at Harvard and Boston Universities), followed by a Fellowship in Neuroscience and Psychiatry and a faculty appointment at Hopkins. In 1986 he moved to Case Western Reserve University to develop the University Alzheimer Center.  In 1999 he founded with his wife, Catherine, The Intergenerational School, a unique public multiage, community school ( He is a geriatric neurologist, cognitive scientist, environmental ethicist, and photographer. He is active in visual arts, dance and music organizations globally, including the National Center for Creative Aging and Dance Exchange. He is a transdisciplinarian and loves metaphors. He is coauthor of “The Myth of Alzheimer’s: what you aren’t being told about today’s most dreaded diagnosis.” ( and hundreds of academic papers and book chapters. He is part of the reimagine aging movement personally and culturally. He claims to have led the invention of two words: intergenerativity and ecopsychosocial (models of health). He is a futurist with a deep interest in historical roots.   He also occasionally performs as Tree Doctor, a metaphorical creature who educates humans about being healthy from the perspective of a tree.  

Kaia Sargent ‘17, Leslie McCauley ‘18, Rebecca Chernick ‘18

Art2Art was an interactive workshop that focused on creative collaboration between generations. Participants were paired up and led in "art conversations" designed to stimulate creativity, understanding, and joy."

Kaia Sargent '17

Kaia Sargent '17

Kaia is a senior concentrating in Cognitive Neuroscience, with a particular interest in alternative approaches to healing. Her research at Brown focuses on neurophysiological mechanisms of mindfulness meditation, and she has also conducted research on traditional medicine in Madagascar. Kaia joined the ASaP team as a teaching assistant after taking the course in Spring 2016, and she hopes to continue to explore the intersection of medicine and the arts. As a classical singer, Kaia firmly believes in the therapeutic potential of music and dance, particularly for neurological disorders. She hopes to encourage dialogue between scientific and artistic communities to validate the arts as a method of healing.

Leslie McCauley '18

Leslie McCauley '18

Leslie is a junior from Chicago, Illinois. At Brown, she is concentrating in Health and Human Biology and particularly looking at Health Behavior. Last year, Leslie took both semesters of Artists and Scientists as Partners and was completely entranced by the course. As a pre-med student, she found it refreshing to look at alternative health practices, especially those involving dance, as she has been dancing since she was 3 years old. Moving forward as a TA with ASaP, Leslie is excited to continue exploring how art and science can be used together in order to arrive at a place of healing.

Rebecca Chernick '18

Rebecca Chernick '18

Rebecca is currently double concentrating in Health and Human Biology, with a focus on the social context of disease, and French and Francophone Studies. She is also pursuing pre-medical coursework. As a dancer from the age of two, Rebecca discovered early in life that the study of dance, which requires knowledge and mastery of the muscular-skeletal system, as well as a strong understanding of kinesiology and physiological processes, was highly compatible with the study of human health and disease. Her passion for medicine began as a goal of pursuing orthopedic surgery and treating injuries in the dance community, and has evolved over time. Rebecca participated in the ASaP course as a student for two semesters beginning in Fall 2015, and now joins the ASaP team as a teaching assistant. While she has stepped back from her dance training, Rebecca has been volunteering with the Dance for our Aging Population class, and is passionate about infusing the arts into the lives of others. She looks forward to expanding the work of ASaP and further incorporating the arts into the science and healthcare fields. 

Lecture Demonstration
Sharing Dance Repertory Across Populations, featuring "Battleworks Etude" performed by dancers with Parkinson’s Disease, Dance for the Aging Population (DAPpers), Dance Extension, Brown's modern repertory company, students from Central Falls High School, and Dancing Legacy, American Dance Legacy Initiative’s (ADLI) Performing and Teaching Ensemble. “Battleworks Etude” is part of ADLI's Repertory Etudes Dance Instructional Collection, curated and directed by Carolyn Adams and Julie Adams Strandberg.

Film - A “work-in-progress screening” of Home Exercises followed by Q&A
Directed by Sarah Friedland ('14) and produced by Rachel Balaban ('80)

Home Exercises is a cross between a dancefilm and an experimental home workout video, exploring the gestural habits and choreographies of aging individuals in their homes. The cast features dancers from Rachel Balaban's DAPpers and Dance for PD classes in addition to other aging movers. 

Sarah Friedland (Brown '14) is a filmmaker and choreographer who works at the intersection of moving images and moving bodies. Her narrative shorts and experimental dance films have screened in the New Orleans Film Festival, Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Anthology Film Archives, numerous screendance festivals in the US and abroad and have been featured on Vimeo as a "Music Video We Love." Her choreography has been performed at Dixon Place, WestFest Dance at Martha Graham Studio, Gibney Dance, Triskelion Arts, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, and in a solo cine-choreographic installation at Alchemical Studios. 

Directed by Sarah Friedland
Produced by Rachel Balaban, Sarah Friedland, and Physical Plant
Cinematography by Gabe C. Elder
Performed by: Steve Quinn, Micki Balaban, Anna and Joyce Colaiace, George Wong, Carol Smith, and Ed and Marcia Rouslin
Sound Design by Assaf Gidron
Production Design by Stephanie Osin Cohen
Gaffer/Swing - Leon Itzsak

Funding provided in part by a grant from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, through an appropriation by the Rhode Island General Assembly, a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and private funders. 

Afternoon Workshop - Enhancing the creative conversation between art and science in the Anthropocene: how trees can help us understand intergenerativity
Peter J. Whitehouse MD, PhD

The proposed age of the Anthropocene recognizes the enormous impact of the human species on the planet itself. It is a time that needs new values, thinking, stories, images and indeed profound cultural transformation. This intergenerative and transdisciplinary talk will look at the conversations space among art, the humanities, science, health, and society and ask what we can do to create more courage, compassion and wisdom together. We are on a journey in the universe together that extends back for 14 billion years and at a time in that journey when we should reflect deeply on where our societies and even as a species have been, are now and will be in the decades and centuries to come.  

2017 symposium registration

To register for the Community Class - Dance for PD, click here.

Name *
Morning Workshop *