Gentle, softly spoken and very dapper, Paul is in his late 60s. He loves music and dance. He even once performed the flamenco, but living with Parkinson’s Disease for nearly two decades has made his body less accommodating these days. Yet his love for movement and expression to music remains. Paul is an Original Spinner.
All of our performances are magical but we are particularly excited about our next one at Bristol’s Harbour Festival, inspired by Paul.
Our longest-serving Dance for Parkinson’s attendee, Paul joined our Southmead classes soon after launch. He’s been a regular since then, also coming to our Bristol City Council funded sessions at the Trinity Centre.
So when he came to us earlier this year with the idea of creating a performance for him it was impossible to say no, especially when he added that performing as an Original Spinner was on his bucket list.
Inclusivity is at the heart of everything we do. We firmly believe that any body, no matter how compromised, can express itself with beauty and joy. Our performance with Paul is a beautiful embodiment of everything we do.
Paul’s not remotely nervous about his starring role. He’s looking forward not just to his own performance but, as a self-confessed “dance crusader”, hoping that he will get everyone else dancing too, just like he used to.
“I was always the first to get up and get everyone dancing” he says. He recalls the times when he started dancing to Santana in front of thousands, and when his raucous behaviour led to an attempt by security to eject him from a concert by The Who.
Paul’s choice of music for his solo sequences takes him back to his roots in Liverpool in the 60s and the choreography is inspired by another musical hero, Bob Dylan.
His hand-made placards help spread the only message that counts: Love is all you need (as the song goes).
So if you want to experience a moving, life affirming and joyous performance – and maybe even join in – you’ll find Paul and The Original Spinners in a lunchtime spot at Bristol’s Harbour Festival on Sunday, July 21, in Millennium Square.
We can’t promise good weather, but we can promise some of The Original Spinners’ magic.