Former ballerina with dementia remembers Swan Lake choreography

Max McLean, PA
·1-min read

A moving video of a former ballerina with dementia remembering the choreography she danced to decades ago has gone viral after being shared by a charity.

The clip shows Marta C Gonzalez, who died in 2019, listening to Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake – which she had danced to in her youth.

Ms Gonzalez had been a prima ballerina with the New York Ballet in the 1960s.

The emotional moment was shared by the Asociacion Musica para Despertar, a Spanish charity which uses the music of dementia patients’ lives to improve their mood and memory, among other things.

In the video Ms Gonzalez listens to the music through a pair of headphones and soon begins to replicate the choreography she danced to all those years ago.

Actor Antonio Banderas shared the clip on Facebook, writing that he hoped the video would serve as “a well-deserved recognition of her art and her passion”.

Hace 53 años fue bailarina del Ballet de Nueva York. La música de Tchaicovsky logró burlar su Alzheimer. Hace ya un año…

Posted by Antonio Banderas on Sunday, November 8, 2020

After finishing her performance, she is met with applause by those present at the care home in Valencia.

She is then comforted as she tells a care worker she is “emotional”,

“The power of music is immeasurable,” the charity said. “May she rest in peace.”