Photo by Charles Daniels Gallery
Gradually, the OctabandTM is making its way into the media. In a program about Alzheimer's disease on Chronicle, the OctabandTM was being used just as the wife of a gentleman with dementia was praising Hearthstone Alzheimer Care for their engaging activities. Unfortunately, the OctabandTM was not named, but it was seen.
The other day, friend and colleague Nancy Beardall pointed out a photo of the OctabandTM in JOPERD, The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, February 2011 issue. On page 30, there is a photo with the caption, "Students perform the Octopus Story dance." The article is "Strategies for Teaching Dancers of All Abilities" by Theresa and Stephen Cone. Certainly seems a good fit, since the OctabandTM is for All Ages and All Abilities. A numbert of "Inclusive Dances" are described, one of them being "Octopus Story".
"This dance uses a small parachute with plastic streamers tied to the handles [OctabandTM] as a prop to join all the dancers together as they move in different ways to tell a story about an octopus living under the sea. The students hold onto one or two of the streamers as the limbs of the octopus. The teacher calls out different ways to move the limbs, such as up and down, side to side, in and out, or across and open. Students can also add ideas. After exploration, a story is told to support a sequence of movements. . ."
It's my strikeout and addition of the word OctabandTM because that is what is pictured in the story, and it certainly works better than the contraption described. So if there's anyone out there looking for the "Octopus" pictured in the JOPERD article, you can find it here or on www.octaband.com.
Several years ago Suzy Matheson wrote a lesson plan using the OctabandTM to enhance the octopus image while leading a creative movement group for young children and accompanied by the Beatles' "Octopus's Garden" which she posted to her website movement expressions. You can see a video of Suzy leading a group and using the OctabandTM with children in a piece called "Dance Movement Therapist Suzy Matheson" filmed for The Art of Living and produced by Veria.
Of course, the image of an octopus was what inspired its name. Because an octopus's mouth is in the center, the tentacles reach out into the environment, grasp its food, and bring it to its mouth in the center. That image symbolized the synergy I experienced when leading a successful DMT group with people with dementia. I would reach out to each person in the circle and hopefully bring a little bit of something of them into the center, which would feed the group energy.
Leaders can call it an OctabandTM or not, leaving the imagery up to the group, and people have used it in wildly different ways.
More exciting news on the OctabandTM front ~ the trademark has been registered!
And finally, you can see the Octaband in action on vimeo. Within the next few weeks, you should see a brand new video up there, as well as a slide show or 2.