Wendy Whelan and Dr. Ellen Flaherty
Classes & Workshops
Big Move: Discussion & Workshop

Wisdom and the Aging Body

with Wendy Whelan and in collaboration with Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center
April 07, 2022

This event occurred as part of the 21/22 Classes & Workshops season. This is an archived view.

The aging and ever-changing body offers us a means to reflect, invent and find new forms of beauty.

21/22 Classes & Workshops

This will be an in-person panel and workshop at DHMC Auditorium E.* There is also an option to virtual watch the panel only. In-person participation at DHMC requires registration using the button above. Virtual viewing of the panel does not require registration; it can be viewed via WebEx using the info below:

Watch the Panel >
Meeting number: 2621 781 9318
Meeting password: ndKx8JTYz66
Please join a few minutes early, you may need to download WebEx to view the panel.

*Park at the main entrance. Auditorium E is close to the info desk in the main rotunda, look for signage.

Wendy Whelan, Associate Artistic Director and former principal ballerina with the New York City Ballet, has navigated injury and age throughout a 30+-year career in a dance form centered on youth and technical perfection. In this Big Move experience, Whelan connects with medical experts from Dartmouth Hitchcock for a panel discussion on the wisdom of the aging body, beginning at 4 pm. The 45-minute discussion will be followed by an experiential movement workshop, open to all ages and abilities, with a particular focus on older people and those living with Parkinson's or other movement disorders. 

Both the discussion and workshop are free, and participants are welcome to attend the discussion and observe the movement portion of the workshop without performing the exercises if they are more comfortable doing so.

What lessons of the body are shared between a ballet dancer adapting and maintaining their technique and a person grappling with neuro-muscular challenges in everyday activities? What opportunities are there for pleasurable movement and inventive choreography? Dr. Ellen Flaherty, Director of the Center for Health and Aging at DHMC will moderate the conversation, drawing lines between her deep clinical experience in neurological health care and the experience of an aging, virtuosic dancer. The panel will also include Dr. Stephen Lee who specializes in clinical and applied basic science research and is drawn to the field of neurology by the beauty and intricacies of the human nervous system.

Whelan will be at Dartmouth presenting THE DAY, her interdisciplinary collaboration with cellist Maya Beiser, choreographer Lucinda Childs, and composer David Lang.

In partnership with

Wendy Whelan

Wendy Whelan is one of the most acclaimed dancers of her generation. As a dancer with New York City Ballet, Whelan counted principal roles in more than 125 ballets in her repertory, dancing virtually all of the major Balanchine roles, working closely with Jerome Robbins, and was also the dancer most choreographed on in NYCB history, creating leading roles in more than 50 new works by such choreographers as William Forsythe, Twyla Tharp, Alexei Ratmansky, Christopher Wheeldon, Jorma Elo, Lynne Taylor-Corbett, Wayne McGregor and Peter Martins. Her awards include the Dance Magazine Award in 2007 and the Jerome Robbins Award and Bessie Award for Sustained Achievement in Performance in 2011.

Dr. Ellen Flaherty

Dr. Flaherty is the Director of the Dartmouth Centers for Health and Aging and Past President of the American Geriatrics Society. She spent 25 years working in New York City to advance clinical practice in geriatric nursing at the NYU College of Nursing/Hartford Institute where she received her PhD in Nursing. Currently, Dr. Flaherty is the Principal Investigator of the HRSA funded Dartmouth Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program and a Co-Principal Investigator for the John A. Hartford Foundation funded National Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Coordinating Center. For the past 10 years, her program of research and practice has focused on an interdisciplinary approach to quality improvement.

Dr. Stephen Lee

Dr. Lee was drawn to the field of neurology by the beauty and intricacies of the human nervous system. He chose to specialize in clinical and applied basic science research with the aim of easing the burden of patients who are suffering from neurodegenerative diseases. He strives to understand his patients' needs and health goals, working with them and their families to maximize their health by using the most current, proven therapies available, tailored to their individual needs and circumstances.

John Tomeny

John was a local dance instructor in the Upper Valley for 20 years and founder of the Upper Valley Dance Network. Since being diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2014, he has sought to understand how to improve the quality of life for people with Parkinson's. Working as a Research Advocate for the Parkinson's Foundation and Co-investigator with Dr. Mary Feldman and  Dr. Stephen Lee, he helped design and implement a study on the impact of exercise interventions on Parkinson's non-motor symptoms; they learned that dance was more effective than other interventions at reducing the impact of depression, apathy, and fatigue. Today Mr. Tomeny continues to volunteer as a Parkinson's Research Advocate, a Pedaling for Parkinson's® instructor, and a Public Policy Ambassador to the US Congress. John maintains a modest blog site at Parkinfit.org 

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