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Dancing with Art

Carmen arrived very quietly and took a seat at a table with a huge blank piece of paper, several brushes and other things that she had never used. She waited quietly, absorbed in the white of the paper, waiting for the others to take her place, and for her question to be answered: “what am I doing here?”. She herself did not know why she had dared to go, if in her life she had never painted.

When we started the activity, and the music of Juan Luis Guerra flowed, getting everyone excited about the movement, we encouraged her to take a brush and dip it in the paint. Already knowing how to mix the primary colors to obtain others, her expression changed to surprise: her hand responded to the music and not to the involuntary movements that overwhelm her at some point. With a lot of care, she applied each brushstroke on the paper.

Ana María Soto.

Like Carmen, all the painters, some of whom had never been to school and did not know how to read or write, left their emotions, their writings, their state of mind, their questions and their details in color. They danced, laughed and painted for 3 continuous hours without stopping.

Once they felt safe, they asked for one paper after the other, to continue letting that paint flow with joy. This showed us all the transcendental step that each one of them had taken, since they had risked doing something new that, although it seemed even silly to the needs of their poverty and advances of the disease, it allowed them to break away from the routine of their personal tragedy, to let them go, along with the music, gliding across the paper in an explosion of colors.

Juan Carlos Soto a la izquierda y, a la derecha, Carmen González.

The words of Ana María, another of the painters, became engraved in the minds of all those present: “I want you to keep these paintings, so that when I am not here anymore, I could be remembered” … and that day we were filled “with memories”, because there were almost 20 different paintings that filled the walls of our workshop with learnings of love.

This was the beginning of our project: Dancing with Art, in which five people with Huntington’s disease from the Community of San Luis, in the city of Maracaibo, began a new experience with art: Yoelbi Soto, 31 years old; Carmen González, 33 years old; Ana María Soto, 40 years old; Katy Hernandez, 46 years old; Juan Carlos Soto, 49 years old.

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