Former Ballerina With Alzheimer’s Remembers Ballet Routine When She Hears the Music From ‘Swan Lake’

Former prima ballerina Marta C. González Saldaña remarkably remembered a ballet routine she played over 60 years ago as soon as she heard the music from “Swan Lake”. Saldaña was being treated for Alzheimer’s at a clinic in Valencia, Spain when her movement therapist from Asociación Música para Despertar gave her headphones that were playing the soundtrack. As soon the music hit Saldaña’s ears, she began moving her arms to the music as if she were dancing upon the stage once again.

(translated) One of the most impressive moments we have experienced since Música para Despertar. Being able to listen to this immense work of art with a person who danced it and was a fundamental part of its history. The power of music is immeasurable.

Sadly, Saldaña passed away shortly after this touching moment in 2019.

While the video states that Saldaña was a dancer in the New York City Ballet, her name was not recognized. Dance critic Alastair Macaulay has chased the story in order to find out where and when this beautiful woman danced.

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4, 5, 6, 7. The remarkable sleuth Olivier Gay has found these photographs of Marta Cinta Gonza?lez Saldan?a in December 2019, presumably very close to the time of her death, on a visit of the students and faculty of Ballet Masters Alcoi (in Spain, near Alicante) to the Alcoy Wall Asylum. (Here too we read the erroneous information that she was a dancer with New York City Ballet.( All the photographs posted by this Alcoi Ballet School on Facebook are wonderfully touching. It’s good to think of these dancers making this connection with Gonza?lez at the end of her life. A great deal of projection has been going on nonetheless about the original video. It’s interesting that several people need to believe she was a very important Odette on minimal evidence apart from the misleading footage of Ulyana/Yuliana Lopatkina in “The Dying Swan” (different ballet, different dancer, different training, different music) If you’re moved by the video, as many are, then it’s actually more marvellous to find this glimpse of dance inspiration amid the dementia of a largely unknown dancer. Tuesday 10 November

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via My Modern Met