Viral video of ballerina with Alzheimer’s shows vital role of music in memory
We see a frail and elderly woman in a chair, her eyes downcast. She motions for the music to be turned up, a swelling melody from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, and with a little encouragement her hands begin to flutter. Then suddenly her eyes flash and she’s Odette the swan queen at the misty lakeside, arms raised. She leans forward, wrists crossed in classic swan pose; her chin lifts as if she’s commanding the stage once more, her face lost in reverie. The woman in the film is Marta Cinta González Saldaña, a former ballet dancer who died in 2019, the year the video was shot. But the clip has gone viral since being posted recently by Spanish organisation Música Para Despertar (Music to Awaken), which promotes the value of music for those living with Alzheimer’s. Many of the details accompanying the video on its journey around the internet have been erroneous.