Former Ballerina With Alzheimer’s Hears Music and Remembers Her Routine To ‘Swan Lake’

Remember Swan Lake Music With Alzheimer's

Music can awaken the deepest parts of our memories—even if those moments seem gone forever. Marta C. González proves this in a poignant video that has recently gone viral. It shows González—a former New York City Ballet prima ballerina living with Alzheimer’s disease—as she recognizes Tchaikovsky’s classic Swan Lake. Upon hearing the music, González begins to move her arms and dance the routine she performed so long ago.

The short video is interspersed with clips of González listening to Swan Lake in her wheelchair as well as archival performance footage from when she danced it in 1967. To watch her, with her profound memory loss, remember the choreography and perform it with such grace is amazing; it shows that there are just some things that will never be forgotten. But beyond this recognition, the video serves as a painful reminder of all that is lost when someone has Alzheimer’s disease.

This scene was filmed in 2019 but has made a resurgence online as people laud it for the endurance of the human spirit. Since that time, González has sadly passed away—though this final performance will live on.

Watch Marta C. González, a former ballerina who had Alzheimer’s disease, as she remembers Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake that she performed so long ago.

h/t: [Classic FM]

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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