August 24, 2012

Expanded Vision with KAIROS labTM

Kairos Dance Theatre Changing Name to KAIROS ALIVE!


KAIROS ALIVE! is the new name of the former Kairos Dance Theatre, announced today by KAIROS Board Chair Reggie Prim, representing an expansion in vision for the Twin Cities non-profit arts and arts and education organization. KAIROS ALIVE! is challenging limiting beliefs and stereotypes about aging through its intergenerational modern dance company with performers ages 1-93, and is nationally recognized for its pioneering national award-winning research-based work in what is being called the Creative Arts and Aging Movement.

The face of America’s population is dramatically changing as Baby Boomers turn sixty-five at the rate of 10,000 per day. KAIROS ALIVE! views this historic time as a great opportunity to change expectations about older adults as sources of wisdom and artistic excellence, and as positive social catalysts at a time when sustainability, health maintenance and cost of care issues are increasingly

important. KAIROS ALIVE! is responding to this opportunity with a new program, the KAIROS labTM, a platform for developing innovative ideas, processes and programs that embrace our aging population and intergenerational community participation with a role in society for the professional performing artist as community catalyst and healer.

As pioneers and way-finders in participatory art and the Creative Arts and Aging movement, KAIROS ALIVE! challenges the status quo and seeks innovative and original ways to enrich the lives of participants, and create vibrant, livable communities. KAIROS ALIVE! does this through the ability of participatory art to involve, inform, inspire and evoke emotionally cathartic and healing experiences, and to promote research-verifiable health benefits.

• KAIROS danceTM was founded in 1999 by Maria Genné. With performers of different ages, physical ability and professional experience, the company has developed a repertoire of original works and delighted often underserved audiences in nursing homes, community centers, public parks, and regional and national conferences while gently challenging stereotypes and inspiring participation. In addition, Genné has developed participatory arts experiences for other cultural organizations, including the Minnesota Orchestra, Minnesota Children’s Museum, MacPhail Center for Music, The Playwright’s Center, Artstart and Walker Art Center.

• KAIROS dancing heartTM, founded in 2001, bridges the arts and healthcare worlds. It is an immersive participatory performing arts (dance/story/theater/ music/poetry) and leadership development program for elders and host sites that has significant research-verifiable health and quality-of-life benefits, and promotes cost-of-care savings, as well as positively changing the cultures of sponsoring organizations. It has been recognized with national awards and is included in the September 2012 PBS documentary, Arts & The Mind. (See separate story, KAIROS dancing heartTM Featured in New PBS Documentary, Arts & The Mind.) The program, led by a team of specially trained performing artists, is based in the latest body/mind health research and includes education in a unique form of community based artistic leadership. With this work, Genné presents at national conferences, serves as a consultant and trainer, including for the National Endowment for the Arts, and has been asked to testify at Congressional hearings in late September 2012. (Learn more at

According to the landmark 21-year study by Albert Einstein College of Medicine, published in the New England Journal of Medicine (348-2508-2516, June 19, 2003), “Dancing was the only physical activity associated with a lower risk of dementia.” KAIROS dancing heartTM has done extensive work with memory care participants and has observed similar results. Further research on the KAIROS dancing heartTM program, conducted by Saint Catherine University, will be presented at the upcoming American Public Health Association Annual Meeting in

San Francisco in October. (See separate story, KAIROS dancing heartTM Featured in New PBS Documentary, Arts & The Mind.)

• KAIROS labTM is the response of KAIROS ALIVE! to requests by arts, healthcare, community and government individuals and organizations to continue to experiment, and develop and refine new programs, and share our leadership and expertise in the field. KAIROS ALIVE! has a long history of collaborating with artistic and institutional partners to bring enjoyment, meaning, leadership development and health benefits to participants. KAIROS is committed to bringing life enhancing programs to more people, and to develop new initiatives for diverse community settings and populations with older adults and community artists.

“With our work, we promote vital elders living in healthy and engaged intergenerational communities, who involve, move and inspire audiences, and who serve as catalysts for the development of community,” says Maria Genné.

“No doubt the ‘Age Wave’ is going to transform every aspect of our society. Instead of hand wringing and finger pointing we choose to bring forward creative, innovative, life-enhancing programs based in the wisdom and power of the arts. KAIROS ALIVE! is a promise that we will not sit idly by and depend on the old ways of aging and caregiving. We understand that when the music changes you have to find new ways to dance,” says Reggie Prim.

The vision of KAIROS ALIVE!, founded in 1999 as Kairos Dance Theatre, is to transform and revitalize individuals and communities through the healing power of dance and story. KAIROS ALIVE! is an arts and arts education organization that explores possibilities of enjoyment, healing, leadership development and community building through the healing power of intergenerational interactive dance and story.

Maria Genné, MSEd, Founder and Director of KAIROS ALIVE!, is a modern dancer/choreographer, arts consultant and dance educator. She has had a lifelong interest in enjoyment, transformation and meaning through performing arts involvement. She is the choreographer/performer of over 60 dance works performed throughout the U.S. She founded the Twin Cities young people’s modern dance company Young Dance, and in addition to developing participatory arts programs for cultural organizations, she has done the same for healthcare and social service professionals, and elementary, secondary and early childhood teachers and students.

For more information, visit:
• For more information on the research behind these programs, see the links at

• To watch an exciting mini-documentary about the KAIROS dancing heartTM program, Dancing HeartTM – Power to Nurture and Heal, visit


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