Dancing the blues: An interdisciplinary collaboration between artists and therapists

Scott Thurston*, Vicky Karkou, Joanna Omylinska-Thurston, JULIA GRIFFIN, STEPHEN DAVISMOON

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review


Creative practice differs widely across the contexts of artistic performance and therapy. In this article the authors describe a novel example of how the otherwise separate fields of choreographic practices and dance movement psychotherapy (DMP) have fed into each other. More specifically, the article outlines (i) how research into the effectiveness of DMP for depression has been used to create an interdisciplinary performance and (ii) how the creative process has informed the development of therapeutic work. The performance was originally intended to disseminate quantitative findings from a study in DMP, but, as it developed, the resonances between artistic and therapeutic practice became a key focus and led to the artists contributing to the principles of a new creative therapy. The performance toured internationally and the new therapy model ‘Arts for the Blues’ has been piloted in the NHS, charities and schools in the North-West of England.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Applied Arts and Health
Early online date21 Oct 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Oct 2022


  • Interdisciplinary performance
  • art-based health research
  • creative psychotherapy
  • dance movement psychotherapy
  • poetry
  • depression

Research Institutes

  • Health Research Institute

Research Centres

  • Research Centre for Arts and Wellbeing


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