‘Miss D, one of Oliver Sacks’ patients, once said of her ‘freezing’, “It’s not as simple as it looks. I don’t just come to a halt, I am still going, but I have run out of space to move in … You see, my space, our space, is nothing like your space: our space gets bigger and smaller, it bounces back on itself, and it loops itself round till it runs into itself.”

‘The first challenge that Tobias (Picker) and I faced was what structure our piece should take; and it was the preface to the original edition of Awakenings that gave us our lead. In it Sacks talks of his own challenge when writing the book andhis hope to “preserve what is important and essential – the real and full presence of the patients themselves, the ‘feeling’ of their lives…’

Aletta Collins choreographer

Awakenings duet

A theatrical roller coaster of emotions, Awakenings is based on true life stories and inspired by Dr Oliver Sacks’ book of the same name. Featuring specially-commissioned music by Tobias Picker. This duet from 2010 features dancers Malgorzata Dzierzon and Jonathan Goddard.

Awakenings solo

Jonathan Goddard’s solo in Awakenings.

Both films by Deborah May, DVDance; filmed at Sadler’s Wells Theatre in May 2010.

Aletta Collins
Tobias Picker
Miriam Buether
Lighting design:
Yaron Abulafia

Premiere: The Lowry, Salford, 22 September 2010.
Awakenings was commissioned by Daniel Katz Limited.

Made by Palace