A CHOREOGRAPHER who has suffered from depression and PTSD has created a new online show that aims to share what it is like to live with mental health issues.

Giulia Montalbano, who gave birth to her first child on the first day of the first lockdown, also wants her work to act as “a provocation” for people who believe mental health issues do not exist.

Called Songs From The Other Side, she said the title refers to how, through therapy, she learned to ­“co-live with the other me”.

Presented in partnership with the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival, the show combines dance with live music in an attempt to find a new ­language to explore mental health challenges.

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Montalbano said that amidst her mental health problems she had ­always looked for, and believed in, “another Giulia”.

“When I realised that I suffered PTSD and depression, I made a new connection with myself,” she said.

“The key was not to search for the Giulia I was, but make sure to have compassion for the other side of ­Giulia that was always there but I never listened to. This is why I gave a more personal title to the shown as I always use the word ‘songs’ instead of ‘thoughts’. Through music I can understand more things than words.”

Montalbano, who is also a director, said she was continually looking for new ways to connect with audiences that are not necessarily familiar with the theatre world.

“Perhaps with my art I can create more connections and reflections of our daily life,” she said. “This is why I wanted to explore mental health. Not just from a personal experience due my previous illness, but as a way to share what it can be, or what it means to live with mental health challenges and to be provoking for those who still believes that it doesn’t exist.”

Despite giving birth in March 2020, Montalbano said she had been determined to carry on creating the show.

“Mental health is important and everyone should know about it,” she said. “It was also about my other ­collaborators. A project is not done by one person and I felt worried for the others that needed, as I do, to work and pay bills – we have finally made it after almost two years.”

The show has been recorded but it is hoped that live performances will be held next summer.

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“Perhaps making a filmed show will be more intimate for everyone who is still struggling to step out from their house or for those who cannot have the opportunity to go out and see live performances,” said Montalbano.

“Also, it is a great way to connect with an international audience.”

As well as a live tour next year, it is hoped the show can be presented at digital festivals which ­Montalbano believes is a new way to present ­theatre to audiences.

Songs From The Other Side will ­premiere online in partnership with the Scottish Mental Health Arts ­Festival in association with Platform from November 29 until December 6.