Unprecedented Inclusive Dance Workshop by British Performers
31 January, 2013
Unprecedented Inclusive Dance  Workshop by British Performers
On 28-29 January, British Council in partnership with the Kote Marjanishvili State Drama Theatre organized a two-day inclusive dance workshop led by the internationally acclaimed Candoco dance company from the UK, combining both contemporary dance techniques and creative choreographic tasks. A group of Georgian professional and amateur dancers as well as choreographers and theatre directors explored ideas and were guided to create their own movements.
The workshop at the Marjanishvili Theatre aimed to support and inspire dancers, directors and choreographers
from the professional sector as well as members of local disabled community to work together and to encourage non-professional dancers to consider a career in dance.
The workshop conducted by two representatives of the Candoco dance company, Welly O’ Brien and Chris Owen, provided the participants with insights into the realm of contemporary dance where disabled persons create dance moves alongside non-disabled participants, proving that disability should not be considered as disadvantage.
Candoco has worked in specialist schools as well as in mainstream education, and alongside ‘traditional’ local partners such as dance schools, venues and festivals. Candoco Dance Company is the leading contemporary dance company for disabled and non-disabled dancers. They create excellent and profound experiences for audiences and participants that excite, challenge and broaden perceptions of art and ability, and place people and collaboration at the heart.
The company commission productions created by world-class choreographers for national and international touring and deliver an extensive learning programme to provide broad access to the highest quality dance. Celeste Dandeker and Adam Benjamin founded Candoco in 1991 by taking a giant leap into the unknown, showing that disability is not and should not be perceived as disadvantage. They made a commitment to quality, inclusivity and collaboration, which has made Candoco the world leader it is today and a role model for new generations of dance artists.
A short documentary about Candoco by the BBC world service in the lead up to Unlimited can be used for reference.
Maya Darchia, Arts Projects Manager of the British Council Georgia told us: “The project is very important for us because it is a first attempt to do work with disabled community in Georgia and after the first day of the workshop you already see that we’ve done a great job in building confidence of the disabled people and those working with the disabled community on the importance of working in the area of Arts. It is really great that in March Candoco will be performing in Tbilisi and this workshop serves as a capacity building activity for the forthcoming tour.
To Georgian Journal’s question that we posed to Mr Welly O’ Brien, one of the trainers, implying that he works in many places and with different people and what could he find different or special in Georgia, he answered: “I think Georgians seem to be really focused and motivated to take it further and learn more about inclusive Dance. They need support to be able to make this group continue. They need to develop their skills further as artists”.
Chris Owen, the second trainer, added: “They have strong desire, talent and intelligence to continue this kind of work. If only they have some space and funders or supporters to make help to find the place to meet at least once a week, practice, talk, share and grow this would be wonderful.”
To our question whether this is their first attempt to dance with people with some disabilities, Konstantine Dolidze, Head of the Studio ‘Royal Art’ answered: “I only worked once with a young lady who came to our studio to dance as part of her therapy and treatment but this really changed my perception and I really believe that people with disabilities are really talented and gifted. And we should really support them to be integrated in our society. Believe me there is no limit to people’s ability if there is a strong will and understanding.”
Natia Kikvadze, Founder of the “Parents Support” noted: “This workshop is really innovative and new in our reality. I am really grateful for such initiative and I wish to have the possibility for trainer development so that local trainers could work and teach the same values.”
Candoco will be on a two-day tour giving more workshops along with their shows on 21-22 March 2013.
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