Disabled artists do their bit for Indepen-dance

DANCERS with disabilities are giving lessons to talented peers overseas.

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  • Dancers perform at the Tramway Theatre
    Dancers perform at the Tramway Theatre
  • Dancers perform at the Tramway Theatre
  • Dancers perform at the Tramway Theatre
  • Dancers perform at the Tramway Theatre
  • Dancers perform at the Tramway Theatre
  • Dancers perform at the Tramway Theatre
  • Dancers perform at the Tramway Theatre

A group of four from Glasgow's Indepen-dance are taking part in Integrance - a scheme bringing together dancers from Scotland, England, France and Belgium.

The two-year project, funded by the EU Culture Programme, will see performers visit the other partner cities taking part.

Glasgow's gang of four dancers have already visited France to find out how disabled dancers are treated there.

And they picked up tips from their French counterparts at workshops in Paris.

Dance teacher Karen Anderson said: "We are the lead organisation for the project. It is a two-year project focusing on performance and shared practice.

"So, we want to learn from the other groups but we feel we have things to teach as well.

"Disabled people can often be excluded from dance and I hear stories from parents whose children want to dance but are not able to join classes.

"Indepen-dance was set up to try to reverse that trend and give opportunities to people with disabilities, and this project is expanding that."

Indepen-dance is working with StopGap, based in Surrey; Micadanses, from France; and Platform-K, of Belgium.

Karen said the group - which includes Neil Price, 33; Adam Sloan, 21; Hayley Earlam, 23; and Kelly McCartney, 24 - had a fantastic time in France.

But they also had their eyes opened to a different culture.

Karen added: "I would say that we are just as advanced as the other dance groups but we have a different attitude to disability.

"One of their dancers is naked in the performance and, while I would say shocked is too strong a word, our performers were certainly very surprised.

"But that's something that marks us out from the other countries. The Brits were very reserved while the French and Belgian groups were much more comfortable with nudity.

"It's not something that's very often discussed, nudity and disability, and so I think it's an important part of the project, to start breaking taboos about disabled people."

For the next year Indepen-dance, based at the Briggait, but with rehearsals in Tramway, in Pollokshields, will host visits from StopGap, Micadanses and Platform-K.

The work will culminate in a performace by all 16 dancers.

Indepen-dance will host the third meeting in August, to coincide with the Commonwealth Games, and the premiere of the final work will take place in Ghent, Belgium, in 2015.


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