Inclusive Dance workshops come to West Cork

Posted on: 10th February, 2014

Category: Health & Lifestyle

Contributor: West Cork People

Inclusive Dance is a ground breaking new dance form where people with and without disabilities dance together in an enjoyable, playful and creative environment. Developed through the partnership of COPE Foundation, Co-Action, Croi Glan Integrated Dance and West Cork Art Centre, Inclusive Dance is for people of all physicalities and abilities, and no experience is needed.

A programme of Inclusive Dance workshops and events will take place in West Cork from the beginning of February through to August. These will be delivered in four integrated strands.

Beginning with a series of ten workshops based in COPE Foundation in Skibbereen, people of all ages from 12 years and up and of all abilities are invited to become part of the Inclusive Dance team. These workshops, which start on Tuesday, February 4 from 5.15pm to 6.30pm, will be participant-led. Here, participants will be facilitated to initiate and devise the themes and materials of the dance performance.

The second strand of Inclusive Dance is to create an opportunity for Professional Development. For individuals from the group who want to develop their skills as a trainer, or those who exhibit particular aptitude who will be selected from the group, there will be the opportunity to partake in additional workshops. Here they will develop their leadership and facilitation skills focusing on capabilities and creative autonomy. These sessions will take place on Tuesday evenings or on Saturdays, dependent on the decision of the group.

A significant part of the Inclusive Dance programme is about bringing contemporary dance to a wider audience. Dance events, which are open to public participation, will take place in playgrounds throughout West Cork during May. It is hoped that this will serve to bring dance into public spaces, increase social inclusion and spread the word about the existence of this new and innovative Inclusive Dance programme.

The culmination of these events and indeed the highlight, will be an ambitious site specific dance performance on and around the Twelve Arch Bridge in Ballydehob. The piece developed with the group will be interwoven with the spectacular sight of aerial dancers suspended from the bridge on silks.

Tara Brandel, Director of Croi Glan Intergrated Dane Company, explains the ethos behind the performance. “The concept for the piece is inspired by the diversity of the participants — by their range of physicalities and body types and the unique physical expression of each person. In this Inclusive Dance group, I will look at the interactions between participants, how they support each other physically and theatrically, and the moments where the human sprint transcends the physical limitations of the body.”

Music for the performance will be provided by the group itself under the guidance of musician and composer Eoin Nash (COPE). Music will be generated with the participants throughout the Inclusive Dance sessions.

Croi Glan professional dancer with a disability Mary Nugent will act as assistant choreographer – developing her skills as a choreographer and will shape and direct sections of the piece in collaboration with Tara.

Tara Brandel is a contemporary dancer and choreographer originally from Ballydehob, West Cork. She trained at the Laban Centre, London, and with Steve Paxton (pioneer of Contact Improvisation). She set up Croi Glan in 2006 as an Integrated Dance company which works with dancers with and without disabilities. With Croi Glan she has toured to Barcelona, Berne, Minneapolis, San Francisco and London, as well as local performances at Bantry Boys’ Club, Ballydehob Community Hall, An Sanctóir and West Cork Arts Centre. She lives in Ballydehob.

Croi Glan Integrated Dance Company is a professional contemporary dance company based in Cork, which performs work that includes both disabled and non-disabled dancers. Croi Glan was co-founded in December 2006 by Rhona Coughlan and Tara Brandel. Croi Glan highlights the cutting edge artistic value of creating performance with diverse bodies by producing high calibre work which tours nationally and internationally. www.croiglan.com.

To be a part of Inclusive Dance, contact West Cork Arts Centre on 028 22090.

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