“The Other Way” in Inclusive Dance

The British Council continues to cooperate with the Tbilisi International Theater festival and with its support, the Tbilisi Inclusive Dance company presented its first performance ‘The Other way’ on September 27 at the Marjanishvili Theater. The troupe consists of persons of limited capabilities as well as able-bodied dancers.

The main idea of the performance is the expression of experiences, and the stages of inner transformation resulting from traumas and difficulties, through dance and motion. A synthesis of improvisation, dancing and live music is used in the staging.

After the performance, the audience was able to talk not only with the troupe members and the choreographer Keti Zazanashvili, but with Ellie Douglas, the Candoco Dance Company Learning Producer who was invited especially for the occasion.

Zazanashvili and several wheelchair users were actively involved in the British Council program "Unlimited opportunities: Taking the right step” aiming to raise awareness about disabled people. British Council’s Culture & Development: Unlimited in Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Ukraine aims to explore models of good practice and develop partnerships to (a) create a network for disabled arts practitioners and presenters/producers and (b) establish a series of cross-country public platforms (including digital) for disability arts development, production and training which will bring disabled people to the center of the planning and policy-making processes, challenge social attitudes by exposing audiences to integrated arts practice and, ultimately influence social policy and legislation.

Events implemented within the program so far:

21 September 2017 - Barbara Lisicki, a trainer from Shape, the disability-led arts organization, conducted an access audit at the Rustaveli and Marjanishvili theaters. Recommendations prepared by B. Lisicki will help to improve accessibility for disabled audiences as well as for disabled artists.

22 September 2017 - Lisicki conducted a workshop for theater professionals in Georgia. The aim of the workshop was to share the UK experience in the area of venue accessibility.

30 September 2017 - Deaf Men Dancing, an all-male deaf dance company with a fusion of different dance styles incorporating British Sign-Language, performed at the TBS International.

31 October - 2 November 2017 – Candoco’s Dance Lab 1 for Georgian dancers interested in inclusive dance was organized in partnership with Marjanishvili Theater, Tbilisi.

18 - 20 April 2018 – Candoco’s Dance Lab 2 (as above).

“We hope that submission of integrated art models to the audience will contribute to changes in social approaches, which will positively affect the public's attitude and ultimately influences social policy and legislation,” the British Council states.

By Mariam Merabishvili

27 September 2018 21:34