Unexpected bodies in unexpected places

How can disabled artists challenge and confront “the exclusion many feel in outdoor and public spaces”, and how do cross-border collaborations and workshops help address this?

These are just some of the issues that were addressed in a recent site-specific lab themed around ‘Unexpected bodies in unexpected places’, for disabled artists from across Europe. Check out the video diary from the lab and read on to hear more about Europe Beyond Access’ pioneering work…

Watch Caroline Bowditch & Luke Pell lead a site-specific lab for disabled dancers in Malmo, Sweden

A visual description and enhanced transcript of the film is available here for accessibility.

About Europe Beyond Access

Europe Beyond Access is an ambitious 4-year programme bringing together seven major arts organisations to champion disabled artists on the international stage. With artist residencies, new commissions, artist labs, performances, training events, films, a digital exchange and more, Europe Beyond Access internationalises the careers and ambitions of disabled artists by building audiences and supporting brilliant artistic work.

Five artist labs are at the intellectual heart of the programme, providing space for dancers and theatre-makers to learn from globally renowned artists and sparking international collaborations and new ideas.

Caroline Bowditch and Luke Pell led the second lab, featured in the video above, hosted by Skånes Dansteater in Malmö, Sweden. Using the theme ‘Unexpected bodies in unexpected places’, the artists explored how to create site-specific performance and develop work that emerges from its environment. Encouraged to question social norms and behaviours within public spaces (skateparks, urban green spaces, parks and the seafront), the artists used the presence and movement of their bodies to find new uses, meaning and aesthetics. Confronting the exclusion and restriction of disabled people in many outdoor environments, the lab acted as a bold claim to the ownership of space.

Skånes Dansteater has become a leading voice in arts and disability in Sweden in part by integrating disabled dancers into its repertory company. Featured artists in the film include Diana Bastos Niepce (Portugal), Madeleine Månsson (Sweden), and Katarzyna Żeglicka (Poland).

The core partners of the project are British Council (operating for this project in the UK and Poland), Kampnagel (Germany), Onassis Stegi (Greece), Holland Dance Festival (The Netherlands), Per.Art (Serbia), Skånes Dansteater (Sweden), Oriente Occidente (Italy). It is co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Commission.

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