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A Sense of Beauty

Posted on January 22, 2013


Amongst a tangle of silks and ladders A Sense of Beauty, a 40-minute choreography inspired by the Russian-French painter Chagall, will be presented at The Place on January 23 as part of Resolution! 2013.

The piece is informed by Suzie Birchwood’s compelling story. At 16 Suzie won a full scholarship to train in dance at the London Studio Centre, but at 17 she was diagnosed with the neurological condition dystonia, which left her a wheelchair-user. Now, 17 years on, she has choreographed, and will perform in, A Sense of Beauty, her first professional dance piece.

Suzie says: “We are delighted to bring A Sense of Beauty to The Place, a fitting end to our community tour, which has brought dance to hospitals, hospices and schools; it is important that our audience is diverse and we will continue challenging attitudes whilst producing inspiring works of profound aesthetic beauty.”

Representing the denouement of a personal battle to overcome physical and cultural obstacles, A Sense of Beauty is performed to an original score of live music composed and performed by Nao Masuda.

The integrated ARC Dance Company is informed by the poetry of Rosie Leak, who has Down syndrome. Suzie and Rosie are company members of Wolfgang Stange’s world-renowned integrated dance company Amici Dance Theatre Company.

A Sense of Beauty will be performed alongside two other pieces on January 23, new work by Imogen Bland, Naturale, and by Tara D Arquian, May our Bodies Become Bodies Again.

ARC Dance has been inspired by the community work of ActOne ArtsBase for whom Suzie is the founder and director. ActOne ArtsBase has been reaching out into the community with arts projects for 13 years.

Resolution!, The Place’s annual, new year open season for short live dance works by emerging choreographers, runs until February 15, 2013. 



Nicola Rayner was editor of Dance Today from 2010 to 2015. She has written for a number of publications including The Guardian, The Independent and Time Out Buenos Aires, where she cut her teeth as a dance journalist working on the tango section. Today she continues to dance everything from ballroom to breakdance, with varying degrees of success. Her debut novel, The Girl Before You, was published last year in paperback, ebook and audiobook.

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