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Unlimited Festival

Posted on August 5, 2014

claire cunningham ph colin hearn the herald


claire-cunningham-ph-colin-hearn-the-heraldFrom a mass dancing and signing to Pharrell Williams’ Happy to non-dancers dancing in public, Southbank Centre’s second Unlimited Festival is a programme of performance, dance and visual art from artists with disabilities.

Running from September 2 to 7, the festival showcases the work of more than 100 international disabled dancers, choreographers, cabaret stars, comedians, musicians and more. Highlights from Unlimited’s dance strand include Claire Cunningham’s Guide Gods (pictured), using dance, live music and comedy to explore how major world faiths view disability. Intimacy stars Michelle Ryan, a leading Australian dancer who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at the age of 30. She’ll be performing alongside Vincent Crowley to live music from Lavender Vs Rose.

Stopgap Dance Company’s The Awakening disrupts the South Bank’s outdoor spaces with performances by disabled and non-disabled dancing, while Adrian Howells and non-dancers Ian Johnston and Gary Gardiner explore what it is to dance in Dancer. Marc Brew appears in the solo Remember When, while Chisato Minamimura, formerly of Candoco Dance Company, uses interactive technology to create a sense experience for hearing and non-hearing audiences.

As a festival finale, you can learn how to sign and dance Pharrell Williams’ Happy, with The Angels of Kaos and The Kaos Signing Choir for Deaf and Hearing Children. See the Southbank Centre website for details and tickets.

Picture: Claire Cunningham in Guide Gods. Photograph: Colin Hearn, The Herald

Zoë was born in Edinburgh, and saw her first dance performances at the Festival there. She is the dance critic of The Independent, and has also written for The Independent on Sunday, The Scotsman and Dancing Times. In 2002, she received her doctorate from the University of York for a thesis on “Nationhood and epic romance: Ariosto, Sidney, Spenser”. She is the author of The Royal Ballet: 75 Years and The Ballet Lover’s Companion.

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