Past Projects (2021-22)
International Inclusive Arts Network ‘Making Waves!’
Across Europe, it is a challenge to present and tour inclusive shows meant for young audiences as the financing and financial returns are limited whereas the demands on the performers’ are considerable. The interactive nature of the performance requires the performers to be in constant improvisation mode and be responsible for maintaining physical and emotional safety of their audience. So how can we encourage the programming of inclusive performances for children and young people to become a regular practice?
IIAN Making Waves looks to do exactly this. Made up of Dansema Dance Theater (Lithuania), Mind the Gap (UK), Segni d’Infanzia Associazone Culturale (Italy), Teatro 4Garoupas (Germany), Assitej Cyprus (Cyprus), International Inclusive Arts Network (Denmark), Fundacja Teatr 21 (Poland), AREAL – Space for choreographic development (Romania), this Perform Europe partnership is presenting two inclusive artistic works for children and young people:
World Without Eyes by Dansema Dance Theater, a dance performance for Blind and partially-sighted children; and the film A Little Space by Mind the Gap and Gecko, which, led by an inclusive cast, explores what happens when five people living together connect and disconnect from each other.
What is unique about this partnership is that by taking theatre to young people with disabilities and their carers through an inclusive network of European presenters they are essentially building the infrastructure for future collaborations across Europe. The partnership raises visibility of underrepresented artists and audiences while offering an opportunity to develop an audience database from scratch. Additionally, the project employs digital tools for one of the artistic works as a means to reach their audience.
The partnership is also practising fair payment for the producers (dancers, choreographers, etc.) and for presenters seeking sustainable collaboration between the countries, where living costs and state financial support for touring differs greatly.
The sharing of skills and resources has already made a practical impact – some presenters have had to reconsider how accessible they are and adapt their venues to the needs of audiences with disabilities. More is sure to come as a compact team of three tour the partnership and collaborate with local dancers on the various tour stops.