All Dance – a pioneering project to develop and celebrate the talents of disabled people – has held its first celebratory performances in December in Derby and Chesterfield – attended by more than 200 people.
Groups of disabled adults from across the county have been working with dance artists to devise new work which they performed at regional dance house Déda in Derby and at the Winding Wheel Theatre in Chesterfield.
These were the first professionally-supported performance events under the latest stage of the county’s All Dance programme, spearheaded by Derbyshire County Council, Arts Derbyshire, with creative producers Déda, and funders Arts Council England.
The Derby performance event included performances by Parkwood Day Centre in Alfreton, Outlook Centre in Long Eaton, the Level Centre in Rowsley, and an open group for the people of South Derbyshire, based in Newhall.
The Chesterfield event saw performances by Fairplay in Chesterfield, Alderbrook Day Centre in High Peak, Enable Resource Centre in Tibshelf, an open group from North East Derbyshire and a guest performance from Dance Interaction (Derbyshire Virtual School).
Derbyshire-based arts group Spiral were the guest performers at both events.
Clare Limb is the Head of Dance Development and Learning at Déda and leads the Creative Producing team for the All Dance programme.
Déda, which has a national reputation for leading the fusion of dance, contemporary circus and outdoor performance, aims to establish Derbyshire as the leading county in the UK for championing the dance work of disabled people.
She said: “The underpinning notion of All Dance is to enable disabled people in Derbyshire to take part in high quality dance activities for the first time and to bring together participants with dance artists to perform in professionally supported celebration events.
“The groups of disabled adults have developed their own subject matter taking inspiration from a range of emotions, their surroundings and different movement styles.
“They worked with our team of dance artists to choreograph and perform new and unique pieces of dance on a professional stage which was an inspiring and empowering experience for everyone involved.
“I am delighted that we will be continuing to work with these groups for a further three months in the spring, where the focus will be upon the legacy which the project will leave in each of the 8 locations of All Dance 2017.
“Different groups will then be involved in the second year with the focus on making high quality and creative dance accessible and sustainable for disabled people across the county with the aspiration that some of the groups who took part in All Dance 2017 will return as guest performers.”