To celebrate International Dance Day, tomorrow, Saturday 29 April, the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry has announced its photography exhibition 11 Million Reasons to Dance which is currently on display at the theatre.
11 Million Reasons to Dance is an exhibition inspired by iconic dance scenes from film, all reimagined by deaf and disabled people who dance. The title of the exhibition reflects the fact there are more than 11 million disabled people in the UK.
The exhibition presents a series of thought-provoking takes on cinematic set-pieces, for example: Singing in the Rain and Billy Elliot.
With support from Unlimited Impact, People Dancing, the UK development organisation and membership body for participatory dance, commissioned emerging photographer, Sean Goldthorpe to work with the dancers to create 20 high quality images.
A UK and world tour is now bringing these subtly captured moments of dance magic to a bigger arts audience and wider public, aiming to move the viewer with their style, passion and provocative wit, challenging us all to appreciate the energy, creativity and diversity of deaf and disabled people who dance.
Photographer, Sean Goldthorpe said, “I didn’t want to have any crazy angles or effects that might detract from the dancers and their amazing ability to get past the physical challenges they face as disabled artists to achieve such high levels of artistic expression and skill. During the shoots I was just very focused on making sure everything was technically right. It wasn’t till afterwards that it really dawned on me just how much the project meant to the dancers, how much they were thrilled to be portrayed as genuine artists – I found that deeply moving. I hope 11 Million Reasons will encourage those who see it not to judge disabled people as being in any way different from themselves.”
11 Million Reasons to Dance is free to attend during the theatre’s opening hours and will run until Saturday 17 June, when there will also be a performance on the Belgrade’s B2 stage with the same title.
The performance will showcase the work by local Dance Artists Alexis Haines and Stephanie Sandy, who have been working with a number of schools including, Baginton Fields School, Castle Wood School, Tiverton School, Sherbourne Fields School, and Corley Centre, to create new dance performance work.
This will be performed alongside a duet by Kate Marsh and Welly O’Brien, who, as dancers with missing limbs, are both interested in the specificity of their own physicality and how this informs and enriches their collaborative practice and performance.