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Animated Edition - Spring 2002
Dancing differently?
by Paddy Masefield OBE
Precisely because dance is the leading artform in this country for making connections between distinguished professionals, disabled and disadvantaged people and young people, it is crucial that [we continue to bring to the fore]... national example[s] of what can be achieved when disabled people are handed artistic control of their own creativity and are allowed to choreograph and manage, as much as participate and perform. By the simple act of labeling 1981 United Nations Year of Awareness of Disabled People, it became an inspiration for a new political awareness of the issues of arts and access to them for disabled people.

In the 1980's, the emergence of SHAPE movement sought to make more art accessible to more disabled people, but made the mistake of shaping the decisions on behalf of their disabled clients.

In the 1990s, the emergence of disability arts allowed disabled people to take charge of their chosen art forms, explore them and, informed by the experience of disability; to communicate them to audiences of disabled people. Now 2003 is to be the European Year of Disabled People.

Paddy Masefield OBE

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Animated: Spring 2002