In 2021 People Dancing worked with a consortium of Welsh partners to deliver 11 Million Reasons to Dance: Cymru a strategic programme of activity that supported the development of inclusive dance practice.
The project was inspired by the existing Arts Council England funded 11 Million Reasons to Dance photography exhibition created in 2014 which positively profiled D/deaf, sight impaired, neurodivergent and disabled people who dance.
Funded by Arts Council of Wales, the programme worked with four main delivery partners: Artis Community, Dawns I Bawb, Impelo and New Dance.
Dance artists from the four organisations and wider partners worked alongside People Dancing Associate Artist Kimberley Harvey on a professional development training and mentoring programme to develop their inclusive dance practice.
Image: Artis Community in rehearsals.
The project also supported four creative projects working with disabled participants in communities across Wales. The project participants worked with internationally renowned photographer Philip Hatcher-Moore and took part in a photography shoot that launched a brand-new bilingual Welsh photography exhibition that aims to tour across Wales in 2022 and beyond. (see below to view the exhibition)
The exhibition was due to tour across Wales during 2021 but due to Covid-19 this was put on hold. Plans are in place to tour the Welsh exhibition in 2022.
Wider supporting partners including Ballet Cymru, Krystal Lowe, Theatre Soar and Disability Arts Cymru, alongside disabled freelance artists formed a strategy group for the 11 Million Reasons to Dance: Cymru project focused on creating strategic next steps in making an impactful change to the lives and experiences of disabled dancers across Wales.
As part of the project culmination, In September 2021 People Dancing hosted an online bilingual Cymru themed networking event. Speakers included Jenny Stoves, Arts Council of Wales, Andrew Miller, disability consultant and advocate, Corali Dance Company, and project partners.
The event was attended by over 60 people from across Wales and the rest of the UK and brought together dance industry professionals to connect across borders and profile work taking place in and across Wales. Scroll down for more information.
Image: Artis Community Virtual Class.
Alongside the activities listed above, a document in Welsh and English was created in partnership with Unlimited to support venues and organisations in Wales who would like to develop their working practice with disabled artists and generally around access and inclusion. The documents are a free resource and are available here.
The project resources include:
- Documents (in English and in Welsh) for organisations and venues wanting to develop their working practice around access and inclusion
- The bilingual digital exhibition
- A collection of photography, film and feedback from those who took part in the work.
If you are a venue or organisation and would like to enquire about booking the exhibition, or you would like more information about the project and its legacy, please contact: Louise Wildish – Director of Engagement firstname.lastname@example.org
Lead artist: Kimberley Harvey – Online Training. Partners: New Dance; Impelo; Dawns I Bawb; Artis Community; Arts Council Wales. Wider partners: Ballet Cymru; Disability Arts Cymru; Theatre Soar.