Looking back on 2015 and what's in stall for 2016

Company Producer Sho Shibata does a whistle stop tour of Stopgap's achievements in 2015 and ponders what's in store for 2016.  

Dave Toole in a santa's hat sitting in a load of fake snow.

2015 was a very productive year for Stopgap Dance Company. We toured six different productions to no fewer than seven countries. The feedback from audiences have been overwhelmingly positive, and we are grateful to all our partners who helped us inspire so many thousands of people.

One of the most notable projects was our outdoor show The Seafarers commissioned by Portsmouth Festivities. It was our first attempt at making a large-scale outdoor show involving 10 Stopgap dancers, 50 local participants and live music from Moulettes, who came straight from Glastonbury Festival. We were delighted with the outcome and look forward to taking on new creative challenges like these in the future.

Image from The Seafarers

(Image from The Seafarers)

We were very proactive in promoting inclusive arts in UK and abroad too. Through iF Platform at Edinburgh Festival Fringe, we showcased some of the UK’s best inclusive works for the world to see, and we saw a huge increase in demand to share our expertise in inclusive professional training. This year, we led workshops in eight countries with key cultural institutions in Antwerp, Barcelona, The Hague and many other cities, so that they too can nurture disabled dancers.

Stopgap's main focus in 2016 will be the creation of our next major production The Enormous Room, which is set to hit the UK touring circuit in Spring 2017. The dancers in Sg2, our emerging artists company, will also be touring in Night At The Theatre as part of Casson & Friends. This production will effectively be Sg2’s ‘graduation project’. It will premiere at The Vaults in London on 27th February 2016. We will be releasing more information about both productions soon.

Stopgap is fast becoming an exemplary example for achieving excellence through inclusion, and we are delighted with Arts Council England’s continued emphasis of the Creative Case for Diversity. We are very pleased to be featured so prominently in its promotional video too. The company has created its own inclusive progression route and has a lot of expertise to share. We look forward to continue working with everyone to create an equal platform for artistic excellence in the future.

We firmly believe that diversity is the key in making exciting dance works in the future, and I'd like to leave you with a short video from our R&D of the new work The Enormous Room. Seeing it in action makes our point very poignantly...

Happy holidays to you all!

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