Lived Fiction

A production image of a wheelchair dancer in an headstand.

Nadenh Poan, a Cambodian male wheelchair dancer caught in a gravity defying headstand. A haze of golden light spills around him as he throws his left arm forwards to the camera, balancing only on the side of his head and right arm, his lightweight black manual chair lifted above him. He wears a light gold satin corset with braces that he stretches and extends away from him, wrapping one around his extended left arm. Photography by Chris Parkes.

Lived Fiction is the manifestation of Stopgap’s twenty-year history, a timely intervention that can shape the future of contemporary dance.

The sensual choreography of Lived Fiction is rendered anew with evocative audio description, exquisite projection art and captioning. The internationally revered company invites you to experience dance from multiple perspectives and share in a future that is rich with the enterprise, potential, and power of diversity.

Expect masterful performances from Deaf, Disabled, neurodivergent and non-disabled creatives in the dance work that is deep with compassion for the human condition.

Trailer

Audio flyer

Visual Story

Production images

  • Dancers Mo and Christian during a duet. Mo, a short-statured Disabled Black woman, kneels up, proudly holding her right arm across her chest, facing front she gazes out chin raised, golden rays from a back-light burst around her. Hidden in the hazy glow behind her, Christian, a tall non-disabled white man sits facing the right, curling himself downwards as he gazes at the floor. Photography by Chris Parkes

    Dancers Mo and Christian during a duet. Photography by Chris Parkes

  • Dancers Emily and Nadenh during a duet. Emily, a non-disabled east asian woman lays on her back and calmly embraces Nadenh, a wheelchair dancer, lifting him and supporting his back as he balances in a headstand. The wheels of his lightweight black manual chair catch focus as he suspends his lower body and inverts. There is a sense of serenity and tension, Emily’s face is calm as they embrace but Nadenh’s face is hidden, and the strength of the balance is immense. Golden light spills from behind them, catching on the rich browns and ambers of their costumes. Photography by Chris Parkes.

    Dancers Emily and Nadenh during a duet. Emily, a non-disabled east asian woman lays on her back and calmly embraces Nadenh, a wheelchair dancer, lifting him and supporting his back as he balances in a headstand. Photography by Chris Parkes.

  • An intimate close up of dancers Hannah and Jannick embracing, filling the right two thirds of the frame. Faces close and shadowed almost in silhouette, they grasp each other's cheeks and hold one anothers heads gently. A halo of golden back light glows around their faces. Photography by Chris Parkes

    An intimate close up of dancers Hannah and Jannick embracing. Photography by Chris Parkes

  • Nadenh Poan, a Cambodian male wheelchair dancer caught in a gravity defying headstand. A haze of golden light spills around him as he throws his left arm forwards to the camera, balancing only on the side of his head and right arm, his lightweight black manual chair lifted above him. He wears a light gold satin corset with braces that he stretches and extends away from him, wrapping one around his extended left arm. Photography by Chris Parkes.

    Nadenh Poan, a Cambodian male wheelchair dancer caught in a gravity defying headstand. Photography by Chris Parkes.

  • Christian, a white non-disabled standing dancer, in a wide lunge, silhouetted as he drapes his shirt over his face. He is leaning backwards, his torso going back over his hips, his left leg bent in front of him and the other foot behind in a gentle arch. His arms are raised stretched out beside his body.

    Christian, a white non-disabled standing dancer, in a wide lunge, silhouetted as he drapes his shirt over his face. Photography by Chris Parkes.

  • Jannick, a white standing dancer, caught mid-jump, his upper body arching as if pulled upwards by his chest. A strong golden light in the middle of the image cuts through haze and the dark background.

    Jannick, a white standing dancer caught mid-jump, his upper body arching as if pulled upwards by his chest. Photography by Chris Parkes.

  • A blur of action around Nadenh as he lays on his back and floats his arms, lower body and manual wheelchair off of the floor. Other dancers echo his shape, the long exposure of the shot creating blurs as they move. Photography by Chris Parkes.

  • Hannah and Jannick in a duet. Photography by Chris Parkes.

Creative Access

What to expect

Stopgap have been the exemplar of diversity and inclusion on stage for two decades, but a global leader of inclusive dance has to do more than showcase Disabled talent. It is time for us to level up and make dance accessible to the widest possible range of audiences.

We want the performers and the audience to gain a shared-experience of an inclusive world and revel in the joy of different people cohabiting the theatre space.

Lived Fiction aims to do this through intertwining audio description, captioning and projection art with world-class choreography, within the context of a relaxed performance. 

Tour Dates

April 2024

11 - 12 - Project Arts Centre, DublinBook Now

May 2024

14 - Brighton FestivalBook Now

Credits

Lived Fiction was conceived, written and devised by Stopgap’s Deaf, Disabled, neurodivergent and non-disabled creatives. The process was facilitated by Stopgap’s Co Artistic Director Lucy Bennett.

Christian Brinklow, Monique Dior Jarrett, Emily Lue-Fong, Jannick Moth, Lily Norton (Audio Describer), Nadenh Poan, Hannah Sampson and Dan Watson (Voice of DAN)
Cast and Creatives

Lucy Bennett
Director & Co-Writer

Lily Norton
Access Artist & Co-Writer

Amy Butler
Rehearsal Director

Dougie Evans
Composer & Sound Designer

Ben Glover
Digital Artist & Creative Captions

Jackie Shemesh
Lighting Design

Ryan Dawson Laight
Costume Design

Colin Holden
Props Designer and Builder

Access Guide
Lauren Trim

Ethan Duffy
Production & Stage Manager

Emma Henderson
Production Manager

Francois Langton
Technical Manager

Joe Hornsby
Lighting Associate

Rosie Whiting
Costume Associate

James Greenhalgh
Project Manager

Abbie Thompson, Laurel Flatley
Access Workers

Sho Shibata & Lucy Glover
Executive Producers

Feedback and Focus Group Support for Creative Access

Kelsie Acton (Battersea Arts Centre), Angela Bettoni, Lucy Clark, Martin Glover, Andrew Loretto, Anne McCarthy, Lesta Woo, Sofia Young-Santamaria, Ada Eravama

Supporters

Lived Fiction was developed as part of the research project “DANCING: Protecting the Right to Culture of Persons with Disabilities and Enhancing Cultural Diversity through European Union Law: Exploring New Paths” led by Delia Ferri, Professor of Law at Maynooth University, Ireland. The project received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme (grant agreement number 864182).

Lived Fiction was created with additional support from:

Arts Council England, DanceEast, Dance Ireland, Leche Trust, The Point – Eastleigh, University of Surrey.

Additional Thanks

Delia Ferri and Ann Leahy for managing the research and feedback for creative access

Battersea Arts Centre for in-kind support of making Kelsie available to us

Maria Oshodi for giving us an insight into creative access

Katye Coe and Thomas Goodwin for the springboard workshop during the creation process

KJ Mortimer and Alice Shepperson for leading classes during the creation process