Artistic director, Lucy, writes about Hannah and Nadenh’s pathway to graduation.
A massive congratulations to Sg2 who have graduated and are performing with Casson & Friends in the children’s production ‘Night at the Theatre’.
After five years for Hannah and two years for Nadenh – Sg2 are ready to fly the nest!
As part of their training with Sg2, we decided that working with another artistic team and choreographer was imperative to Hannah and Nadenh’s development as artists.
We also wanted to prove to the industry that disabled dancers don’t only have to work in specifically inclusive dance companies.
In order to achieve this it was vital we started encouraging choreographers and repertoire companies to broaden their pallete of dancers. For us the simplest way to do this was to bring like-minded choreographers into our studio and for them to share their practice with our dancers. More often than not they were immediately inspired and keen to collaborate with our disabled dancers.
All the way through Sg2’s training we have made a concerted effort to be visible by opening up our company class weekly, by visiting professional classes in London and by attending industry conferences not just on inclusive dance.
Recently Hannah, Nadenh and ‘AinT’ (artists in training) member Kat Ball attended two days of classes at ‘Creative Academy ’ in Slough. This for us was an important step in beginning a dialogue with vocational dance schools about the prospect of finding practical solutions to becoming more inclusive.
Earlier last year and as Artist in Residence at The University of Surrey, Stopgap influenced the language used around dance with regards to the University’s dance assessments criteria. This was through the support of senior dance lecturers and our Youth Company and company class being hosted there. The students very quickly became used to different dancers inhabiting the dance studio.
For me this is the safest way to build bridges, by sharing Nadenh’s Hannah’s and Kat’s talent, flexibility and ingenuity – teachers, artists and peers understand that the learning happens both ways and that being inclusive can be invaluable to their work.
Below Hannah and Nadenh give you their take on working with Casson and Friends as part of the final stage of their training in Sg2.
“From Monday 1st to the 5th of February Nadenh Poan , Tim Casson, Connor Quill and I were in Eastleigh to show Tim’s work ‘Night at the Theatre’.
‘Night at the Theatre’ is a trio piece between Connor, Nadenh and I as people who know nothing about what to do at the Theatre. This piece is a family show full of comedy and fantasy. It involves vocalization, acting and dance. We also include the audience to help and to join us through this experience at the theatre. We look forward to seeing you there”.
“It was an amazing week working with Casson & Friends finishing the week presenting ‘Night at the Theatre’ at The Point, Eastleigh.
It’s a really good experience for me to do this show because the choreographer Tim put dialogue into the dance. I have never done this before especially talking in English. I have learnt a lot from the project, mainly about choreography in a smaller space and in a different style to what I had been doing. It was really nice to get into something new to help my development, learning how to work with other companies and choreographers for my future.
The production team was made up of a lot different people and roles that I had never worked with before – composer, dramaturge, designer, production manager, choreographer and new cast member Connor Quill. They are all lovely people. In fact I am missing them already and really looking forwards for the next show”.