Most people have a fairly clear idea of what a wheelchair does.
Until, that is, the All Bodies Dance Project get their hands on one in
That’s the name of one of two pieces the Vancouver-based dance company are presenting during
In See and Be Seen, manual wheelchair user Adam Warren performs a duet with standing dancer Carolina Bergonzoni, using Warren’s wheelchair in unexpected ways, says All Bodies artistic director Naomi Brand.
“They both stand in and out of Adam’s chair,” says Brand. “The chair sort of becomes a creative tool (in a way).”
See and Be Seen
“We don’t necessarily use the kind of mobility tool in its fully functional way that you might expect a wheelchair to be used, so it sort of becomes a character in and of its own,” Brand says. “It’s really like a good demonstration of what I think good disability dance can be: using the bodies and their mobility tools and mobility aids in different choreographic ways.”
That juxtaposition is kind of what All Bodies Dance Project is, in a nutshell, says Brand, who, prior to relocating to Vancouver, spent seven years in Calgary working at MoMo Dance Theatre.
Along with All Bodies Dance Project,
Many Fingers, who was recently part of the
“The play explores their coming together as they were living it these very unique circumstances,” Inside Out artistic director Col Cseke says. “Both indigenous men, both living on different reserves across the country, both coming to terms with their sexuality, but also they were both born with a physical condition that they (share).
“They’re (also) the same age,” he adds, “and (also), in their twenties, both went into performance and trained as dancers. Really, these remarkably parallel lives.”
One day, Many Fingers met Solomon.
“They found each other,” Cseke adds, “and started to explore their sort of pairing in a (new) show.”
That was the launch point for
“The most remarkable thing to me that happens in the show,” Cseke says, “is (that) they set up their moms on two different ends of the country, on a phone call, and recorded the phone call, and much of the dance is danced to the soundtrack of their moms speaking to one another.”
The third piece of Dancing Difference
“They’re really calling into question her disability, based on the idea that she’s this intellectual powerhouse and physically dependent on care,” Cseke says.
“And so this very, very funny documentary follows Heidi on a day in her life,” he says,
“It’s very funny,” he says, “and (also) ultimately begs the question: what do we mean by disability?
“What do we mean by that culturally,” he adds, “and what do we mean by that legally?”
The 2017 Fluid Festival and Inside Out Theatre present Dancing Difference Friday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 28 at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the DJD Dance Centre. For tickets please click here.
Stephen Hunt is the 2017 Fluid Festival writer in residence. He wrote about theatre for the Calgary Herald for 10 years, and teaches playwriting at UBC. He is also the author of The White Guy: A Field Guide. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow him on Twitter here, and read his blog The Halfstep here.