Where did it start
In 2013, Candoco, a London-based dance company for disabled and non-disabled performers, visited Yerevan with our support, and gave a performance that provided a serious challenge to some commonly-held ideas of what it means to be ‘disabled’. Candoco has now demonstrated the potential for inclusion of disabled people in the arts and creative sectors with performances throughout our part of the world. This has led to the formation of a core programme of our work in the region. It has taken a name that clearly describes its mission: Unlimited: Making the Right Moves. Because there must be no limits for those who want to dream and live and even to dance.
In Ukraine, our arts team sees Unlimited: Making the Right Moves as an ideal match for its continuing work with innovative and emerging artists and initiated the programme with an open call, the likes of which had never been seen in the country: for professional performers with disabilities. Those selected would take part in an unprecedented performance combining elements of theatre, dance and physical improvisation. Led by Marina Lymar, performer and art-director at UviMkneni – an independent Ukrainian arts group – and Susanna Recchia and Victoria Malin, artists from Candoco, the Ukrainian cross-disciplinary performance group met monthly from February through May for intensive four-day residencies. Their work culminating in a performance called 'A Place To…' in May 2018. You can watch a video and photos of the performance.
In another important step, in February 2018, the Programme conducted a discussion Forum in Kyiv, bringing together more than 200 delegates from the region and the UK to explore the potential for inclusion of the disabled people in the arts and in society. The Forum tackled themes like developing an inclusive society, the place of the disabled in the arts, and looked at the case study of Chester, England, which has transformed itself into an urban model of inclusivity. Please follow the link to access presentations from the Forum and see the photos.