Writer and Director: Michael Vale
Choreographer: Wolfgang Stange
80 or more dancers fill the stage for this dance/ spoken word/ song celebration. It is an ensemble of dancers, with and without disabilities, of many different body types, and featuring some very small children and some fairly senior performers. It addresses the refugee crisis that has been provoked by conflict and poverty, and it is rather wonderful.
The Amici Dance Theatre Company, founded by choreographer Wolfgang Stange in 1980, is committed to producing inclusive performances. The performers are both disabled and non-disabled – some of the performers are in wheel chairs, some have physical or mental disabilities, while some have no disabilities. The dances include large, wave-like passages involving the whole ensemble, and smaller focussed pieces, including an impressive pas de deux between a dancer in a wheel chair and a non-disabled dancer, using the chair as a prop and a base, using the arcing turns of the wheels as a movement to dance around. It is impressively inclusive. The variety of movements, some fluid and confident, some hesitant, some intermittent, that the dancers employ gives a pleasing particularity to the rhythm and substance of the dancing, powerfully supported by the composer/musicians Nao Masada, playing keyboards and various percussion instruments, and Jenny Adejan’s cello.
Amici is committed to using their inclusive method to highlight matters of moral and global consequence. This piece dramatises the refugee crisis that has been set in motion by global conflict, most recently in Ukraine. There is a powerful and emotional use of Ukrainian songs performed by classical soprano Wendy Grose, and compelling imagery that the age range of the performers, aged from 2 to 85, makes extraordinarily vivid.
Wolfgang Stange has said “acceptance of our differences is our only salvation on this planet…” and the clear message of the performance piece is amplified by the very apparent care and consideration the dancers show to one another. It isn’t only a supportive and inclusive practice, it is a living example of possible responses to the humanitarian dilemmas we face today.
Runs until 2 July 2022