Arts and disability is an overview phrase, which includes a broad range of arts practice, embracing artwork by people with disabilities and activities involving disabled people as artists, participants and audience members. The approach aims to involve all sections of the community on an equal basis, making no differentiation between disabled and non-disabled participants.
A core element of the Arts Ability Programme is to develop relationships and programmes with organisations involved in supporting people with intellectual and physical disability. These include information sharing, mentoring and training opportunities for care workers and artists; outreach and residency programmes and the COPE and Co-Action Workshop Programme at WCAC.
Creating a unique nonverbal environment where all people feel their equality and shared humanity through an immediate and visceral experience
August 2012 | COPE Foundation, Skibbereen
Inclusive Dance is a ground breaking new dance form where people with and without disabilities dance together in an enjoyable, playful and creative environment. During this workshop the facilitator built up trust and confidence; increased physicality and range of motion; provided an outlet for physical expression and creativity; and celebrated the diversity of the human body and the uniqueness of each person’s way of moving.
"I enjoyed the newness of the experience. My perception and attitudes were challenged. I can't believe how amazing the dances… were that we created."(Inclusive Dance participant, Cork)
"This was a fantastic experience. I felt exhilarated and I learnt loads. I really enjoyed creating the dance performances." (Inclusive Dance participant, Cork)
This event invited all young people and adults who wanted to experience Inclusive Dance for the first time - no previous dance experience was required.
These workshops were facilitated by Tara Brandel, Director of Croi Glan Integrated Dance Company a professional contemporary dance company based in Cork, which performs work that includes both disabled and non-disabled dancers. Croi Glan was co-founded in December 2006 by Rhona Coughlan and Tara Brandel. Croi Glan highlights the cutting edge artistic value of creating performance with diverse bodies by producing high calibre work which tours nationally and internationally. www.croiglan.com
Tara Brandel, a native of West Cork, trained as a contemporary dancer at the Laban Centre, London 1986-90. After initial training in Inclusive Dance with DanceAbility (USA), she was awarded a Arts Council Community Arts Award to work with the Irish Wheelchair Association in West Cork 1998. She continued her Inclusive Dance training with Axis Integrated Dance Company (San Francisco) 2003-5, and is currently artistic director of Croi Glan Integrated Dance Company. She lives in Ballydehob.
COPE Foundation worked in partnership with West Cork Arts Centre and Croi Glan Integrated Dance Company worked in partnership to create something new for West Cork.