During the summer term of the Ability course, a dance course is specifically designed for adults with mild to moderate learning disabilities, participants created a dance film, which was premiered at the Beyond Arts festival in June 2015.
After weeks of discussing, planning, filming and refining, our film Introducing…Ability is finally complete. Creating a dance film was completely new to all the dancers and it was the first time Sophie and I had worked this way with a group together. Sophie said, 'It was a learning curve for all of us and a process we’d all like to repeat.'
At the start of this week’s session we watched footage from last week and began to discuss a structure for the film. We thought of what might create an exciting beginning and what would keep our audience interested. I played the footage with and without music to make the participants think about how this changed the feeling of the footage.
In Ability this week, we explored movement in the Atrium. Sophie and the participants devised a sequence focussing on the use of their head, hands and arms. As a group we decided the sequence would look effective filmed from a high angle.
I decided to film the sequence from other angles so the participants had a choice for the final edit. We also discussed what they would like to hear in the soundtrack. We were inspired by jazz music and the sounds their hands made as they hit the table.
This week in Ability we began to create work in our first location on level 3 of the building.
We thought about expected and unexpected actions that might happen there, and used these to help create movement in and around the sofa area. We filmed sequences from different angles and looked through the footage to decide what we thought looked best.
Northern Ballet’s Ability is taking part in an exciting project with some of Mencap’s Young Ambassadors from the region. As part of the Look Beyond the Label campaign the two groups have been meeting to create a dance piece that will be performed as part of National Mencap Day.
However, the time and location are secret! We may drop the odd clue though...
We hosted an Accessible Dance sharing brought together groups of dancers with mobility issues and learning difficulties giving them a chance to perform on a professional stage for their friends, family and carers.