Dancers making a difference
DURBAN’S Flatfoot Dance Company is showcasing an integrated dance performance with dancers who have Down syndrome.
is an affirmation of faith, courage and the joy of dance. It is choreographed by Lliane Loots, in collaboration with eight dancers from Flatfoot Dance Company and Flatfoot Downie Dance Company, at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre on November 20.
According to award-winning choreographer Loots, the show is a celebration of the power of dance to shift lives, and to negotiate difference and inclusivity:
“It explores the concept of living democracy and the methodology of dealing with young adults with disabilities. They are amazing and strong and beautiful. The show is about crossing borders, race, gender and disability borders and shifting the preconceptions of who has access to dance.
“Disabilities are often hidden and shamed and this show is about breaking those barriers, around physical and mental challenges.”
This particular programme began in August 2017, with the visit by Dutch choreographer Adriaan Luteijn, of Introdans, and his collaboration with Flatfoot. The performance by the Flatfoot Dance Company is the culmination of this year-long programme.
For Loots, the entire experience has been awe-inspiring: “I’ve worked with dancers who had physical disabilities, but working with dancers with mental disabilities has been something new to me.
“Working with people living with Down syndrome has been the most joyful work I’ve ever done. These young adults are such beautiful beings. When they don’t want to dance during our choreography lessons, they say no which is something I’m not used to.
“It’s taught me patience and to work in different ways. I’m humbled by this experience and at the end of the day, it’s about connecting with human beings and something just shifts. To be able to watch theses dancers, who have been written off by society, and develop such a profound spectacle of dance is an amazing feeling,” said Loots.
The title, centres around the idea of Ubuntu. “We’re using the idea of what it is to look at someone and their humanity, and challenge the very core foundations of who we think can and should dance professionally.”
Loots said the performance should not be mistaken for a pity party. “This is a full-on professional show, with professional dancers.
“These young adults get better every day.”
She says they have the ability to remember complex movements and work with partners. They are not broken. “They are who they are, they are a celebration of difference.”
Funds raised from the performance will be used towards supporting the Flatfoot Down Syndrome Dance programme for 2019.
The show is on November
20 at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre. Tickets are R80 each. To pre-book tickets contact: email@example.com