Fairy Tales at Sadler’s Wells
Rashmi Becker‘s uplifting and heartwarming Fairy Tales, from her company Step Change Studios, features disabled and non-disabled dancers performing together in a remarkably beautiful and entertaining show.
About reaching beyond social and physical limits and inspired by youthful imagination, stories are told through bodily expression, exploring self-perception, hopes and dreams as seen through the eyes of a child. Translating ideas from classic children’s fairy tales to dynamic ballroom and lively Latin style dance – such as Swing, Charleston, Tango and Rumba – the piece includes group, duet and solo performances.
In exhibiting the possibilities of movement with disability, the work’s results are quite exquisite: wheelchairs are part of the choreography as they swirl, while arms and upper body glide with elegant rhythm or blithe balletic gestures within a range of graceful motion – and facial expressions also contribute effect to the composition. Disabled/non-disabled duets create artful symmetry. Those with part-paralysis employ with equilibrium their moving and non-moving parts in coordinated balance. Energetic beats kindle liveliness and panache.
The talented cast of 20 include Natasha Julien (Tommy by Ramps on the Moon), who is deaf, international wheelchair Latin dance champion Pawel Karpinski, newcomer Andrew Self, who has Down’s Syndrome, ballroom contestant Ian Banham (Dirty Dancing, Dancing with the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance), versatile Italian artist Romano Solano and choreographer/performers Nancy Hitzig, Ivana Ostrowski and Anna Alvarez.
Winner of the East London Dance Enterprise Ideas Fund in 2017 and the inaugural One Dance UK Award for Innovation in 2018, Step Change was formed by Becker two years ago, with the goal of bestowing prospects in dance for the disabled. Supported by Arts Council England and Sadler’s Wells, the troupe is an uplifting and galvanising contributor to diversity in the arts, proving that there are no limits to what can be done with enterprising spirits, open and innovative minds and the goodwill and compassionate hearts of those seeking opportunities for all.
A striking, poignant, artistically intriguing, fun and enjoyable show, Fairy Tales will touch your soul and open your mind.
Photo: Stephen Wright Photography
Fairy Tales was at Sadler’s Wells on 27th June 2019.
For further information about Step Change Studios visit the company’s website here.