Integration & Diverse Capacity
In the early 90’s TAN’s Artistic Director, Carol Brown, worked as dance tutor on a multi-arts project for people with disabilities. In response to many learning disabled adults who expressed a desire to continue dancing, the inclusive company TAKE THIS was born and began to create dance pieces under TAN’s umbrella.
INTRODUCING OUR NEW DIVERSE CAPACITY COMPANY:
DRAGON HEARTS & DRAGON SOULS
Dragon Hearts & Dragon Souls was set up in 2014, funded by a People Dancing Commission from The Foundation for Community Dance and Arts Council Wales.
The Commission made possible a mentoring programme for TAN Dance’s diverse capacity team, Carol Brown, Cathy Coombs and Leila Bebb. We learned from Onil Vizcaino, an expert in dance for learning disabled people. This training will inform our work into the future and has given us courage to challenge our dancers to improve their dance knowledge and technique and to perform without the support of volunteers on stage.
One of the most memorable pieces of dance I have seen performed by any company, anywhere. Artistically speaking it was irrelevant that the company consists of people with a learning disability: the artistic standards were high, the performance quality sincere and moving and each person involved was extended way beyond the expectations of themselves and others. (Kate Castle, Associate Director People Dancing)
Ben enjoyed every minute being part of the company – the highlight was after the production at the Grand Theatre. He was so full of emotion. Many thanks for allowing him to be part of this amazing company. He has made many new friends and we as a family realise what talent he and his friends have. (Parent)
Charlie dreamed of performing at the Grand. No matter what your abilities, if you work hard your dreams CAN come true. (Parent)
The dancers told a wonderful story through dance with such mature understanding, and the fact that they kept ‘in character’ and remembered every move in a dance lasting 30 minutes was incredible. In a theatre with capacity audience, you could have heard a pin drop – the applause at the end was truly justified.
The best thing that has ever happened for Caroline. She has had a love of dance from a very young age but never had an opportunity like this before. We’ve seen her grow as a person as she learned new skills, with a beneficial effect on all aspects of her life. She has even lost weight in all the right places! The residencies were key to the project’s success, a chance to really get to know each other. (Marilyn Hough, Parent)
The story really came across through dance and movement. Rob is 67 and I’ve never seen his dancing before and have to say I was really surprised at the standard of the work. Rob’s so proud to be a member of the company and tells everyone about it. This is something that belongs just to him, separate to the consortium in which his daily life operates. (Christine Ackerman, Support Worker)
Swansea Grand Theatre
NDCW Dance House
Hijinx Unity Festival
We are currently planning a 3 Year Development Programme to include:
- Weekly Sessions
- Satellite Groups in neighbouring counties
- Local Tours to Day Services
- Annual Summer School & Theatre Performances
- Family Days & Social Events
- Training for Practitioners
- Diversity Training Unit
- Focus Groups & Forums
Meanwhile …The Company meets when funding is available. Please get in touch if you feel that you can offer support to keep the Dragon’s Heart beating! firstname.lastname@example.org
TAKE THIS has also:
- hosted exchanges & performance projects for learning disabled adults and carers
- danced in TAN productions, conferences and seminars
- danced in the Opening Ceremony of the Special Olympics
- thanks to Lloyds TSB Grant, toured performance/workshop to14 local day services
TAKE THIS aims to push the boundaries of what is perceived as “disabled art”.
‘Nobody can take away my dream to dance …. being a dance performer has given me hope and happiness. What I really want is for people to understand what I can do as a performer. I do have Down’s Syndrome and I show my passion through dance’.
Leila Bebb, Take This Assistant Facilitator & Dancer