The project objective is to break down the isolation of disabled artists, to extend their horizons and promote their creative development, presenting their most relevant and innovative works to the European public. A series of international laboratories, artists residencies, commissions and performances plus a digital exchange platform will help to develop visibility and interest in a field of entertainment still considered as "niche" .
The aims of Europe Beyond Access are to increase the international mobility, promoting the education, the public awareness and the implementation of thematic focus for each group involved: from artists to professional, from programmers to the public.
British Council (GB) has been touring the work of British disabled artists around the world for 30 years, and currently works with disabled artists in 37 countries. Alongside the presentation of high-quality artistic works, the British Council facilitates the training of arts professionals regarding disability arts, and policy-maker discussions and conferences seeking to share knowledge and best practice with regards to increasing access to the arts for disabled people.
Onassis Cultural Centre (GR) Onassis Cultural Centre – Stegi (GR) is Athens’ cultural space hosting events and actions across the whole spectrum of the arts from theatre, dance, music and the visual/digital arts to the written word, with an emphasis on contemporary cultural expression, on supporting Greek artists, on cultivating international collaborations and on educating children and people of all ages through life-long learning. OCC-Stegi has offered a dance and disability programme since 2012. In 2013 it took part in Unlimited Access, a Creative Europe-supported partnership with British Council and two others. This launched OCC-Stegi’s participatory programme for disabled aspiring dance artists and inspired them to be the lead partner in an Erasmus+ programme (with P3 Holland Dance and P6 Skånes DansTeater), researching inclusive dance teaching methodologies.
Holland Dance Festival (NL) is a major national organisation with experience of offering local disabled aspiring artists opportunity to work at a professional level for the first time. It has been the national pioneers of artist development, as well as presenting world class work within its mainstream programme. Holland Dance has taken a national role disseminating best practice, in partnership with local arts funders and networks, already hosting 2 major conferences on dance and disability.
Kampnagel (DE) as one of Europe’s largest production and presentation spaces, has undergone a seven-year journey of examining how collaborations between disabled and non-disabled artists have created some of Europe’s most interesting and challenging work.
Skånes Dansteater (SE) has developed and engaged in deep community projects with long-term commitments, leading to a strong support of aspiring and early-career disabled dance artists. Since 2014 Skånes Dansteater has integrated disabled dancers into its repertory company on a regular basis. The organisation has become a leading voice in arts and disability in Sweden as well as the rest of Scandinavia, and is frequently asked to share their expertise, experience and good practice at conferences and seminars.
Per Art (RS) has run an “Art and Inclusion“ programme since 1999 – gathering people with Learning Disabilities, artists (theatre, dance and visual arts), special educators, representatives of cultural institutions, architects and students. Per Art has worked with and influenced dozens of national and regional arts organisations to share good practice and to share excellent work by disabled artists, as well as collaborating internationally.
The Italian Network Europe Beyond Access 2021/2023 is committed to the creation of a network of allies aimed at questioning and discussing issues of accessibility and inclusion in the performing arts in order to generate awareness, disseminate knowledge and experiences of good practices, to encourage greater participation and leadership of artists and cultural operators with disabilities.
The network is committed to encouraging stakeholders to develop strategies and action plans to enable and support the participation of people with disabilities in the performing arts. During this process, the network ensures continuous consultation of people with disabilities and their representative organisations.
Accademia Nazionale di Danza – Roma, AMA Accademia Mediterranea dell’Attore – Lecce, Associazione Culturale Fuori Contesto – Roma, Associazione Culturale Teatro Menzatì co-gestore del Tex_Teatro dell’ExFadda – San Vito dei Normanni, Ater Fondazione – Circuito Teatri Emilia Romagna, BIG Bari International Gender Festival, Balletto Civile – La Spezia, BASE – Milano, C-FARA – Matera, Centro Nazionale Di Produzione | Virgilio Sieni - Firenze, CSC Cento Servizi Culturali Santa Chiara – Trento, Compagnia teatrale L’Albero – Melfi e Matera, Compagnia Xe/Julie Ann Anzilotti, San Casciano Val di Pesa (FI), Comune di San Vito dei Normanni, Danae Festival – Milano, Dancehaus più - Centro di produzione nazionale – Milano, ERT Emilia Romagna Teatro Fondazione, Factory Compagnia Transatlantica – Lecce, Fattoria Vittadini – Milano, FDE Festival Danza Estate – Bergamo, Festival Le Danzatrici en plein air – Ruvo di Puglia, Festival Tanz Bozen / Bolzano Danza, Fondazione Armunia - Castoglioncello, Fondazione Campania dei Festival, Fondazione Haydn di Trento e Bolzano, Fondazione I Teatri – Reggio Emilia, Fondazione Matera-Basilicata 2019, Fondazione Nazionale Della Danza/Aterballetto – Reggio Emilia, Fondazione Piemonte dal Vivo, Fondazione del Teatro Stabile di Torino, Fondazione Teatro Grande di Brescia, Fuorinorma – Brescia, IAC Centro Arti Integrate – Matera, La Luna nel Pozzo – Ostuni, Lenz Fondazione – Parma, MILANoLTRE Festival – Milano, MUVet – Bologna, Orbita | Centro nazionale di produzione della Danza di As. Spellbound – Roma, Orlando Festival – Bergamo, Pergine Festival – Pergine, Piccolo Teatro di Milano – Teatro d’Europa, Short Theatre – Roma, Teatro Carcano - Centro d’Arte Contemporanea Teatro Carcano s.r.l., Teatro delle Moire Danae Festival – Milano, Teatro La Ribalta – Bolzano, Teatro Pubblico Pugliese - Consorzio Regionale per le Arti e la Cultura, Teatro Stabile di Bolzano, Triennale Milano Teatro, Versiliadanza - Firenze
Mixed doubles is an evening of four dance duets with dancers with disabilities that we commissioned together with three other partners of Europe Beyond Access: Holland Dance Festival, Skånes Dansteater and Onassis STEGI.
The duets are part of the productions promoted and supported by Europe Beyond Access and bring together disabled and non-disabled artists from Sweden, Greece, Italy and the Netherlands.
Some of the key questions behind the project include: what brings us closer and what do we want to celebrate in each other? How can we deconstruct outdated notions of perfection and beauty? How can dance express the different encounters we have in life, from energizing dialogues to moments of tenderness and care?
February 6, 7, 8, 2020, Holland Dance Festival, The Hague (NL).
July 16, 2021, Kalamata Festival, Onassis Cultural Centre, Athens (GR)
September 12, 2021, Oriente Occidente Festival, Rovereto (I)
November 17 - 18, 2021, Skånes Dansteater, Malmö (SE)
Another production developed as part of Europe Beyond Access is Mody Dick, a co-production between Oriente Occidente and Dansnät Sverige. The choreography is created by Chiara Bersani for four able-bodied and disabled dancers of Danskompaniet Spinn.
The piece, developed during different artistic residencies, two of which were held in Rovereto in our spaces of Oriente Occidente Studio, reflects on the difficulty of living with disability during the pandemic. Starting from the nineteenth-century novel by Herman Melville, Moby Dick is a work about waiting and bewilderment, that bewilderment that produces the fog that suddenly rises from the sea.
Moby Dick was premiered during Oriente Occidente Dance Festival 2021 in Rovereto.
Among the actions supported by Europe Beyond Access there are also the artistic residencies.
Over the years, within the project, we have hosted in our spaces of Oriente Occidente Studio different artistic researches at more or less advanced stages:
in 2021 Alexis 2.0 by Aristide Rontini, , a young Italian choreographer among the founders of the association of Italian artists with disabilities Al.di.qua Artists;
in 2019 Sindri Runudde,, a blind artist of Swedish descent to develop and deepen his improvisation practice.
In September 2021, during the 41st edition of Oriente Occidente Dance Festival, is held in Rovereto the international laboratory Highlighting the grey zones. Research on the dramaturgy of movement transitions. The workshop, part of the actions included in the project Europe Beyond Access, is led by the Dramaturg Gaia Clotilde Chernetich with Giuseppe Dagostino and is aimed at performers with disabilities or otherwise interested in an exchange and a research more open and outside the norm.
Highlighting the grey zones explores approaches that artists can use to record, document and consider their own movement vocabularies. The goal is to support self-observation, self-documentation, and individual capacity to compose movement dramaturgies with a focus on transitions.
The aim of the workshop is to question and develop transitions, intended as structural components of a performative score, through the observation and the design of a dramaturgy and actual dance work. The workshop welcomes, promotes and intertwines open and shared reflections, performative practice and theoretical knowledge. Diversity will be a common starting ground and the objective is to develop one’s own practice through individual and collective work.
Regardless of the form that one's ability takes on day by day, the principle that moves this exploration starts from the idea that the body moves between elements that can redesign a possible perimeter of presence. The search for points of reference and answers never takes on a definitive character, but photographs the present and renews it by relaunching its instances in the near future, that time that faces the body as a welcoming space in which it is possible to explore.
In April 2022 Oriente Occidente, thanks to the support of Ministero della Cultura and Regione Lombardia and with the collaboration of Al.Di.Qua Artists an association of artists with disabilities, organises and curates PRESENTI ACCESSIBILI the first event in Italy dedicated to accessibility in performing arts.
The programme includes two days of workshops and laboratories for operators in the cultural sector, an evening at the Teatro Carcano with the show TRIPLE BILL to involve the general audience and a conference, a moment of confrontation between the leading figures of the institutions, policy makers, funders and artists with disabilities to put the issue of accessibility of culture on the political agenda.
Find out more on the landing page dedicated to the event here.