Look beyond ‘disability’

2015-11-26 06:00
Themba Mbuli and Nadine Mckenzie are two of the dancers from Unmute Dance Company.

Themba Mbuli and Nadine Mckenzie are two of the dancers from Unmute Dance Company.

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It is easier to notice someone’s disability than their ability.

With this in mind, the Unmute Integrated Dance Company will celebrate the International Week for people with disability with South Africa’s first integrated arts platform, the Unmute ArtsAbility Festival next week.

The company has partnered with a host of local organisations to bring performers with and without disabilities together in a series of theatre events at the Theatre Arts Admin Collective in Observatory, the Black Box theatre in Delft, NY 6 (Fezeka Street) to Gugulethu Sport Complex, Youngblood’s Beautiful Life building in CBD and the Artscape.

The Unmute Integrated Dance Company is the first of its kind in South Africa and Africa and brings artists with mixed abilities/disabilities together through physical dance theatre, and integrated dance with the aim to address society’s mind-set on their view of people with disabilities.

The festival challenges choreographers, directors, filmmakers, photographers, visual artists and musicians to collaborate or create inclusive works of art for people with mixed abilities.

It aims to challenge people’s misconceptions about disability and focuses on ability rather than disability.

The program for the first Unmute ArtsAbility Festival, which runs from Monday 30 November until Saturday 5 December, includes live performances, exhibitions and installations that have been refined through artistic workshops facilitated by artists from the Unmute Integrated Dance Company who are the pioneers of integrated arts in South Africa.

One of the highlights of the Unmute Arts-Ability Festival is Imbizo Ability, which will be staged for free in celebration of International Day for people with disability at the Artscape on Thursday 3 December at 12:00.

Other exciting events include a sign language and dance technique workshop hosted by Andile Vellem and Nadine Mckenzie.V For more information about the festival and productions, visit www.unmute.co.za or search for the “Unmute ArtsAbility Festival 2015” page on Facebook.

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