Drawing on their own experiences as artists, panellists Raquel Meseguer Zafe, Sho Shibata, Xan Dye and facilitator, Tarik Elmoutawakil, examine what is given time in the creative process and how those decisions affect or limit what is made, seen and valued. Using the idea of rhythm as a lens, they focus on how working practices in the arts can and should better reflect the sometimes-conflicting needs of society.
Presented in collaboration with Dance Umbrella and Team London Bridge, this talk is part of dance it, dance it, Independent Dance’s year-long programme conceived by Heni Hale and Nikki Tomlinson. This programme aims to foreground disabled, neurodivergent and d/Deaf artists as leaders and to widen dissemination of inclusive dance practices. Partner organisations on different strands of the programme include Candoco Dance Company, Sadler’s Wells and The Work Room. This programme is supported through public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.
Raquel Mesgeuer Zafe’s work straddles theatre, dance, installation, performative conversations and photo-documentary. She identifies as dis-abled, and works with rest and horizontality as creative impulses. Raquel founded Unchartered Collective in 2016 to create theatrical encounters that explore the lived experience of an invisible disability like chronic pain. Her work is supported by MAYK, Unlimited and Pervasive Media Studios.
Sho Shibata is the Executive Producer of the inclusive dance company Stopgap. He works with the company’s Co-Artistic Directors Lucy Bennett and Laura Jones to enable Stopgap to nurture Deaf, Disabled and Neurodivergent artists and create inclusive productions that tours nationally and internationally. Sho is also a trustee of ISTD, Play to the Crowd, and a member of the South East Area Council for Arts Council England.
Xan Dye is developing ways of doing, sharing and facilitating dance through identifying and dismantling the access barriers they experience in dance spaces, systems and cultures. They explore movement that emerges from a felt sense of need, being guided by the senses and curious about what’s happening already. Through this, Xan explores creative ways to be in dialogue with ourselves, our environments and others.
At the centre of Xan’s practice is the performance research project STIMMING, which explores rhythmic, repetitive sensory seeking and self-regulating movement patterns known as stimming movements, exploring the creative potential of the space between stimming and dancing. This research has been awarded national lottery project grant funding by Arts Council England, and has been supported through residencies and commissions from at The Place, Wellcome Collection, SHAPE ARTS and Siobhan Davies Studios.
Tarik Elmoutawakil is an artist, programmer, and Founder/Co-Artistic Director at Marlborough Productions. Creator of ‘Brownton Abbey,’ an Afro-Futures Performance Party celebrating disabled QTIPOC, and Radical Rhizomes, a creative community intervention based in Brighton.
Tarik’s work involves themes of intersectional accessibility and radical inclusion and radical exclusion. He is connected to global disabled QTIPOC activists, and is invested in reshaping access and leadership. A dynamic public speaker, Tarik advocates for joyous existences for marginalized queers.
Artist bios as published in 2023.