News: Unlimited commissions for 2014 announced

Monday 14 April 2014 by Lise Smith

Ian Johnston, Dancer Image: Niall Walker

Twenty-six disabled artists have been commissioned to create new works for this year’s UNLIMITED festival. Funded by Arts Council England (ACE) and Creative Scotland (CS) & led by Shape and ArtsAdmin, Unlimited began as a celebration of the work of disabled artists during the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, and this year’s programme hopes to build on that work.

The chosen works will be staged at arts venues and festivals across the UK, and from Monday 1 – Sunday 7 September 2014 the Unlimited festival will return to the Southbank Centre in London, where an 11-day festival celebrated the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012.

Jo Verrent, Unlimited Senior Producer says, “I can’t believe we are here so quickly and with such a stunning range of work to share and to develop. I just can’t wait to start the real work of Unlimited – ensuring audiences across the UK and beyond get a chance to see the very best work by the very best disabled artists.”

Works commissioned for 2014 include Dancer by Ian Johnston, Gary Gardiner and Adrian Howells, a performance piece about what it is to be a ‘dancer’. Ian and Gary are not trained dancers, but they both love to dance in public. The piece asks questions about visibility, opportunity and experiences and shares a few of their dances.

Also commissioned is Ring the Changes+ by former CandoCo Dance Company member Chisato Minamimura. Choreographing what she calls “visual sound/music”, Chisato uses interactive technology to create an innovative sense experience for hearing and non-hearing audiences.

Other artists supported by Unlimited this year include Fittings MultiMedia Arts, Jo Bannon, Vital Xposure, Owen Lowery, Katherine Araniello, Juan delGado and Birds of Paradise Theatre Company. 17 further Research and Development awards will allow artists to begin the creation of new works for future touring.

Alan Davey, Chief Executive, Arts Council England says “The Arts Council is proud to support a programme that facilitates such varied, collaborative, and pioneering work. This will no doubt encourage new partnerships and support the distribution of work via touring and digital means, enabling more people to see and experience great art.”

Wendy Martin, Head of Performance and Dance at Southbank Centre, adds “Unlimited captures the essence of Southbank Centre’s core belief in the potential of art for social change, and I am thrilled we are presenting Unlimited again in 2014. As a panel member I was impressed by the quality of the work submitted, and I look forward to sharing another exciting festival with our audiences this September.”

Southbank Centre’s Unlimited Festival 1 – 7 September 2014

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