The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We work with over 100 countries in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society.
Our work in arts creates new relationships between artists, organisations and audiences to develop stronger creative sectors around the world. We help artists to break new ground, support creativity and innovation, increase capacity by building skills to support livelihoods and cultural enterprise, extend safe spaces for creative exchange and contribute to research and policy.
“The British Council has been touring the work of British disabled artists around the world for 30 years, and currently works with disabled artists in 37 countries. Europe Beyond Access is a unique opportunity to have a conversation at the most senior level in Europe’s cultural sector. It will allow us to generate truly long-lasting transnational links between artists and between arts managers, and to develop a network of major European performing arts organisations which are committed to supporting and commissioning the work of disabled artists.
EBA will also allow the British Council to focus our artistic, audience development, and capacity building activities in one particular geographic location, Poland, in partnership with two valued Associate Partners, the Polish Institute for Music and Dance, and the Polish Theatre Institute. Together we believe that the project activities will be an important contribution to current discussions of the direction of Polish cultural policy and practice.”
Onassis Stegi, one of Greece’s leading cultural institutions, 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 more organizations. This launched Stegi’s participatory programme for disabled aspiring dance artists and inspired them to be the lead partner in the iDance project co-funded by Erasmus+ programme, researching inclusive dance teaching methodologies.
“Our goal in this project is to make integrated dance visible. We want to use this new platform to show the excellence of the work of mixed groups.”
Kampnagel is one of Europe’s largest production and presentation venues for theatre, dance, music, performance, music as well as conferences and festivals. Based in an old factory building, on six differently sized stages, Kampnagel presents a seasonal programme of international and national works as well as productions by Hamburg artists. Kampnagel is a productive laboratory for the development of ideas, exploration of new formats that tackle modern forms of communication, interaction and participation as well as the transfer of knowledge. The Kampnagel programme is very much based on current issues in our society such as migration, postcolonialism, anti-discrimination etc. In both its programming and communication Kampnagel makes sure to address audiences with all sorts of backgrounds.
Since 2007, when Amelie Deuflhard became Artistic Director, Kampnagel has undergone a journey of examining how collaborations between disabled and non-disabled artists have created some of Europe’s most interesting and challenging works.
“Artistic Directors, theatre directors and choreographers are mostly non-disabled (and usually white male). Disabled artists projects are often initiated and perceived as ‘social projects’ which underlines their inferior position (as artists). We want to make a difference.”
Skånes Dansteater is Sweden’s largest independent dance institution. It 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.
“We are very excited about connecting with developments in other parts of Europe and to share knowledge and experience through working inclusively. Our focussed programme of disabled artist development, DansFunk, has already presented itself as a national platform for dance and disability so the experiences gained within Europe Beyond Access will be beneficial on both a regional and national level.”
Festival ORIENTE OCCIDENTE, founded in 1981, works actively to strengthen the role of contemporary dance in Italy. As one of the leading European dance festivals, the organisation hosts artist residencies, seminars, lectures, workshops and exhibitions alongside performances. Oriente Occidente is a research centre where East and West are poles on a route to incorporating exchange between the cultures, genres and languages of contemporary dance. Oriente Occidente has always hosted leading artists and companies premieres from all over the world at the cutting edge of the form. The programme is of the highest quality to promote development, availability and diversity of dance for audiences and mass media.
In 2016 Oriente Occidente took part in its first EU Creative Europe project, Moving Beyond Inclusion, with 3 days of dialogues and workshops; presenting 2 co-commissioned performances with non-disabled and disabled dancers (Candoco Dance Company – Face In By Yarmeen Godder and the prize Danza&Danza 2017 for best contemporary dance performance in Italy Balletto Civile Bad Lambs by Michela Lucenti); and, creating the online network danzabile.provincia.tn.it
“Here in Italy we have to destroy a negative image of disability, we have to create new role models. Disabled people should be able to envision themselves as artists, and those that already have that in their imagination should have the possibility to train professionally.”
Per.Art is an independent organisation in Serbia. Since 1999, its programme “Art and Inclusion” gathers artists with and without learning disabilities, and culture professionals. The main idea of the programme is the production of artistic projects in which artists with learning disabilities take part as authors, co-authors and performers, with the aim to promote their work on an equal basis within the local and international contemporary performing arts scene.
“We hope that participation in this project would help us overcome the cultural isolation that the independent cultural scene in Serbia is suffering from due to the conservative cultural policy, lack of support for experimental, critical, interdisciplinary work, and neglect of vulnerable social groups in the public sector and society in general. We see partnership within Europe Beyond Access as a concrete action of the EU integration process, with a direct impact on disabled and non-disabled artists and audiences in Novi Sad.”
Dance inspires and that is why we are so passionate about our work. We pride ourselves in being allowed to unlock the passion and the power of dance. That we are able to connect people worldwide through dance. For over 30 years.
Our most important product is without a doubt the world-renowned Holland Dance Festival. During three weeks between 40 and 50 performances of internationally distinguished dance companies and artists are presented. Variety, uniqueness and quality are guiding principles in our programming.
Holland Dance Festival 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.
“Our ambition is to develop a more diverse and accessible dance scene in The Netherlands, including creating equal opportunities for talented disabled artists. EBA is a possibility to develop further our dance & disability program called DanceAble, the only major dance project for people with a disability in The Netherlands. Working in an international context brings us knowledge and artistic possibilities, stimulating development.”