Rethinking Bodies – Symposium 2016 – Integrated Dance Workshop by StopGap Dance Company

Nele Vanhaeverbeke Geen categorie Leave a Comment

Researchers within the dance program of the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp organized for the third time an international symposium for inclusion dance. Specialists in the field of inclusion dance work with the bachelor students of dance from the Royal Conservatory and from the Faculty of Arts and Humanities from Plymouth. Dancers with different (physical) constraints form an enrichment in the student groups, so 80 dancers immerse themselves in boundary projects and processes for three days.

The invitation of different guest teachers (with their own experience in the field and view on inclusive dance) helps the rethinking bodies further in their research and formulation of research questions. It might lead to changing perceptions about integrated dance. And maybe most importantly: students of dance departments get in touch with inclusive dance, their view of dance can change because of working in a group with such a range of different abilities. Diversity. We rethink our body together.

About the workshop:

A practical insight into the methods behind Stopgap’s Company Class; how can we be both challenging and inclusive. Alongside a chance to explore Stopgap’s devising practice with a focus on their latest productions including ‘The Enormous Room’.

By Stopgap Dance Company: guest teachers Laura Jones & Amy Butler.

Film: Lore Loyens
Montage: Royal Conservatoire Antwerp

Since joining Stopgap in 2001, Laura has been integral to the growth and direction of the company and is a fierce advocate for the dance and disability sector, speaking at events such as Move it! and the Dance UK : The Future conference. Laura started her training at Linda Butler School of Dance. Having sustained a spinal injury in 1998, Laura went on to become the first wheelchair user to complete 100% of the A-Level dance syllabus. Since then she has worked with numerous choreographers including Yoshifumi Inao (Batsheva Dance Company) Caroline Bowditch, Kevin Finnan (Motionhouse) Thomas Noone (Thomas Noone Dance) Rob Tanion (Stan Won’t Dance/DV8), Gary Clarke (Pit Fleur/ Fetherstoneshaughs), Bettina Strickler (Protein) Nathalie Pernette (Compagnie Pernette), Filip Van Huffel (Retina) and Adam Benjamin, touring their work nationally and internationally.
Laura’s extensive teaching experience ranges across all ages and abilities throughout the UK as well as many projects across Europe, including for Mixed Ability Dance EU in Romania and Albania, 2010, and in Berlin for People Moving 2006 and Tanzfabric, 2012. Laura worked as a Dance Captain for the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, assisting with the choreography of all dance sections, teaching the 3500 volunteers and performing in the ceremony itself. Laura’s own creation credits include A:Version for Resolution! (2009) and directing and editing the dance film Re:Bound.(2004). She also presents the live online streaming for various Dance UK events. Laura has collaborated with Stopgap on Triple Bill, Double Booked, Portfolio Collection, Tracking, Trespass, SPUN Productions, Artificial Things and The Seafarers.


Amy joined Stopgap in January 2013. She draws inspiration from many dance techniques and styles and since joining Stopgap has devised inclusive yoga classes for the company. She is constantly seeking ways to evolve physically and creatively. Amy studied at London Metropolitan University graduating with a first class honours in Performing Arts. She then went on to complete a Higher Certificate at The Place in 2007. She has worked with Balbir Singh Dance Company (dancer and rehearsal director); MotionManual (Netherlands and Germany tour 2009); East Midlands Children’s Theatre Consortium (working with Héléne Blackburn and Enrique Cabrera); State of Emergency; Body of Art (Resident Artist at Déda 2011) and Abalino Dance Theatre (Faroe Islands and Portugal tour). In 2012 she worked with Akram Khan performing his work in the opening ceremony of the Olympics. Amy has choreographed and directed two projects for Ascendance Rep Company: Day of Dance and Outside Spaces, Inside Places, working with A Company of All Ages. Outside Spaces, Inside Spaces went on to tour West Yorkshire Heritage sites. In 2011 Amy was awarded the Lisa Ullmann Scholarship fund enabling her to complete an Integral Yoga qualification in India. Amy’s first collaboration with Stopgap was Artificial Things. Since then she has collaborated on Bill and Bobby, The Seafarers, and with Sg2 on The Awakening.

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