Unlimited art will have international flavour


International collaborations are again at the heart of the third and final round of disability arts projects commissioned for the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

The 12 new commissions will share £700, 000 funding from the £3 million Unlimited programme, which celebrates arts and culture by disabled and deaf artists and aims to create new work in the run-up to the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Four of the new commissions are collaborations between UK and international artists, which will each be supported by the British Council.

Among the commissions, Dean Rodney, a London-based disabled rapper and songwriter, will set up The Dean Rodney Singers, a global band collecting together more than 50 musicians and 20 dancers – both disabled and non-disabled – from seven countries, including South Africa, Brazil, China and Japan, and then using the internet and computer software to create 25 new songs.

An audience of 10,000 are expected for Breathe, an “outdoor spectacle” that will take place on Weymouth beach, as the town prepares to host the Olympic and Paralympic sailing competitions.

Breathe will tell the story of Aeolus, the “keeper of the winds” in Greek mythology, and will feature disabled artists Jamie Beddard, Alex Bulmer, Mat Fraser and David Toole, working with a string of arts organisations, including the dance company APAE from Brazil.

In Demotivational Speaker, comedian Laurence Clark will present a new show which questions why disabled people are considered “inspirational” when they carry out everyday activities.

Simon Allen will compose an “audiovisual opera”, which will include music, moving images, text, audio description, lighting and sound projection.

Tin Bath Theatre Company will produce Bee Detective, its first show for children, which will feature deaf actor and writer Sophie Woolley, and will use new technology, “creative” captioning, 360 degree animations and vibration effects to recreate the “inner sanctum of a bee hive”.

Creating the Spectacle will see wheelchair-user Sue Austin in a series of performances featuring a “self-propelled underwater wheelchair”.

And Northern Ireland’s Joel Simon will produce an animated film, Escape from the Factory, telling the story of a “group of misshapen toy figurines” who try to escape from their factory when they find out they are destined for the waste bin.

4 August 2011