DaDaFest offers ‘11 Million Reasons To Dance’… and much more


Sculptures of figures falling down, fat activism, and a dance performance dedicated to the disabled victims of the Nazi euthanasia programme will all feature in DaDaFest’s 13th festival of disability and Deaf arts, which begins next month.

DaDaFest said the Liverpool-based festival would feature “outrageous, diverse and radical disability and Deaf arts” that will “challenge public perceptions of disability, ignite debate and celebrate disability culture”.

The theme of the festival, which runs from 17 November to 3 December, is Skin: Deep, exploring how disability is viewed in modern society, including the stigmatisation and marginalisation faced by disabled people.

For the first time at DaDaFest, several events will be live-streamed on the internet.

Highlights include two performances of Liz Carr’s critically-praised Assisted Suicide: The Musical; Give Me A Reason To Live, a solo performance by choreographer Claire Cunningham that is dedicated to the victims of the Nazi Aktion T4 euthanasia programme and the disabled victims of the UK government’s welfare reforms; two performances by comedian Laurence Clark of his new show Independence; and a performance at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall of Grammy award-nominated duo Amadou and Mariam.

This year’s festival also includes 11 Million Reasons To Dance, a photography exhibition of iconic dance scenes from cinema, reimagined by Deaf and disabled dancers; Balancing Act, a trail of sculptures of figures falling down by artist Faith Bebbington; and two discussions on the subject of fat activism and disability.

The festival also features the two-day DaDaFest International Congress, which will examine disability culture and human rights from an international perspective.

Ruth Gould, DaDaFest’s artistic director, said: “We are justly proud of this year’s programme, in terms of its quality, scope and intended impact.

“It demonstrates that disabled and deaf people deliver cutting edge and beguiling arts experiences that have a resonance throughout society.

“We aim to surprise and allure our audiences and feel confident that the mix of events, the diversity of the artists and their work will make this year one to be remembered.”

Carr, who performed at the first DaDaFest, said: “DaDaFest provided me with the opportunity to develop and perform and just to get out there and to get better at what I do. 

“I’m always honoured to be asked back and to see the old-timers like myself have the chance to work alongside so many exciting newcomers. 

“I’ve been involved since the very first festival so it’s thrilling to see its development into what is now the biggest and most important disability arts event in the UK.”

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