Sign Dance Collective's case study

Sign Dance Collective's 'The Campaign to Be Me!'

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A performance piece Inspired by the international celebration that forms the basis of the Olympic and Paralympic Games will be part of the launch for the new ‘Arts 4 Every 1’ venue in Wycombe on the 29th October. To create this piece a signdance theatre company called Sign Dance Collective has been collaborating with deaf and disabled young people during their international tours to Turkey, Greece and Kent in the South East of England.

Project aims and achievements

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  • Led by young actor Jacob Casselden (mentored by Sign Dance Collective’s Isolte Avila), who recently starred in The Royal Court’s ‘Tribes’, SDC’s Young Company have devised a piece of sign dance communicating the young people’s ideas and values.
  • Alongside this, Artistic Director David Bower created a film, which documents the responses and work of the young people who took part and gives a platform for young people from all over the globe to share their ideas, thoughts and dreams.
  • Due to the extensive work with young people from Pent Valley School in Folkestone, this live performance piece toured to Kent and was performed in the Bouverie Place Shopping Centre on the 28th August in Folkestone engaging local people in diverse and different performance styles.

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Outcomes and impact

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  • Over 100 deaf and disabled young people collaborated to form the ideas for this campaign.
  • The performance and film will feature as part of the Arts 4 Every1 Centre launch on the 29th October 2011 in Wycombe.
  • 8 members of the SDC young company performed the live piece out doors at the Belverie Place Shopping Centre in Folkestone to an audience of hundreds of weekend shoppers.

Next steps

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Sign Dance Collective and The Campaign! Project are investigating ways for the performance and film to tour to local schools, sharing the message with more young people.

Personal experience

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When talking about the international collaboration on the project

“…I felt connected because there was a universal message of pride and community that I connected to.” (SDC Young Company member)

“its good for us to perform in public places as perhaps the people who see it will understand disability more and see that people with disabilities can perform and can do things.” (SDC Young Company member)

“I feel like I have a voice, there are times when I think that because I’m in a chair no one is going to listen to me, I was bullied in the past, but this project has brought out a bit of me and brought out my confidence. Making me believe I can do stuff and that people will listen to me.” (SDC young Company member)

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Contact

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For more information about The Campaign! Project please contact Rachel Sears – Campaign! Project Manager on 07779165554 or on rachel.sears@creativejunction.org.uk
To find out more about The Campaign! Project visit http://www.createcompetecollaborate.org.uk/ccc_programme/campaign.html
To find out more about Sign Dance Collective visit
http://sites.google.com/site/signdancecollective/

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