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The project will bring together children from a mainstream school in Westergate and a special school in Chichester to prepare and perform a dance piece led by Stopgap Dance. A professional film will be made of the preparation and performance and will be presented at the Minerva Theatre in Chichester. The workshops and filming are taking place between 13th November and 7th December, and the completed film will be shown on 15th December 2018. Through this project the children will see how disabled and non-disabled dancers can perform at the highest professional levels. They will learn to overcome their differences, to value their diverse talents, to build their self-esteem and confidence, and to re-assess their preconceptions about disability. The film will provide a lasting testimony to the work of this group and a model to inspire others across the wider community in West Sussex and beyond.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
Sussex Arts Academy and Stopgap Dance have previously worked together on a similar, inspirational dance project for children in six special schools in West Sussex. This is our first project involving a mixed group of disabled and non-disabled school-aged children which we think will have an even wider impact than our previous work. It is also the first time that we have introduced the idea of a filmed performance which will provide a lasting source of inspiration to the children and their families and also to the wider community. Doing this kind of work has shown how children’s, teachers’ and parents’ attitudes towards disability can be transformed by working alongside disabled and non-disabled dancers performing at the highest levels. This inspires all of the children to raise their aspirations and develop new skills that will help them to lead fulfilled lives in the future. This is good for them as individuals, for their families and for the community of West Sussex.
Steps to get it done:
Examples of the excellent work done by the Stopgap Dance Company can be viewed at www.stopgapdance.com/productions . We had a very short window of opportunity to put on this project which will have already started by the time this bid is made. To ensure that the children did not miss out on this fantastic opportunity Sussex Arts Academy made an exceptional agreement to underwrite the costs from its very limited budget with a view to recouping the money through fundraising such as this.
About the space
West Sussex County Council