Touch Compass Dance Company Announces Acquisitions Tour And New Dancers
New Zealand’s pioneering inclusive dance company, Touch Compass, is hitting the road in August with their popular 2014 Acquisitions season. And in addition the company are happy to announce a new line up of dancers.
The country’s only professional, inclusive dance company, Touch Compass works with disabled and non-disabled dancers to create high quality contemporary dance that challenges perceptions about who can dance and what dance is.
According to Touch Compass’ Artistic Director, and Acquisitions Curator and Co-choreographer, Catherine Chappell, the choreography draws on the dancers’ unique disabilities and, as such, their differences become artistic features.
“We are thrilled to remount Acquisitions with a new look company, which will see the magic from the original choreography come to life with exciting influences from the new Company members,” Chappell says.
Acquisitions is a multi-media dance production consisting of two performance works which sit alongside a series of engaging short films.
The first, Undertide, is an exquisite mixed media dance and film work by Body Cartography, USA-based choreographers Olive Bieringa and Otto Ramstad. It explores the experience of living within a body and raises questions around how we experience life from the inside out supported by intriguing music composed by Clare Cowan.
The second, Watching Windows, is a compelling work created by company dancers in collaboration with Catherine Chappell. Watching Windows plays with the idea of scale and physical boundaries. Bodies, objects and moments are hidden and revealed in a journey of discovery and intrigue with music curated by percussionist Chris O’Connor.
The short films were created as part of the company’s outreach programme and feature the company’s professional dancers together with community participants.
The newly-formed ensemble for Acquisitions comprises Georgie Goater, Cameron Lansdown-Goodman, Duncan Armstrong, Alisha McLennan, Joshua Pether, Julie van Renen and Samantha Wood-Rawnsley.
As well as their professional work, Touch Compass dancers undertake community, youth and tutor training classes. They are the only company in the South Pacific providing opportunities for aspiring disabled dancers and choreographers.
Chappell says, “The impact Touch Compass has on the lives of all its dancers is profound, as well as giving individuals living with disabilities the opportunity to dance and choreograph at a professional level. We take our role very seriously in challenging and changing views on what dance is and who can do it, and we hope this consequently impacts wider views around disability and the performing arts.”