News

Step Change Studios presents ‘Fusion’ at Sadler’s Wells

5 Apr 2018

Laura Jones in ‘Fusion’, by Step Change Studios. Image: Dan Lowenstein

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday 9 May

Performance: 8pm

Tickets: £17

Ticket office: 020 7863 8000 / www.sadlerswells.com

Fusion is the UK’s first inclusive Latin and ballroom dance showcase by disabled and non-disabled artists, presented by Step Change Studios at Sadler’s Wells’ Lilian Baylis Studio on Wednesday 9 May 2018.

Bringing together talented professional artists to push the boundaries of ballroom with beautiful, powerful, performances that redefine the genre, Fusion is a creative exploration between disabled and non-disabled artists drawing on different dance influences such as swing and contemporary to develop original pieces inspired by Latin and ballroom.

The production features leading choreographers including Jenny Thomas, who has performed in West End musicals and has coached, choreographed and performed on popular television shows including Strictly Come Dancing; Ivana Ostrowski, whose credits include Strictly Gershwin with the ENB at the Royal Albert Hall and Anton and Erin’s Cheek to Cheek at the London Coliseum; Anna Alvarez, whose work has previously been seen at Sadler’s Wells when she performed in a Wild Card evening curated by Ella Mesma in 2017; and Nancy Hitzig, who specialises in swing, lindy, Charleston and jazz, and has won numerous international titles.

Fusion showcases 18 disabled and non-disabled dancers through duets, solos and group numbers. This includes the first UK performance by disabled dancer Pawel Karpinski and dance partner Nadine Kinczel, who are ranked number one in the world in ballroom Para Dance, and a debut by 19 year old Joe Powell-Main, presenting his original solo wheelchair waltz.

Step Change Studios was one of the six winners of the East London Dance Enterprise Ideas Fund, which is supported by Sadler’s Wells and One Dance UK.

The company’s founder, Rashmi Becker performed in the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympic Games in 2012. In 2013 she became a Board Member of the English Federation of Disability Sport. She founded Step Change Studios in 2017.

Rashmi Becker said:

“As the younger sister of a brother with autism and learning disabilities, I became aware of the benefits of dance from an early age as music and movement were a fantastic way for us to connect and for my brother to communicate, mange his anxiety, to develop coordination and to just feel free.

“Fusion is an experiment and creative exploration between disabled and non-disabled artists from backgrounds that include Charleston, swing, contemporary and street, to develop original Latin and ballroom pieces.

“Dance, in all forms draws influence from different styles, settings, and stories. Dancers’ physical form influences the artistic and performance process. Fusion brings together these different influences and forms through playful, creative collaborations that aim to question our ideas about Latin and ballroom dance and dancers.”

Step Change Studios is a pioneering dance company committed to inclusive dance. The organisation caters to different ages, abilities and needs, providing classes, delivering dance in education, social care, health care and community settings, and creating imaginative bespoke dance projects and programmes. The company aims to support everyone to achieve their dancing ambitions – whether that is to dance for fun, to be active, to perform or compete.

Sadler’s Wells’ Artistic Programmer Eva Martinez said:

“I first heard of Step Change Studios as they pitched to a panel I was part of, and I was taken by Rashmi’s passion and commitment. Her supportive approach to the dance artists and her clear aim to shift the audience’s expectation around disability and dance is vital today, and I am delighted we can support her work at this stage in development.”

Supported by Sadler’s Wells, Arts Council England, and Dance Enterprise Ideas Fund. The performance will be followed by a post-show discussion free to ticket holders. BSL interpreted.

A free 60-minute wheelchair ballroom masterclass, led by the world champion Pawel Karpinski will take place from 12 – 1pm on Wednesday 9 May in the Lilian Baylis Studio. Places are limited, please book your space via 020 7863 8000.

Press night: Wednesday 9 May at 8pm.