11 Million Reasons to Dance Exhibition Now Open!

Celebrating disabled people who dance, the ‘11 Million Reasons to Dance’ exhibition will begin its national 2017 tour in Spalding this month.

Transported and artsNK are happy to announce that we are partnering with People Dancing for ‘11 Million Reasons, a national project positively profiling disabled, Deaf and sight-impaired people who dance. The project has been commissioned by People Dancing and supported by Unlimited Impact and Arts Council England.

In January and February, Spalding will host ’11 Million Reasons to Dance’, a photography exhibition that has re-imagined iconic cinematic moments with Deaf, sight-impaired and disabled dancers. The exhibition, created by photographer Sean Goldthorpe, is the inspiration for the project and its name refers to the 11 million + disabled people living in the UK.

The inspiring collection of photographs will be exhibited at Ayscoughfee Hall from 12th January to 3rd February, and the South Holland Centre from 17th to 21st February. The exhibition will also include a short film about the project and an interactive ‘dance booth’ to capture the public’s imagination and experience of the exhibition, and give them an opportunity to create their own 11 Million Reasons image.

We will celebrate the exhibition with a night of performances that will take place at 7pm on 22nd February at South Holland Centre, and will feature Stopgap Dance Company, in addition to various local community dance groups, including Diamondz DG, Allen School of Dance and Performing Arts and Polka Dot Dance Academy and dancers from Transported’s Inclusive Dance programme. Tickets will be £3 each and booking is through the South Holland Box Office on 01775 764777.

Project partners include Doncaster Community Arts, Tin Arts, ArtsNK, The Brindley/Halton Borough Council and Coventry Performing Arts Service. The organisations are all collaborating with local venues, dance artists, education establishments and cultural agencies to create an exciting programme of dance development and touring to new audiences in six locations: Coventry, Doncaster, Durham, Spalding in Lincolnshire, Middlesbrough and Runcorn, Cheshire.

Sean Goldthorpe, Photographer said: “I hope people will look at these images and smile, sense what a great time we all had making them and see disabled people in a new and refreshing light”

“I didn’t want to have any crazy angles or effects that might detract from the dancers and their amazing ability to get past the physical challenges they face as disabled artists to achieve such high levels of artistic expression and skill”

“During the shoots I was just very focused on making sure everything was technically right. It wasn’t untilafterwards that it really dawned on me just how much the project meant to the dancers, how much they were thrilled to be portrayed as genuine artists – I found that deeply moving”

“I hope 11 Million Reasons will encourage those who see it not to judge disabled people as being in any way different from themselves”

Amy Dalton, Head of Dance Development at artsNK said: “We are delighted that the ‘11 Million Reasons to Dance’ photography exhibition is in Spalding for six weeks between January and February.  We are pleased to be working in partnership with People Dancing and South Holland District Council to highlight the importance of disability dance and to work together to get local people involved.”

Lauren Williams, Community Programme Coordinator at Transported said: “It is exciting to have such a beautiful, iconic exhibition coming to our local area, giving us chance to celebrate dance and show that the art form is accessible to all. We hope to inspire all of those within our own Dance and Disability programme, and remove any stigmas and preconceptions others may have about disabilities.”

‘11 Million Reasons to Dance’ will be at Ayscoughfee Hall from 12th January to 3rd February 2017 and will be open from 10.30am-4pm, Wednesday to Sundays. The exhibition will reopen at the South Holland Centre from 17th to 21st February 2017. Entry to both exhibitions is free.