Members of Anjali Dance Company have taken part in an international seminar on Arts and Disability in Mexico.
The company was invited by the British Council to participate in a seminar on Arts and Disability in Mexico City as a representative of UK disability dance. Anjali was presented as an outstanding example of what has been achieved in disability arts in the UK.
Banbury’s former MP and long-time supporter of Anjali, Sir Tony Baldry, described the visit as “a stunning achievement”.
Anjali’s founder and Artistic Director, Nicole Thomson, spoke as a member of a panel to an audience of people working in disability arts about Anjali’s experience as one of the first learning-disabled dance companies.
Nicole spoke about the history of Anjali Dance Company and the barriers that Anjali had to overcome to enable learning-disabled people to participate in dance and the arts in the UK and be taken seriously as performing artists.
Company dancers Hannah Dempsey and Daisy Garrett performed a duet, The Reflection, as the main performance of the event and received a standing ovation.
We were delighted to be asked by the British Council to take part in such a significant event and share our 25 years experience of learning-disabled dance with artists and policy-makers in Mexico.
A trip to an international disability arts seminar in Mexico is also a very significant event for our dancers because it recognises and acknowledges their talent, professionalism and many years of hard work.
The organisers were very keen to have us back again to participate in two more festivals later this year.
The British Council has been developing a series of activities in Mexico to promote participation and inclusion of disabled people in the arts. The organisers said the seminar “aimed to influence policy changes on matters of inclusion and social equality”.
The event was organised in partnership with Musee de Memoria y Tolerancia in Mexico, a private organisation dedicated to tolerance and human rights.