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Olympics celebrate disabled art

Claire Cunningham's work
Claire Cunningham is one of the disabled choreographers commissioned

By Amandeep Bhangu
BBC London News

Bipolar Disorder isn't a conventional subject for artwork but there is nothing conventional about the latest commission for the Cultural Olympiad.

Dance, circus, theatre and the visual arts are all platforms being promoted to celebrate the work and life of disabled and deaf artists in the build up to the London Olympics.

London commissions

Thirteen new commissions across the UK see two London companies being funded.

Emerging disabled choreographers, Marc Brew and Claire Cunningham, will create a large-scale dance piece for disabled and non-disabled dancers.

Working for Candoco Dance Company, Marc Brew said: "This ambitious new work will explore the physicality of dance and music."

Candoco Dance Company
Candoco work with disabled and non-disabled dancers

The work will be performed in 2012 and involve an international cast with dancers from Brazil and China to link the past, current and future Olympic and Paralympic host nations.

Ground-breaking

With over £820,000 being awarded, the funding and scale of the project is unprecedented.

The Unlimited programme - which has a total fund of £3 million principally funded by the National Lottery through the Olympic Lottery Distributor and is delivered in partnership between London 2012, Arts Council England and the British Council - forms the largest project of its kind.

Ruth Mackenzie, Cultural Olympiad Director, said: "This commission is about world-class artists creating brilliant work which will change perceptions of the work of disabled and deaf artists."

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: "I want London to be at the forefront of disability arts as well as sporting participation, so I'm really pleased to see two London companies get recognition for their striking work."




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