So tonight I went to see a company performing and it opened up the whole discussion again of 'Integrated dance' for me.
There was one disabled dancer and five non-disabled dancers. Which, yes makes it integrated, fair enough. But surely having only one disabled artist doesn't mean it is a proper integrated company? Surely thats not disabled enough??
I say this in jest. However I have sat through many CandoCo post show talks where people ask them why their company doesn't have more dancers with more visible disabilities compared to their past companies? This question bugs me and also really surprises me at this day and age. After all, who has the right to say what anyone else's needs are?
Tonight however, I didn't hear anything like that being said because the dancer in question was in a wheelchair. What it sounds like to me, the real argument is : who is more disabled and what does disability look like?
Why does it matter?
I cannot deny in the integrated dance world there is a divide between those companies who are disability led and those that are 'art' led. However, keeping that thought aside, what I want to know is: why do people attack companies about them not showing enough disability, and then do the same thing by promoting their own work as integrated but still have a piece/company that doesn't yell disability (as thats what they are saying there isn't enough of). Are they not doing what they condemn others of doing? And, isn't that not a good thing?? Isn't it the normal artist thing to do- you know make work, perform work? Doesn't it feel good to be known for making work?
Isn't that what real integration means????????
I dont have a disability so I cant say how someone who does feels, and of course your body is you, it does define you to a certain extent. Everybody's body defines them. Using myself as an example, out of all the things I represent socially and physically, I would want my art and my dance to be what I leave behind and also what represents me now.
Anyways just my wee thoughts.