A New Light Premier 19 October 2016 1.30pm at CPM
In April Cerebral Palsy Midlands (CPM) performed a deeply moving dance performance called ‘ A New Light’ at Elmhurst School of Dance to the local community in Edgbaston and Harborne.
‘A New Light’ ably demonstrated what people can achieve when they really work together. Twelve CPM people – all with mental and/or physical disabilities and mostly wheelchair users – performed alongside dancers, also with disabilities, from Shropshire Inclusive Dance. ‘A New Light’ told a story using movement and gesture: sometimes lively and energetic, sometimes gentle and quiet but all the time through ‘conversations’ with each other. As Samantha Boswell, one of the CPM performers, put it ‘I love it when people respond together, then they really blossom.’
The performance was indeed magical. Dancers at CPM attended rehearsals and undertook work with Ray Jacobs and his team from Shropshire Inclusive Dance for many weeks leading up to the performance, even rehearsing at Elmhurst School of Dance to produce such a beautiful production.
Co-produced by Edgbaston Arts Contact Group (EACG) and CPM, it was a local contribution to a national project called ‘Connecting Communities through Culture’. Elmhurst School of Dance on Bristol Road, Edgbaston, generously donated their magnificent theatre so that people from CPM could show everyone what they had created.
For more insight into how the performance was created and how it evolved, please see the React Group performance blog.