Adam Benjamin & Silva Laukkanen

Conversation with Adam Benjamin (UK) & Silva Laukkanen (FI/US)

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How do we create sustainable spaces both internal and external, that are healthy, creative and inquisitive? How do we negotiate spaces to include practices which move us beyond conceptual ideologies? For example what do we do when we witness injustice in our dance spaces? What is an artists responsibility in living values that are sustainable in our current world? What is essential for this in terms of practice and action? These are some of the questions we will explore with Adam Benjamin. Adam is one of the pioneers in the field of inclusive dance and an artist who walks his talk. His skill in provoking questioning which invites accountability has been developed from decades of experience in creating, teaching and advocating a dance world that is accessible for all.

WHEN: Thursday 10.6.21 @ 15:00-16:00

WHERE: Via Zoom link:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88129193578?pwd=Nk14UXRHUmdUZ2Y3Mi80WENLU05SUT09 

 Adam Benjamin is a choreographer, author and one of the pioneers of integrated dance. His book Making an Entrance. Theory and practice for disabled and non-disabled dancers (Routledge 2002) is considered a seminal text. He has received numerous awards including a London TimeOut performance award, the Sainsbury’s award for education, and was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship while on the faculty of Theatre and Performance at Plymouth University. He has been an Associate Artist at The Place, a Wingate Scholar, a Rayne Choreographic Fellow, recipient of an Arts Council International Artist Fellowship and was named a Change Maker by the South Bank Centre in 2015. He founded Tshwaragano Dance Company, the first South African dance company integrated on both racial and disability lines, more recently he helped establish the first professional integrated company in Japan; Company-Kyo. He was joint founder of CandoCo Dance Company and a founder member of 5 Men Dancing. His most recent choreographic work Marked for Exim Dance company was performed in the UK and Italy before the pandemic. He has taught and performed with amongst others Russell Maliphant, Kirstie Simson, Jordi Cortés and Gabriele Reuter. During the pandemic he launched the Dancers’ Forest initiative and is now raising funds for the first forest site in Devon.

Silva Laukkanen loves dance. She loves movement. She loves the beautiful moments that are created in space by bodies telling stories. Her passion for dance education and choreography has taken her around the world to teach in many different environments, from senior centers, to correctional facilities, and to other educational settings. She wants to expand the notion of who can dance and where dance should happen. This inquiry sparked the idea in 2016 to start the DanceCast: a podcast to bring awareness about dance artists working outside the traditional norms as well as book project “Discussing Disability in Dance”. Currently she works as the director of integrated dance at Art Spark Texas. Silva holds a dance degree  from The North Karelia College of Outokumpu and a postgraduate degree in Community Dance from The Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London, UK and is a certified DanceAbility teacher.