Monday, June 24

Shifting Perspective, Breaking Boundaries: Introducing Unbound Dance Theatre

A brand-new dance company launches in Leeds, created to break down barriers and nurture a dance culture where everyone feels recognised.  Founded by Dance Artist and Choreographer, Sandrine Monin, the company sets out on a mission, ‘to champion inclusivity, connection and expression’ and make dance more accessible. 

Sandrine Monin and her company of dancers, both professional and creative collaborators from the Blind and Visually Impaired community, will be delivering a series of new workshops in the coming months. Dates include London, Leeds and Bradford, as the company works towards the premier of a new performance, to be toured nationally in 2024-25, entitled Feathers. 

An innovative & inclusive new dance piece, Feathers takes audiences on an emotional journey, raising awareness of how we connect with our senses, ourselves, and others. The lived experiences of the Blind & Visually Impaired people are playfully and sensitively revealed throughout, with audio description creatively embedded in the show, making it one of few dance pieces that can be enjoyed by audiences with or without a visual impairment.

Selected for a prestigious Time & Space commission at Sadlers Wells, the performance will build upon two years of research & practice development. 

Unbound Dance Theatre company rehearsal. Photography by Simon K.Allen

Founder and Artistic Director Monin has been a professional dancer for over 15 years and worked with internationally renowned companies including Gärtnerplatz Teater and Phoenix Dance Theatre. After a period of initial research and development working with groups across London, Leeds and Bradford over two years, supported by Kala Sangam Arts Centre, Yorkshire Dance, Arts Council England, Leeds Inspired & Genesis Foundation, the company has launched under the success of being awarded further project grant funding from Arts Council England.  

“Over two and a half years ago, I delved into research on dance and accessibility for the Blind and visually impaired community. Little did I know, this would be a profound turning point in my practice, reshaping not only my perspective on dance but the very essence of why and how I teach, create and share dance.

We are particularly interested in understanding how movement and sound intertwine in this new piece and are working with an innovative sound and movement interaction technology – echome – that creates kinesonic experiences., working in partnership with the University of Leeds” Founder and Artistic Director of Unbound Dance Theatre, Sandrine Monin

The new funding will enable the current workshop offer to be expanded, ahead of the premier of Feathers in Bradford on 11th June at Bradford Alhambra Studio and see the company launch at a special symposium at Yorkshire Dance on 26th April. Unbound Dance Theatre will be sharing their research and findings with the wider dance and cultural sector at the symposium. In bringing together different voices, including arts and access leaders, the company aims to lead by example in not only creating pioneering new work, but championing, prioritising and sharing these new approaches in order for arts and cultural activities to become more accessible for everyone.

The workshops the company offers are specifically tailored for those with visual impairments, incorporating touch, verbal prompts and other sensory experiences to help participants fully engage and reap all the physical and mental benefits of moving to music in a safe environment. Dates are available to book for free workshops in London and Leeds from March onwards, with more dates in Bradford and Harrogate to be announced soon.

Future workshop dates include Yorkshire Dance Leeds on 15th and 22nd March, 12th and 19th April and Sadlers Wells, London on 6th and 27th March. To take part, simply email info@unbounddancetheatre.com  find out more about upcoming workshops, events at performances at www.unbounddancetheatre.com

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