Gathered Together 2014

AXIS Dance Company in Divide (photo: Ren Dodge)

Scottish inclusive dance development company, Indepen-dance, are set to host the country's first International Inclusive Dance Festival this month as part of Get Scotland Dancing and the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme.

Running from Wednesday 27 - Saturday 30 August at Glasgow’s Tramway, Gathered Together will bring together dance artists and people from across the globe to showcase work as well as share best practice and knowledge.

Indepen-dance's Artistic Director Karen Anderson tells us a little more about the background behind the event and the impact they hope it will have on inclusive dance practice both in Scotland and internationally...

Developing the Festival

In 2009, in partnership with Dance House and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, we hosted a one-day conference entitled Moving On to explore the world of ‘dance and disability’.

Delegates came from different backgrounds and interests from throughout the UK and Europe to attend this event. We were overwhelmed by the interest in dance and the main outcomes of the conference were that dance can:

  • provide a creative and challenging experience for all its participants
  • be a creative activity that enables improved health and well-being
  • be an accessible art form for people with physical and learning disabilities
  • be an accessible art form for non-disabled people.

In essence ‘dance is for everyone’.

Moving On, therefore, enabled us to identify the need and growing demand to ‘move on’ from the initial topic of ‘dance and disability’ and to develop this event into Scotland's first Inclusive Dance Festival – a dance festival which will promote both artistic and social inclusion.

Tackling Barriers 

Gathered Together will go some way to tackling the barriers that people with a disability face when trying to access a high quality arts activity and creating a wider understanding and appreciation of the art form. The Festival is aimed at people with an interest in inclusive dance practice. This will cross a variety of ages, experience and ability and we want to use Gathered Together as a catalyst to encourage more people to be involved in dance regardless of their disability.

The 2014 Programme

  • Stopgap Dance Company - The Awakening (photo: Chris Parkes)  
  • Culture Device Dance Project - The Death of a Disco Dancer (photo: Thierry Bal)  
  • Marc Brew and Caroline Bowditch in Leftovers (photo: Tiago d'Oliveira)  
  • AXIS Dance Company in Divide (photo: Ren Dodge)  
  • Robin Dingemans and Nick Bryson's The Point at Which It Last Made Sense  
  • Independence Performance Company on Now.No.Now! (photo: Sarah M Peiler)  
  • Independence - Some of the Moments We Haven't Forgotten (photo: Brian Hartley)  

    Indepen-dance has an impressive network of UK and international support that has both contributed to the artistic development of the company and enabled us to raise an international understanding of the work that is being done in Scotland in the field of inclusive dance. Programming was by invitation from Indepen-dance to inclusive dance companies and disabled dance artists and practitioners who work in the same field and sharing the same values and aims.


    Indepen-dance Performing Company and Indepen-dance 4 will kick of the programme on Wednesday evening with performances of Now.No.Now and Some of the Moments We Haven't Forgotten.

    Thursday night will see performances by Marc Brew (Scotland), Caroline Bowditch (Scotland), Solar Bear (Scotland), StopGap (England) and AXIS Dance Company (USA).

    Friday night will include work by Alas Abiertas Dance (Paraguay), Culture Device Dance Project (England) and Blast M3 (Scotland).

    And rounding of the performance programme will be a Saturday evening ceilidh featuring the band Inishowen and BBC Scotland's Young Traditional Musician of the Year, Paddy Callaghan.  

    Workshops and Speakers 

    As well as an extensive workshop programme, keynote speakers across the four days include: Dr Jenny Elliot CEO of Artscare and founder of Orbit Dance Company on dance and wellbeing; Professor Sarah Whatley BA PhD, Professor of Dance and Director, Centre for Dance Research/C-DaRE; and Gustabo Fijalkow, Freelancer M.A. Arts Management.

    More info 

    Full programme listings, together with details of how to book tickets and delegate places can be found on the indepen-dance website.

    Follow Indepen-dance on Twitter and Facebook.

    This article was published on 15 Aug 2014