> > > Anjali
Photo of a learning disabled dancer from Anjali

Anjali

Anjali Dance Company is delighted to have been chosen for the Sync South East programme. It will aid Anjali’s development during current and future projects and provide a unique opportunity for like minded organisations and individuals to come together to exchange their knowledge, expertise and provide support.

Anjali Dance Company is a pioneering professional company that exists to realise and celebrate through dance the potential of people with learning disabilities. Anjali is committed to changing global thinking about who can dance, and demonstrating new artistic possibilities. Anjali achieves this by creating original dance works of excellence performed by dancers with learning disabilities and by providing education and outreach programmes that employ and develop the skills of people with learning disabilities. Creativity is within us all. By revealing each individual's unique abilities, Anjali demonstrates how dance can be exhilarating, enjoyable and relevant to everyone.

www.anjali.co.uk

Syncscape

“One of the brightest companies in British dance” (Donald Hutera: The Times, Time Out, Dance Europe)

For their syncscape, Anjali showed a short film of their work called Butterfly and brought along some images, quotes and this history of their work

ANJALI

“Anjali is an inspiring experience - check it out”

Lenny Henry, Comedian

Anjali Dance Company is a pioneering professional company that exists to realise and celebrate through dance the potential of people with learning disabilities. Anjali is committed to changing global thinking about who can dance, and demonstrating new artistic possibilities. Anjali achieves this by creating original dance works of excellence performed by dancers with learning disabilities and by providing education and outreach programmes that employ and develop the skills of people with learning disabilities. Creativity is within us all. By revealing each individual's unique abilities, Anjali demonstrates how dance can be exhilarating, enjoyable and relevant to everyone.

HISTORY & PERFORMANCE WORK

“….visibility, confidence and glamour”

The Guardian

Anjali, whose name means 'joining of hands', began life informally in January 1993 at The Mill Arts Centre, Banbury, Oxfordshire, as a series of contemporary dance workshops led by Nicole Thomson, which demonstrated that a unique and powerful quality could emerge from a discrete group of dancers with learning disabilities. This group became Anjali. In 1996 Anjali became independent and registered as a limited company and a charity in 2001. For almost a decade, Anjali’s celebrated company of dancers with learning disabilities have created ground-breaking dance programmes working with some of the UK’s most incisive choreographers, including Claire Russ and Matthew Hawkins, at venues throughout the UK and abroad from the Royal Festival Hall and the Royal Opera House to Berlin and Lisbon.

Anjali’s last touring production, Something Wild, toured to twelve venues throughout England during 2007 from South Shields to North Devon, including a performance at The Place, London as part of Spring Loaded 2007. Something Wild is a triple bill featuring Save The Last Dance, choreographed by Charlotte Vincent and TC Howard from Vincent Dance Theatre; Saloon, choreographed by Pete Shenton and Tom Roden from New Art Club; and Butterfly, choreographed by Suzette Neptune, resident dance artist at Anjali. The production was funded by Arts Council England, South East.

The Company most recent work is Unexploded Stories, a collection of intimate dance pieces fused together by passion, purpose, and a theme of dreams and desires. Unexploded Stories is all new work imagined, choreographed and performed by the dancers themselves. It was performed at the Burton Taylor Studio at Oxford Playhouse on December 9 & 10 2008 to enthusiastic sell-out audiences. The first half of the show was accompanied by live music provided by Ric Sanders (Fairport Convention) and Vo Fletcher.

TRAINING, EDUCATION & OUTREACH

"When I watch Anjali, it's as if I've never been in a theatre before. They are doing something which ought to be familiar - dancing for an audience - but they do it in such a new way that they demand an intimacy between performer and audience which is spontaneous and thrilling"

Shan MacLennan, Head of Education, Royal Festival Hall

Dancers with learning disabilities have no access to professional vocational training at conservatoires or other higher education institutions. To bridge this gap, Anjali, in common with other dance companies employing dancers with disabilities, provides dance training as part of the work programme. Anjali’s main dance company meet three days a week for forty-two weeks a year taking a range of dance and fitness classes working with professional tutors.

Anjali Dance Company is a world leader in developing the creativity of people with learning disabilities through dance and is interested in removing barriers to see how far the creative potential of people with learning disabilities can be realised. The intensive training and professional development undertaken by the dancers is at the head of a pyramid of progression routes. The other major strands are the Anjali Youth Dance Company and regular weekly dance classes for children, young people and adults with learning disabilities in five locations throughout Oxfordshire.

The Youth Dance Company provides professional standard dance training for young people with learning disabilities aged between approx 13-21 years with a view to producing high quality dance works to be performed at youth dance festivals, platforms and alongside the main company.

Anjali has a specialist team of people with learning disabilities who are interested in developing teaching skills led by Anjali’s Associate Director (Education) Mark Barber, who has a learning disability and is a key member of Anjali’s creative team. This team deliver all of Anjali’s workshops, residencies and associated outreach as well as assisting in the regular classes.

“...highest professional standards… artistically coherent...great integrity”

Marie McCluskey, Director, Swindon Dance