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starting line rehearsal, 4 performers using ribbons to move each other around to create a piece of art.

Kay Young

Accentuate Medal Two: Celebrating the Paralympic Torch and Igniting the potential of the next generation of disabled artists and performers!

Tonight in Aylesbury Town Centre Accentuate is delighted to bring you Starting Line as part of the Paralympic Flame Festival.

Artistic Director Ryan Dawson Laight and award winning visual artist Rachel Gadsden - who exhibits internationally and works across mainstream and disability art sectors – have created what promises to be an amazing 20 minute performance, developed with disabled and non-disabled athletes and young people from around the world.

They are collaborating with Abigail Norris, who has created a film which mixes archive Paralympics footage from the Stoke Mandeville Stadium collection, thanks to WheelPower, with new interviews from many of the international athletes who’ve competed over the years,   and there is a new soundscape by acclaimed composer Jonny Pilcher. The movement direction/choreography is by Freddie Opoku-Addaie in collaboration with five emerging young British dancers (aged 16-28) from the Candoco Dance Company and Rachel Gadsen.
Starting Line will celebrate the history of the Paralympic movement from 1948 to the present day like never before, and look forward to just what can be achieved in the future.

Rachel Gadsden says: “I have great hopes that London 2012 is an opportunity for a massive sea change to occur within our society, where the vision of the Paralympic Movement acts as a catalyst for every disabled individual to have the opportunity and support to reach their full potential. I hope Starting Line – with its message that disability, or simply being different, should be celebrated and not commiserated and that everyone can shine – will inspire and contribute to making this vision a reality. Disability is the last taboo that UK society needs to get over, we’ve dealt with race, gender, religion and sexuality – let’s treat disability in the same way.”

Sarah Dance, Executive Director of Special Projects Screen South, who is also co-producing the performance – says “We are very excited about Starting Line as it symbolises much of what the Accentuate programme is all about: bringing together disabled sports people and world class artists and creative’s, inspiring young people and developing international connections between people to share experiences and identities across the globe” .

Accentuate Programme Director Esther Fox highlights the inspirational nature of the project “We are passionate about backing talent and promoting talent. Accentuate is now ready to sprint off the starting line propelled by our pride in what has been achieved over the last 1000 days in the lead up to the Paralympic Games...  we are taking part in a marathon and we are committed to the long haul of legacy and opportunity ahead of us.”

Ryan Dawson Laight draws a parallel between the project and the seconds prior to a race getting underway: “Starting Line is that moment – that pause – that breath – just before the starting gun is fired. It is a moment in time when anything could happen, when the world is suspended between stillness and motion. It is a moment when just a thought could sway the outcome, and bodies, minds; hearts are all poised, ready – raring – to drive. All eyes are on the prize. It’s a great metaphor.”

Accentuate is the London 2012 Legacy Programme for the South East.  Accentuate has been funded by Legacy Trust UK, creating a lasting impact from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games by funding ideas and local talent to inspire creativity across the UK, SEEDA and the Regional Cultural Agencies. Screen South is the home of Accentuate.

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