Dave Toole - Paralympic Opening Ceremony

Extraordinary Bodies

19.04.2013 POSTED BY Geraldine

In 2012, the UK Paralympic games offered the glimpse of a new dawn in which disabled artists, athletes and communities were judged on their own merits and celebrated for their talents.

One year on, we ask the question, what next?

This is our answer.

Diverse City and Cirque Bijou are creating an integrated circus company called Extraordinary Bodies.  The Company will contain leading disabled and non-disabled dancers, actors and circus performers, and highly skilled Paralympians new to the world of performance.

We will make shows that challenge perceptions of diverse and extraordinary bodies, old and young - shows that are fun, rock-and-roll and visually spectacular with images that burn themselves to the inside of your eyelids and unsettle your consciousness.

We will push the boundaries and aesthetics of circus and extreme physical performance, reinventing circus skills and equipment where necessary.

What are we working on?

A bold, joyous, radical new show focused on the body.

Diverse City and Cirque Bijou will bring together 8 artists and athletes to create an entirely new piece.

It will challenge perceptions of diverse bodies and build on the positive perception of disabled people that emerged from the media exposure of the Paralympics. Ours is a world where diversity of bodies is to be celebrated, and every body, disabled or not, is regarded as extraordinary.

Extraordinary Bodies is a partnership between Diverse City and Cirque Bijou.  It is a direct legacy of the successful collaboration between the two companies in 2012 to create and produce the Unlimited commission Breathe.  The project has the support of Circus Space and the British Council.  The Paralympics Association have endorsed the project, saying

"Extraordinary Bodies is a really positive initiative, aiming to showcase the incredible skills of disabled and non-disabled people alike. Challenging perceptions and showing what disabled people are capable of is at the heart of our vision and to see this replicated outside of sport, in the world of artistic and theatrical performance, is fantastic. We wish the project the best of luck and hope it helps to build on the positive perception of disabled people that was inspired by the London 2012 Paralympic Games."
Extraordinary Bodies is supported by Arts Council England

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