So what did we get up to during our Look Mum, No Hands!’ R&D?
This R&D is co-directed by Daryl and Lina Johansson from Mimbre. For both, this is a new relationship and way of working – each have their own area of expertise and each wanted to work together to expand on their own practise and approaches to making work.
In September, we started by working in Leicester with Spark Arts who supported the participatory activity with young people aged 8-12. Over the course of a weekend we used drama and acrobatics to explore what ‘Risk’ and ‘Independence’ meant to this group of young people.
During the weekend, we explored risk through acrobatics, acrobalance and drama activities such as creative writing. Here are extracts from their poems about risk and independence:
“My Names is Risk… I am vicious, I can lead to certain death, I am exciting, I am an adventure that can lead to danger, I am life breaking & thrilling.”
“My name is independence I am trust, I am doing things on my own. I am brave, I am wanted and I am a little bit scary.”
Following the workshop, we locked ourselves in a room at the Attenborough Arts Centre for three days with the full creative team and began to explore the themes and the ideas of the young people we had just been working with.
An important part of this initial process was also to explore what new physical language is possible when working with a disabled and a non-disabled performer. We have been fortunate enough to engage two playful, open and creative performers in this project – Rosy Roberts and Maiya Leeke. The focus was not on how the performers fit into acrobatic movement, but how acrobatic movement can evolve and take creative advantage of the fact that one of them uses a wheelchair.
It was a full on and tiring few days (plus most of the team came down with the dreaded winter cold… for which we still blame Rosy for spreading!).
You can read the full Look Mum, No Hands!’ R&D blog HERE