16 September 2019
Special Educational Needs
AMICI Dance Dynamics
'I started out studying dance with the legendary expressionist dancer Hilde Holger and then got a three-year grant at the London School of Contemporary Dance from 1972 to 1975.
My teaching has included many community settings: psychiatric day centres and general hospitals as well as on the cardiac and stroke units of Charing Cross Hospital. I founded the Amici Inclusive Dance Theatre Company in 1980 in Hammersmith and Fulham and next year we will celebrate its 40th anniversary.
Working in community settings one comes across amazing and authentic talent, combined with such purity and honesty - that is the most refreshing and rewarding aspect of the work. The teaching is based on the origins of education, drawing out potential, which requires the creation of a non-threatening environment where each student is respected for their individuality.
My team and I have taught Dance Dynamics extensively to community groups in the UK, Europe, Sri Lanka, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and the USA. I have created Inclusive Dance Companies in Sri Lanka and Japan. The work in Sri Lanka extended to teaching disabled soldiers and former Tamil Tigers (ex-militants in rehabilitation camps).
My most influential teacher was Hilde Holger. The artist George Beven, along with theatre director and set designer Michael Vale are also both great inspirations to me. AMICI has collaborated with many creatives over the years: the New London Orchestra, the writers Julia Pascal and Gilly Frazer, jazz singer Barb Jungr, opera singer Wendy Grose, acrobats Ockham’s Razor and Joli Vyann, Albert the Clown, director/designer/writer/teacher/illustrator/musician Julian Crouch, and Improbable Theatre.
I would love to teach autocratic figures to see if our humane approach would change their ways. After teaching hardened soldiers and ex-militant combatants and seeing the change in them - maybe there can be a glimmer of hope.
Apart from our usual courses, we have an open workshop at The Lyric Theatre each term and forthcoming rehearsals for the 40th anniversary production. In the summer there are also planned workshops for traumatised children in Sri Lanka.'