This site now acts as an archive only. For the latest news, opinion, blogs and listings on disability arts and culture visit disabilityarts.online.

Disability Arts Online

Signdance Collective report on their summer touring program to Holland and Slovenia / 16 June 2010

photot of three street theatre performers

Fran, Liran and Isolte perform. Photo © SDC

Zoom in to this image and read text description

At the moment we are at the Oeral Festival in Holland Freisland. We are staying on a big barge for the 10 days of the Festival, and have been invited by Captain Aad Van Ploeg to do small sign-theatre street interventions/ invisible theatre.

It is the most innaccesible Festival ever! The buses have signs saying "Please give your seat to an INVALID if he or she needs it." We are finding it difficult to get from venue to venue, with buses only every two hours and no electric bicycles, buggies or extra transport at hand.

A taxi is 16 euros or more one way to the venues from where the main town is. When we have asked organizers for extra assistance, they have literally laughed in our faces. So today we have spent 8 hours on the buses signing poetry and asking if the seats are invalid or not.

We have also been dancing on the buses using the rails, and changing from seat to seat. Sitting next to Festival punters and reciting poetry to them in international sign, and English. Well it is a start.

We also go up to the same information counter each day and ask for new access information. Now we have different performers (non-disabled, as there are no Deaf or disabled performers here) asking questions at the counter. There are some wonderful shows on at the Festival , so if you fancy a treck to the Way Back in Holland with amazing scenic views of the North Sea , this is it , but be warned, this little fest has a ways to go.

Tomorrow, we will do some simple signdances on the barge.

This summer July 1-10 SDC goes to Slovenia. We are performing at the fabulous street theatre festival AnaDesetnica and Lent Festival in Maribor. This is a mainstream festival with great access, wonderful hospitality and the best street theatre in the universe!

We are also at the SYNC Event on 21 July at South Hill Park in Bracknel with New Gold (phase 1)
Finally in August we get to work with Ability Media on a project called 'Sport & Dance'
If anyone is interested in this project please contact SDC on signdancecollective@gmail.com,as it is a participatory production .

Catch y'all round !

Isolte