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27 July 2015

Dao is delighted to be a media partner for UNLIMITED bringing you all the latest news and insights on this exciting programme led by Shape and ArtsAdmin.

UNLIMITED aims to embed work by disabled artists within the UK cultural sector, reach new audiences and shift perceptions of disabled people. 

Dao is currently working on featuring the nine main Unlimited commissions for 2015 plus the numerous research and development projects and Unlimited Impact working with partners to deepen Unlimited’s impact across the UK and internationally, creating new projects, developing new resources to make programmes and marketing more accessible to disabled people.

Interview: Bekki Perriman on The Doorways Project

29 April 2016

Feature

Artist, Bekki Perriman first received Unlimited R&D funding for The  Doorways Project in 2014, which took the form of a photography exhibition. She has since gone on to receive a further Unlimited Commission to expand the work into a site-specific sound installation that will tour to several sites. Joe Turnbull spoke to her about the work and the experiences which shaped it.

Interview: Why Cameron Morgan Loves Classic TV

8 April 2016

Feature

Paul F Cockburn speaks with artist Cameron Morgan about his Unlimited-funded exhibition of paintings, TV Classics – Part 1, as part of this year’s Glasgow International.

Review: Unlimited: Kaite O'Reilly: Cosy

24 March 2016

Feature

Kaite O'Reilly's new play ’Cosy’ premiered at Cardiff’s Millennium Centre with an exploration of the sensitive subject of death - when and how it comes to us all - with a light, often irreverent touch. Review by Chloe Phillips

 

Interview: Noëmi Lakmaier – Cherophobia

21 March 2016

Feature

Artist Noëmi Lakmaier’s latest piece, Cherophobia takes the form of a 48-hour long live durational performance which will see Lakmaier suspended in mid-air using 20,000 helium balloons as part of the Unlimited Festival in September. Elinor Rowlands speaks to her about the roles of discomfort and control in her work.

Interview: Getting Cosy with Kaite O'Reilly

3 March 2016

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Award-winning playwright Kaite O'Reilly speaks to Joe Turnbull about deaf culture, dissident sensibilities, and her Unlimited-funded "big growling play" Cosy which launches at Wales Millennium Centre on 8 March.

Interview: Jess Thom on taking Biscuit Land to the small screen

9 November 2015

Feature

In partnership with Battersea Arts Centre (BAC) and Arts Council England, BBC Four’s Live From Television Centre will feature a half hour slot from Jess Thom aka Touretteshero. Colin Hambrook caught up with the performer during rehearsals in the BBC studio at Wood Lane. 

Interview: Chloe Phillips explores Audio-Description as a creative tool

29 October 2015

Feature

Chloe Phillips is an Associate Artist with Taking Flight Theatre, based in Cardiff. Earlier this year she received an Unlimited R&D award to work with the company to produce 'The Importance of Being Described…Earnestly?' - a pilot for a production experimenting with new ideas about audio description. She talks to Colin Hambrook about her motivation and the way the project is shaping...

Review: Unlimited: Jack Dean's Grandad and the Machine

22 October 2015

Feature

Writer, poet, musician extraordinaire Jack Dean brought the full force of his Unlimited-backed 'steampunk fairytale' Grandad and the Machine to bear on the unassuming space of Camden People's Theatre from 13-15th October. Joe Turnbull went along for the ride.

Interview: Artist Aaron Williamson tells Dao about his new work Demonstrating the World

6 October 2015

Feature

Over a period of five weeks, Performance artist Aaron Williamson invited visitors to witness the building of an odd set of ‘absurdist’ furniture at the Shape Gallery in Westfield Shopping Centre. The pieces will become key to the performance as it becomes ready to tour later this autumn. Colin Hambrook asked Williamson and Producer Edd Hobbs about what it means to ‘demonstrate the world’.

Review: Unlimited: Liz Carr: Assisted Suicide The Musical

23 September 2015

Feature

The Boiler Room at Pleasance Theatre, Camden played host to a 4-day R&D period for Liz Carr’s Unlimited commission, Assisted Suicide The Musical with an invited audience for a showing of work in progress on Friday 18th September. Review by Trish Wheatley

Interview: British Council Showcase at Edinburgh Festival

30 July 2015

Feature

The British Council Theatre and Dance team are currently busy working on their tenth showcase since 1997 at the Edinburgh Festival. Colin Hambrook spoke to Neil Webb, Director of Theatre and Dance about the outcomes British Council are hoping for as a result of the showcase and the broader spectrum of their disability arts work across the globe 

Review: Touretteshero goes Backstage to Biscuitland

12 May 2015

Feature

On election night in the Brighton Dome Studio Theatre we learn that “Nigel Farage is at home washing his tortoise.” And Jess Thom aka Touretteshero is on fire, an irrepressible force of nature, welcoming her audience to Biscuitland with a charm and an affectionate grin that cannot fail to woo. Review by Colin Hambrook

Review: The Ugly Girl: A Musical Tragedy in Burlesque by Terry Galloway

10 January 2015

Feature

This no-holds barred musical examines what it means to be the typical Ugly Girl adrift in a comically hostile universe through slapstick, music and dark humour. Starring Julie McNamara and Liz Carr, The Ugly Girl is reviewed by Roger Cliffe-Thompson as 'a classic of it's genre'.

Review: DaDaFest International 2014: Sheila Hill's 'Him'

11 December 2014

Feature

Writer/theatre-maker and installation-artist Sheila Hill received an Unlimited research and development award to work with actor Tim Barlow to create ‘Him’. The resulting film was shown at DaDaFest 2014 as part of a session titled 'Unlimited: the Artists Voice'. Review by Liz Porter

Interview: Tony Heaton on the next tranche of Unlimited applications

11 December 2014

Feature

Colin Hambrook talks to Tony Heaton, CEO of Shape who are lead partners with Artsadmin for the Unlimited programme, with a focus on the kinds of work that Unlimited might attract in the second round of applications, with a deadline set for 2 February 2015. 

Review: DaDaFest International 2014: Kazzum Theatre: Where’s My Nana?

9 December 2014

Feature

Combining Kazzum’s ability to create high quality inclusive playful theatre and Slung Low’s technological ‘know-how’ to make adventures for audiences outside of conventional theatre spaces, the Unlimited research and development commission Where’s My Nana? showcased at DaDaFest. Review by Liz Porter.

Review: DaDaFest International 2014: Ship of Fools

5 December 2014

Feature

Colin Hambrook responds to 'Ship of Fools', the vacuum cleaner’s self-initiated Anti-Section action, residency and mental creative space documented as a video diary on show in 'Art of the Lived Experiment' at the core of DaDaFest 2014

Review: Unlimited 2014: Caroline Bowditch: Falling in Love with Frida

13 September 2014

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Combining monologue and dance, Caroline Bowditch’s Falling in Love with Frida is a passionate reclamation of Frida Kahlo as a disabled artist and a reflection on how we are remembered by others. Victoria Wright reviews a performance at the Queen Elizabeth Hall as part of the Unlimited Festival.

Unlimited 2014: Touretteshero: Backstage in Biscuit Land

13 September 2014

Feature

Victoria Wright learns never to put an elephant in an envelope after experiencing Jess Thom, aka Touretteshero, and her accomplice Jess Mabel Jones performing Backstage in Biscuit Land as part of Unlimited at the Southbank Centre.

Review: Unlimited 2014: Bekki Perriman: The Doorways Project

8 September 2014

Feature

Bekki Perriman’s installation ‘The Doorways Project’ explores homelessness through spoken word and photography. Nina Muehlemann reflects on the quiet and cautiously assembled work in the Royal Festival Hall, that is part of this Unlimited research and development award.

Review: Unlimited 2014: the vacuum cleaner: Madlove

6 September 2014

Feature

James Leadbitter aka the vacuum cleaner has been asking people how they would design a safe place to go mad, in a series of 3 hour workshops in the Royal Festival Hall. What would the ideal mental hospital be like? John O'Donoghue went to find out about the blueprint for a Madlove Designer Asylum.

Review: Unlimited 2014: Michelle Ryan & Torque: Intimacy

6 September 2014

Feature

In a funny, moving dance-theatre piece, staged in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Michelle Ryan shares her most private thoughts and feelings in a collaboration with theatre-makers Torque Show and a live score by Lavender Vs Rose. Review by Amardeep Sohi

 

Interview: Unlimited 2014: Ian Johnston: Dancer

18 August 2014

Feature

Created with the late Adrian Howells, 'Dancer' is a gentle provocation on what it is to be a 'dancer'. Producer Lucy Gaizely answered a few of Dao’s questions about what promises to be a fun and thought-provoking show in the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre on Saturday 6 September.

Opinion: Unlimited 2014: Katherine Araniello hosts The Dinner Party Revisited

30 July 2014

Feature

Katherine Araniello first presented The Dinner Party in 2011. A development of that work, The Dinner Party Revisited, has been commissioned for 2014’s Unlimited Festival - a commission that confirms Katherine as one of the most significant Live Artists in the UK. So what does it mean to be a 'Live Artist'? Lois Keidan, Director of the Live Art Development Agency (LADA) explains.

 

Interview: Unlimited 2014: Jo Bannon talks about Exposure

29 July 2014

Feature

Nina Muehlemann met artist Jo Bannon during a networking meeting with other artists and people involved with the second round of Unlimited. She talked to Jo about her Unlimited 2014 commission, ‘Exposure’ over a glass of wine.

Interview: Unlimited 2014: James Leadbitter aka the vacuum cleaner on Madlove

27 July 2014

Feature

James Leadbitter aka the vacuum cleaner, received an Unlimited research and development award for Madlove - a project which asks those with and without mental illness to collaborate in designing a ‘safe place to go mad’. John O’Donoghue talks to the artist about his idea to get people to participate in redesigning the asylum.

Interview: Unlimited 2014: The Flickering Darkness (Revisited) by Juan delGado

17 July 2014

Feature

Spanish artist Juan delGado and creator of The Flickering Darkness (Revisited) met the film’s editor Colombian filmmaker Juan Soto in a dimly lit room at the Geffrye Museum in East London. A conversation about how the artistic processes were led by their intentions in the making of the film, was transcribed and edited here by Manuel Angel Macia

Atypical Plays for Atypical Actors: Selected Plays to be published in sync with the launch of Cosy

4 January 2016

Blog Kaite O'Reilly

the cast of Kaite O'Reilly's play 'In Water I'm Weightless' strike a dramatic pose on stage

I’m delighted to make this pre-publication announcement: Oberon books will publish five of my plays and performance texts to coincide with the World premiere of Cosy at the Wales Millennium Centre in March 2016. The news is so fresh, we haven’t yet settled on the image for the cover. I’ve been liaising with my agents and editor at Oberon about what production photographs to use after drawing up a shortlist by the fantastically talented Toby Farrow and Patrick Baldwin, who...

The Live Art Development Agency launch a book and DVD of Katherine Araniello's 'Dinner Party Revisited'

17 September 2015

Blog Colin Hambrook

There are only a few days left to view Katherine Araniello’s ‘Dinner Party Revisited’ on the Live Art Development Agencies ‘LADA Screens’ platform. The audio-described version of the Dinner Party Revisited is a good example of using creative description to add another layer within a work of art  - taking it beyond documentation and allying with the performance’s intention to use humour to convey subversive ideas. The describer comes alive as another...

An Alien Dream-Logic Capsule

12 August 2015

Blog Aaron Williamson

Cupboard design sketches, Ida Martin, 2015

As described in the first blog in this series, the discovery of a ‘contemporary folk archive’ of ‘How To’ videos on YouTube, set me on course to devise the central component in Demonstrating the World for Unlimited 2. The sheer volume of this unofficial, seemingly endless archive meant that ‘the world’ was practically my oyster (Yes, there are a few ‘How To Shuck/Open Oysters’ videos, such as this one seemingly presented by Star Trek’s Capt....

'Don’t Forget The Wrists!'

7 July 2015

Blog Aaron Williamson

Don't Forget The Wrists!

‘Demonstrating the World’ is a project for Unlimited 2 (delivered in partnership by Shape and Artsadmin) which had a Research and Development phase and now, in collaboration with producer Edd Hobbs, a production commission. Sometime midway through the R&D phase I encountered the wonderful contemporary folk-archive of amateur demonstration videos on YouTube. (That’s my descriptor: they do not, collectively – as yet – think of themselves as forming an archive)....

Name a thing and it is: on the process of finding titles and character names…

18 May 2015

Blog Kaite O'Reilly

We all have to die. My next play 'Cosy' is a darkly comedic look at the joys and humiliations of ageing and how we shuffle off this mortal coil. The rising tensions between three generations of a dysfunctional family ask us to consider what choices we really have in a world obsessed with eternal youth, and whether we truly own ourselves. I recently befuddled a friend with the title ‘Cosy’. ‘But it’s about growing up, and ageing, and rubbish families and...

The Unlimited Festival: an overall impression

16 September 2014

Blog Unlimited 2014

still from a film by Jo Verrent and Luke Pell showing an overview of two disabled people in their underwear lying on beds in two separate screens

By Gary Thomas I should begin with a note that I didn’t go to everything, but when I did attend the Southbank Centre was buzzing, and so was I. The first thing I noticed when I walked in on the Tuesday, the opening day, was Jo Verrent & Luke Pell’s striking ‘Take Me To Bed’, on the large screen at the back of The Clore Ballroom. It’s a choreography of sleep, with familiar faces from the disability art world on a bed, sleeping in various positions. The screen is...

Owen Lowery reading at the Southbank Centre on 7 September

15 September 2014

Blog Unlimited 2014

up close portrait of Owen Lowery, poet, with his face turned side-on

By John O'Donoghue I was a little underwhelmed last week by the Poetry Book Society’s announcement of the ‘Next Generation of 20 Poets expected to dominate the poetry landscape of the coming decade.' For one thing I’m sceptical about marketing campaigns that seek to highlight poets and poetry. The Great British Public seems as indifferent to their bards as they are to their politicians, as if the two tribes are becoming beleaguered, endangered species. And whilst...

'Shifting Identities: Otherwise Unchanged’ panel discussion at the Southbank Centre on 6 September

14 September 2014

Blog Unlimited 2014

photo of Michelle Ryan standing with her arms crossed and an expression of concentration on her face as Vincent Crowley holds her, supporting her right arm with his left hand

By Emmeline Burdett Skillfully chaired by Tony Heaton, the chief executive of Shape, various disabled artists took part as panellists in the discussion: performance artist Sue Austin, dancers Marc Brew and Michelle Ryan, and the poet Owen Lowery. Introducing the debate Tony mentioned that Shape Arts had been founded by a dancer who had met a young disabled person and had been determined to refute the claim that his impairment made it impossible for him to be a dancer. All of the panellists have...

'Happy to be Me': panel discussion at the Southbank Centre on 6 September

14 September 2014

Blog Unlimited 2014

photo of performer Claire Cunningham under a red light surrounded by religious imagery

By Emmeline Burdett ‘Happy to be Me’ was chaired by Jude Kelly, featuring the disabled artists Liz Carr, Alex Bulmer, Claire Cunningham and Katherine Araniello. The subject under discussion was the ways in which disabled artists use art to get across ideas about impairment and disability which often differ markedly from those to be found in mainstream discourse. To this end, the session opened with a performance of the opening number from Liz Carr and Alex Bulmer’s...

The Royal Festival Hall hosted a series of Unlimited presentations, visual arts, film and t-shirts

12 September 2014

Blog Unlimited 2014

By Richard Downes Summer can’t decide whether it should be autumn today. Reaching the end of Hungerford Bridge I hear the Buzzcocks asking ‘Ever Fallen In Love’, Diverse City’s Young Performance Company have drawn a crowd appreciative of dance and circus skills. Entering the foyer Tom Doughty and Adrian Lee from the Paraorchestra are strumming and singing to an attentive audience. The whole place is buzzing. I’ve got friends here and I’m at Unlimited a...

The Kaos Signing Choir took over the Clore Ballroom on Sunday morning to spread a bit of happiness

9 September 2014

Blog Unlimited 2014

the kaos signing choir, pictured rehearsing in an outdoor space

By Amardeep Sohi I went to the Learn How to Sign, Sing and Dance to Pharrell William’s Happy Workshop and participatory workshop Happy: a state of mind and the title of the infectious single by Pharrell Williams, which induced adults and children alike, to gather at the Southbank Centre on a sunny Sunday afternoon to sign, sing and dance. It’s not often that I abandon my pen and notebook when reviewing, but abandon them I did. Learning how to sign is engraved onto my list of...

Two of the British Paraorchestra’s finest musicians, Tom Doughty and Adrian Lee, entertain an appreciative crowd in the main foyer space of the Royal Festival Hall

9 September 2014

Blog Unlimited 2014

photo of guitarist Tom Doughty, dressed in a black suit with a slide guitar across his knees

By Lloyd Coleman Because of the nature of this free Unlimited Festival event, last Friday afternoon, audience members were able to come and go as they pleased. It was a testament to the skill and natural charm of these two men that so many chose to stay for the whole hour-long set, once we had settled into the comfy sofas and (not so comfy) chairs laid out in front of the performance area. Tom led the proceedings with his usual dry wit, which I have come to know and love through our...

Ian Johnston & Gary Gardiner share some tender moments in 'Dancer'

7 September 2014

Blog Unlimited 2014

photo of Ian Johnston centre-stage, dressed in a suit, holding his arms around his shoulders, with Gary Gardiner in the background, also dressed in a black suit with a bow tie

By Sophie Partridge You know you've found yourself on to a good thing when entering a space and Greatest Dancer by Sister Sledge is playing! A lady `terp signs the lyrics, whilst two men dressed in dinner suits dance in front of a screen on which they are projected. On the dark floor are placed pairs of those white feet silhouettes, used in dance classes. I come in half way through the track and to my delight, it's looped again. Dancer was created by Ian Johnston and Gary Gardiner,...

Michelle Ryan lays bare some intimate moments in one of the most compelling shows in Unlimited

6 September 2014

Blog Unlimited 2014

Blog by Colin Hambrook I was very excited when I heard Wendy Martin talking about her reasons for programming Michelle Ryan & Torque for Unlimited. Michelle had been a dancer with the Belgian Dance Company Les Ballets C De La B and Alain had encouraged Michelle to carry on dancing after the onset of MS meant that her movement changed enormously. She was frightened to dance. She was frightened she’d fall over. And Alain said “what’s to be frightened of? You just get up and...

Be there at the start: Ailís Ní Ríain talks about her fascinating BSL, film, live music, new writing and live drawing project 'The Drawing Rooms'

4 September 2014

Blog Unlimited 2014

portrait photo of composer Ailís Ní Ríain against a concrete wall. She looks away from the camera towards a leafy bush

By Colin Hambrook It became clear this morning during the presentations of Unlimited projects in research & development that the clear thing that Unlimited is doing, is to allow the voices of individual disabled artists to come through; to experiment in new and exciting ways; and to allow something fresh to happen, outside of the often limiting constraints of companies within the disability arts sector who work to specific impairment-related agendas. I was entranced by the imagination of...

Be there at the start: Pete Edwards talks about making work on sexual abuse

4 September 2014

Blog Unlimited 2014

By Colin Hambrook Pete Edwards has set himself some interesting challenges for his Unlimited research and development project. Pete’s award is to explore the difficult and taboo subject of rape and sexual abuse. He wrote a play about his life story after doing a Graeae Missing Pieces training course. However, when it came to the proposal for Unlimited he put the script to one side, making the decision that he wanted to devise a piece with actors, who like himself, have different speech...

The Flickering Darkness in the White Room in the underbelly of the Royal Festival Hall

2 September 2014

Blog Unlimited 2014

Night view of Corabastos, Bogotá showing market traders with large bags of vegetables over their shoulder

Blog by Colin Hambrook Unlimited kicked off today with slow, measured start. It was a day of watching films and chatting to disabled artists and friends.  I made sure to see Juan delGado’s Flickering Darkness and decided it was a point in the festival I’d return to a few times during Unlimited at the Southbank Centre. It’s tucked away in the White Room on the downstairs Spirit Level of the building; an space easy to miss as you have to journey through the Tunnel of Love...

The Unlimited opening event: Does It Matter? WW I Shorts commissioned by Channel 4

2 September 2014

Blog Unlimited 2014

still from Simon Mckeown’s motion capture animation Ghosts showing two disabled veterans playing cricket

By Colin Hambrook The launch event of the day was a presentation of the series of World War I shorts commissioned made for Channel 4 by a series of artists who feature regularly on Dao: Claire Cunningham, Simon Mckeown, Katherine Araniello, Tony Heaton and Jez Colbourne. I’d thoroughly recommend going to the Channel 4 website to view the films. However, it was a treat being able to see them in the Clore Ballroom on a large scale. And to hear some of the stories behind the making of the...

Julie McNamara's 'Let Me Stay', another of the shows which has just received Unlimited funding, previews at CoolTan Arts

4 April 2014

Blog Unlimited 2014

Julie McNamara on stage sitting on a chair within a white circular piece of flooring. She turns to face a large projection of her mum, Shirley, against a backdrop of large cardboard boxes

I am delighted that Julie McNamara and her company Vital Xposure have received an Unlimited award for Let Me Stay. I’ve known Julie a long time now – through thick and thin you might say. And I know her well enough to say that she puts everything into whatever she turns her attention to. Let Me Stay is a treat. I saw Julie perform Let Me Stay in a makeshift theatre space – the sort of space that proves that you can make theatre anywhere, if you are good...

Vital Xposure produce one of their best productions yet with 'Let Me Stay', which has just received Unlimited funding

4 April 2014

Blog Colin Hambrook

Julie McNamara on stage sitting on a chair within a white circular piece of flooring. She turns to face a large projection of her mum, Shirley, against a backdrop of large cardboard boxes

I am delighted that Julie McNamara and her company Vital Xposure have received an Unlimited award for Let Me Stay. I’ve known Julie a long time now – through thick and thin you might say. And I know her well enough to say that she puts everything into whatever she turns her attention to. Let Me Stay is a treat. I saw Julie perform Let Me Stay in a makeshift theatre space – the sort of space that proves that you can make theatre anywhere, if you are good...

Trish Wheatley gives her first reactions to the Unlimited selections

1 April 2014

Blog Unlimited 2014

six guises of artist Katherine Araniello created for The Dinner Party

Unlimited represents a big investment in disabled artists and the selection for this round of full commissions and research and development projects contains some really exciting work. After the huge success of the Unlimited programme in 2012, which culminated in the Unlimited Festival at the Southbank Centre it is easy to try to make comparisons. Without the backdrop of the Olympic and Paralympic Games there is less funding – and that which is available has to stretch across three years,...

News: Unlimited goes International with ACE Ambitions of Excellence Award

22 January 2016

News

News: Unlimited goes International with ACE Ambitions of Excellence Award

Unlimited, the commissioning programme that supports disabled artists develop ambitious and high quality work, today announced an Ambitions of Excellence Award of £759,949 from Arts Council England to build a three-year international programme. The award is also match-funded by the British Council.

News: Arts Council England announces £8.5m for diversity in the arts

8 December 2015

News

News: Arts Council England announces £8.5m for diversity in the arts

On Monday 7th December 2015 Sir Peter Bazalgette, Chair of Arts Council England delivered a speech that followed up on the one he made a year ago outlining the Arts Council’s commitment to the Creative Case for Diversity at a special event held in Birmingham. 

News: Jessica Thom aka Touretteshero to feature in BBC's Live from Television Centre

2 November 2015

News

News: Jessica Thom aka Touretteshero to feature in BBC's Live from Television Centre

In partnership with Battersea Arts Centre and Arts Council England, the BBC is bringing live theatre back to Television Centre for Live from Television Centre. Jessica Thom aka Touretteshero will be performing a special rendition, Broadcast from Biscuit Land alongside four other 'genre-busting' theatre pieces live on BBC Four.

Unlimited Celebrates A Year Of Supporting Outstanding Disabled Artists

25 February 2015

News

Unlimited Celebrates A Year Of Supporting Outstanding Disabled Artists

"A programme that's bucked stereotypes and packed a powerful creative punch" Bella Todd, Time Out

UNLIMITED, the £3million programme delivered by Shape and Artsadmin, has concluded its first year supporting outstanding work by disabled artists, making an unprecedented impact on the cultural sector. Here's the round up...

News: Unlimited opens the second round of submissions

7 November 2014

News

News: Unlimited opens the second round of submissions

Unlimited, the initiative which supports disabled artists to create and present exceptional work across the artforms, announces the opening of the second round of submissions for commission funds. Disabled artists and companies who are creating new disability-led work are invited to apply.

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