The power of music and dance to help people with disabilities connect to their creativity was on show recently at two special workshops held at Toitoi – Hawke’s Bay Arts and Events Centre.
Delivered by Chamber Music New Zealand in conjunction with their National Disability Arts Partner Jolt Dance, clients and students of disability providers across Hawke’s Bay gathered at Functions on Hastings last week and took to the floor to enjoy the transformative power of movement and music
Accompanied by anything from African-style beats to slow, meandering soundscapes, participants were encouraged to feel the music and express what it evoked in their own unique dance expressions.
Chamber Music New Zealand engagement artist Cathy Irons said the organisation delivered music experiences throughout the country, and that its relationship with Jolt Dance provided an opportunity to engage communities in a way that was innovative and inclusive.
“Jolt is very special – instead of teaching people how to dance, they focus on helping people find the movement within them and then draw it out, encouraging each participant’s unique contribution.
“At Jolt they believe there’s a whole world inside everybody, and they offer new ways for people with disabilities to connect; artistically, physically, spatially, and socially.”
The sessions ran for just over an hour each, with participants from the Disability Resource Centre and Kowhai Specialist School.
Disability Resource Centre service manager Karen Elliott said that right from the beginning they felt welcomed and part of the whole experience.
“It was incredible to be partnered with tutors with disabilities, which gave us an instant connection to the music and to the powerful expression of emotions through dance.”
Mrs Irons said it was wonderful that the workshops were a great success.
“We were all really thrilled, Toitoi was very welcoming and that means a great deal.”
17 November 2022
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