Dance For The Disabled
Janet Randell continues to dedicate her time and expertise to disability and dance.
This year Randell, together with The Cedar Dance Theatre Company and Cedar Dance Animations, has explored the themes of disability and enablement in her dance film Passing Moments, featuring live dance and animation.
Randell’s current digital dance project called The Tutorial Guide To DanceForms, challenges dancers and choreographers of all abilities and levels to adapt to a new way of thinking. Her aim is to encourage any users who might be physically challenged through age or disability to express themselves through digital movement.
Members from Prospects, an organisation which values and supports people with learning disabilities, are working with Randell on the wheelchair versions of dances from some of her publications.
A recent venture has involved the creation of a multi-media outdoor therapeutic environmental dance project with the Derwen College for the disabled, incorporating the interaction between movement, therapy and nature.
Through the creative use of a rural disabled access and arboretum on one of the sites managed by the charity Woods, Hills & Tracks, Randell is giving an opportunity to disabled people with severe learning difficulties to express themselves in a way often denied to them. The vitality and exuberance of dance is found to be very therapeutic.
Janet Randell developed an interest in disability and dance in the early seventies after working with profoundly deaf dancers in The Cedar Dance Theatre Company and other dance companies.
Moved by the dancers’ musical ability and rhythmic interpretation of her choreography, Randell was compelled to dedicate more time to dance activities for the disabled. Whilst working as a choreographer and teacher in London, she was invited to give classes to various disabled and elderly members of the community. These included individuals who were wheelchair bound as well as those with special needs and severe learning disabilities, attending either day centres or psychiatric hospitals.