Dance without boundaries
The Immanuel Home dance team came first in an International Dance Festival
The International Dance Festival for the disabled took place at the weekend in Budapest.
The Reformed Congregation of the Great Church of Debrecen Immanuel Home came first in the competition in two categories: the wheelchair dance category and the pair dance.
The Immanuel Home, where a high level of sophisticated care is given to 76 (mostly multiply) disbabled children and young people, is well-known in our town. Besides the provision of social, health and educational services, the institution emphasizes the wellbeing of disabled people, not just from their point of view but also from that of the rest of society. The leader of the institution maintains that its mission is not just towards its residents, but to form public opinion and make people more open and accepting. This is why we can meet with the pupils of the Immanuel Home in a great variety of places from the market hall, through theatre performances to the city youth festivals and street performances.
Before the last international dance festival the Immanuel Dancers had already come first at national level.
But how should we imagine dance performed by multiply disabled persons?
In one of the winning productions, the members of the McLaren wheelchair dance group have difficulty using their hands and steering the chairs, and so the children’s parents and Home staff move the chairs in a finely choreographed manner, and the children sitting in the chairs “make themselves present” in the dance by such minimal movement as they are capable of, and their facial expressions.
In the other production Tamás Kulcsár gets out of his wheelchair and dances a contact dance with one of the Home employees. That was most beautiful, and it could be seen that great effort had to be made to carry out the movements, and the dance showed us how a mother can face the birth of a disabled child, set him on his way, teach him to take his first steps, and finish the daily struggle in order to regain strength for the next day. All this content in the language of dance provided a cathartic experience for both the audience and the members of the jury, who were thus led to award the dance first prize.
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