Addiction and Performance: Fallen Angels Dance Theatre
Yesterday at Hope University’s Capstone Theatre, I came face to face with one of the UK’s most foremost professional dance company ‘Fallen Angels Dance Theatre’.
Their vision is to strive for excellence in artistry whilst raising awareness that people in addiction do recover. Having worked with this team, I have seen at first hand the amazing inspiration and discipline the group has developed, developed with positive results in its delivery to the audience and participants.
I have seen how the role of culture both in understanding such afflictions as addiction, can offer useful strategies of recovery; strategies which are often dismissed by our learned friends.
Technically demanding and strongly narrative literally and emotionally, Fallen Angels Dance Theatre is certainly looking like an important new player in contemporary dance.
The company exists to break down barriers through creativity and self expression, demonstrating the power of transformative theatre.
I enjoyed their dynamic performance last year at the Lowry and thrilled at meeting them yesterday.
I watched ‘Risen’ the performance group who are community dancers and advocates for recovery. They worked with Artistic Director Paul Bayes Kitcher who enabled them to inspire and enhance the lives of others.
So often, I see the mainstream theatres involve themselves in the grabbing of funds to support the next media venture, be it ‘dementia’ or ‘mind games’ They play this, in a socio-political campaign to survive, when all around them there are historical issues such as addiction, so rife, in the neighbourhood of their theatreland and which need urgently to be addressed.
Fallen Angels Dance Theatre exists to break down barriers through creativity and self expression, demonstrating the power of transformative theatre.
The theatre offers creative dance participation and performance activities for young people and adults recovering from or affected by addiction. The team works in social inclusion with those sections of the community who are excluded through economic and social barriers. They inspire and support THEM, the community; to make positive life choices through education and outreach programmes. Their vision, along with mine, might I add, one in undertaking the Culture Champions role is to strive for excellence whilst raising awareness that art changes lives with its rehabilitative power.
We have a number of theatre company’s on Merseyside and a number of supportive organisations engaged with the addiction issue, but how many open up new ways of knowing and looking at the subject by working with contemporary visual art and artists.
I do hope that there is an opening for Fallen Angels Theatre in Liverpool, a group with a vast portfolio of outreach and educational activities worthy of a frontline with the arts, health, and social services sectors.
Treatment is only the beginning; sustained recovery requires engagement with the means to express ourselves positively with those around us.
View their performances if you can!