National award-winning Step Change Studios – an inclusive company for disabled and non-disabled dancers – presents the UK premiere of its new show Fairy Tales, at Sadler’s Wells’ Lilian Baylis Studio on Thursday 27 June 2019
Fairy Tales showcases solo, duet and group numbers interpreting the universal themes of childhood tales through ballroom and Latin-inspired dance. The production challenges the boundaries of dance and the dancer, drawing on the artists’ backgrounds to create original pieces.
Step Change Studios founder and producer of Fairy Tales Rashmi Becker said: “Last year I had the privilege of presenting the UK’s first inclusive ballroom-inspired show Fusion with the support of Arts Council England and Sadler’s Wells. I wanted to provide a platform for talent and challenge established notions of ballroom and who can dance. The audience response and enthusiasm for new work has led me to produce Fairy Tales. Taking inspiration from the stories we tell, Fairy Tales brings together a diverse cast of 20 artists to presents dynamic, captivating dance that cuts across convention placing artistry, ability and storytelling at its heart.”
Step Change Studios welcomes a number of new artists to its team with Fairy Tales, including former ballroom competitor Ian Banham, who has performed and choreographed in the West End in hits such as Dirty Dancing, and national and international TV shows Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance; professional Deaf dancer Natasha Julien from Manchester who recently toured the UK with musical production Tommy by Ramps on the Moon; Andrew Self, an aspiring dancer with Down’s Syndrome who is passionate about ballroom dance; Romano Solano, a multi-talented dancer originally from Italy,who Rashmi Becker discovered in a dance class in New York. The show also sees the return of artists Pawel Karpinski, current European wheelchair Latin dance champion; and choreographers Ivana Ostrowski, Nancy Hitzig, and Anna Alvarez.
Fairy Tales includes a post-show discussion with the cast, and Step Change Studios runs a series of inclusive dance workshops with local schools and older people in the lead up to the performance.
Sadler’s Wells’ Director of Learning and Engagement Joce Giles said: “It has been fantastic to see Step Change Studios’ development from when we first supported its creation through the Dance Enterprise Ideas Fund in 2017, to hosting its first production last year. Rashmi’s passion for promoting talent and diversity in dance and her commitment to providing opportunities for more people to dance chimes with our values. We are delighted to support Step Change Studios’ return to Sadler’s Wells with its new production.”
Rashmi Becker established Step Change Studios in 2017 to provide opportunities for disabled people to dance. In just over two years the company has supported almost 2,000 disabled people to dance, many for the first time, working within different community settings including schools, hospitals and care homes.
Step Change Studios won the inaugural One Dance UK Award for Innovation in 2018 and the East London Dance Enterprise Ideas Fund in 2017, which was supported by Sadler’s Wells.