Signdance Collective celebrate 30 years with an international tour


Signdance Collective, pioneers of signdance theatre will celebrate 30 years of their innovative work with a UK and International tour of Carthage/ Cartagena by Caridad Svich.

Signdance Collective

David Bower in Signdance Collective’s ‘Carthage’

Signdance Collective’s production of Carthage/Cartagena by Caridad Svich explores the impact on those displaced and isolated by slavery, human trafficking and forced migration.  The performance text presents a series of ten  multi-lingual letter song-poems from metaphorical places of dislocation. This beautiful work by Village Voice Life Time achievement winner, Caridad Svich is presented  by Signdance Collective as a hybrid dance theatre piece incorporating dance, theatre, music and languages both spoken and signed.

Photo of Signdance Collective artistic director Isolte Avila

Isolte Avila, Signdance Collective’s Creative Director & Choreographer.

Artistic Director, David Bower says:

“Caridad approached us in New York with the script.  She felt our working methodology could be right to tackle Carthage/Cartagena as we play with “so many different registers of language”. On reading the script, I was struck by the beauty and wisdom of Caridad’s writing.  It encompasses so many different elements that touch upon all our lives, right across the world and all cultures.”

“The structure of the script has echoes of Kerouac’s freehand bravado, Patti Smith’s candour and Alice Walker’s deep humanity. It advocates on behalf of many who often don’t speak the language of the powerful, whose voices often fail to be heard in a world swept by a tsunami of often conflicting, information overload.”

Founded by Isolte Avila and David Bower, Signdance Collective is an award winning international touring performance established in 2001. The company is culturally diverse with a team of experienced deaf and disabled artists at the helm. From 1987 to 2000, the company directors pioneered “signdance theatre”, a fusion of sign theatre, dance and live original music. The company is one of the first in the world to utilise and introduce the concept of inclusive practice with a specific focus on disability-deaf led team work.

Lionel Macually

Signdance Collective’s Lionel Macually

The international tour includes New York’s Theatre Lab ,USA, Kultur In Graz, Austria and Ljubljana, Slovenia at the Ana Desetnica International Festival .

The UK tour of Carthage/Cartagena is funded by Arts Council England and with A Take Part grant from Arts Council Wales.

Performances & Dates 

March 14th Middlesex University Preview, by invitation/ request

March 16th,17th,18th 19th  – Utopia Theatre, Croydon
For Tickets –

March 24th  Canolfan Ucheldre Centre., Holyhead, Anglesey
Box Office: 01407 763361
(Workshops 21st – 24th  including the performance day )

Angelina Schwammerlin

Signdance Collective’s Angelina Schwammerlin

March 25th, Un Deg Un, Wrexham
Preview and workshop 2.00pm – 6.00pm

March 31st Wycombe Arts Centre, High Wycombe
Box Office: 01494 445517
(Evening workshops March 27th – March 31st)

June 31st & July 1st Transmitter Performance and Kultur, Graz, Austria

July 2-5, Ana Desetnica, Ljubiliana, Slovenia

July 7th Oxford Playhouse, Taylor Burton Studio Oxford
Box Office: 01865 305305

11-15 July Together Fest,  London

July 19-21 Theatre Lab, New York