Wednesday, 25 June 2014

"Stuck in the Mud" doesn't mean you're stuck

I came across Ballet Cymru's collaboration with Gloucestershire Dance while writing my review of Beauty and the Beast (see "Diolch yn Fawr - Ballet Cymru's Beauty and the Beast" 24 June 2014). Gloucester Dance (GDance) describes itself on its website as a "production and training company specialist in inclusive practice" which aims "to effect real change and to address barriers to participation in, and progress through, the arts sector".

The collaboration shown in the YouTube video above is called "Stuck in the Mud". As GDance says:
"Mud is sticky and mucky and icky. But it’s fun to jump in, play with, and grows and makes beautiful things."
There is certainly beauty in the dance that the two companies have created.  Ballet Cymru and GDance are bringing Stuck in the Mud to the Llandudno Arts Weekend on the 20 and 21 Sept and I hope to be there to see it for myself.

Stuck in the Mud is not the only inclusive dance project in the UK. I am proud to say that Northern Ballet has an accessible dance programme and it supported Big Ballet. As it said in its press release "The door is always open with Northern Ballet"
"The Company has been pioneering accessible ballet since it was founded nearly 45 years ago and works hard to ensure the joy of dance is available to everyone to experience."
 My collaborator Mel  danced in Big Ballet and she is perfecting her art. So inclusive ballet is worth supporting. And I speak as a 65 year old overweight badly coordinated transsexual woman who has the nerve to strut out onto the stage of the Stanley and Audrey Burton Theatre next Saturday.  If that is not an example of inclusive ballet I don't know what is. One that includes canines perhaps? Everyone knows that Dogs don't Do Ballet but perhaps Christopher Marney and Ballet Black know different.


  1. Fantastic! Even more proud of my country's ballet company ;) Although I'm not sure Big Ballet deserves mention, though. 'Stuck in The Mud' is a genuine collaboration between PRO-ACTIVE DANCERS able-bodied and disabled, rather than a presentation of self-made victims. It is contributing to and pushing dance forward, creating opportunities and showing audiences just what human bodies can do. And there is not one person in this promotional video who is bemoaning the loss of their waistline or youth ;)

  2. You are quite right to say that "Stuck in the Mud" and "Big Ballet" are different projects and not in any way comparable but they are nevertheless both examples of "inclusive ballet" in the broad way that the Northern Ballet press release used that term and I used that term in the article. The press release uses it to refer to everybody - not just those who are challenged physically but those who have achieved excellence such as the Ballet Cymru professionals.