‘The Argonauts’: Inclusive Choreographic Performance
A dress rehearsal of the "The Argonauts" performance has taken place in Kyiv. It features artists from 4 countries. The performance is part of the British Council program on the development of inclusive art in Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan
Until recently, athlete Andriy Shcherbatsky didn’t even think about dancing. He has been practicing judo, sumo, and sambo for most of his life. But after a neck injury, he switched to table tennis and wheelchair rugby.
“Once, I was invited to dance. I agreed but I felt uncomfortable. But then I relaxed and started enjoying it. I was also invited to take part in a performance – the first one in my life,” Shcherbatsky said.
Andriy is one of the 10 dancers featured in an inclusive, choreographic performance titled The Argonauts. The artists are Ukrainian, Georgian, Armenian, and Azerbaijani.
“When we first met, we needed an interpreter to help us. But then we started communicating via gestures and understood each other with one glance, hand gesture, and emotion. Maybe they don’t understand Ukrainian, but they understand my gestures and they pay attention to them,” he added.
The performance was staged by British director Ben Duke. It features both professional and amateur dancers. They rehearsed for over a month.
“They’ve been amazing, the company has held each other… — …you’re working on different things, but actually, it’s all good,” Duke said.
The Argonauts is a part of a 4-year program sponsored by the British Council. The project, called Unlimited, is aimed at facilitating the development of inclusive art in Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan.
“We have a history of having done some work on inclusion… – …a learning experience for us as an organization as well,” Director of the British Council in Ukraine Simon Williams said.
The Argonauts will premiere in Tbilisi on September 25th; after, the company will go on a festival tour.