Dave (centre) walks tall in Abilities Arts Fest highlight The Cost Of Living.
TABOOS, DANCE AND BODY DIVERSITY Rating: NNN
It's like an evening of So You Think You Can Dance, but with participants who face a greater challenge and stand to reap more glory than Cat Deeley can offer.
The Abilities Arts Festival kicks off Saturday (September 20) with Taboos, Dance And Body Diversity, a showcase of three films about finding the creativity in disability.
Both Karina Epperlein's Phoenix Dance (NN) and Gerhard Schick's Invitation To The Dance: Body And Taboo (NNN) are documentaries about individuals who take advantage of their disabilities by dancing in ways the able-bodied can't.
Phoenix is a short, uninvolving profile of the nimble Homer Avila, a professional dancer who lost his leg to cancer but quickly bounced back onto the stage.
Schick's feature follows a physically challenged Kenyan troupe who put together a production that expresses their fears about African society's rampant homophobia, frequent rapes and the belief that the disabled are victims of witchcraft. They discover the limits and capacities of their bodies and relate the shame they confront daily. Although it's twice as long as it needs to be, Invitation is an honest film about humble individuals who discover sources of pride.
The evening's highlight is Brit Lloyd Newson's short The Cost Of Living (NNNN). Magical and madcap, it's about the legless Dave, who rollicks with street-performer friends on a Norfolk boardwalk. Newson provides exquisite compositions of gracefully choreographed dance sequences with the DV8 dance troupe in a film that confronts the awkwardness and finds the joy of being the odd one out.
Screens Saturday (September 20) at the Al Green Theatre. Festival continues Saturdays through October 4.