Diffability - derived from the words ‘differently able’ - is a concept that not only acknowledges but celebrates the fact that people with special needs, marked as ‘dis-abled’ often have extraordinary abilities.
Globally, diffable people make up to 15% of the world population, 82% of which live in developing countries like Indonesia. Here, people with diffability are defined under Law No. 8/2016 as individuals with physical, intellectual, mental and sensory limitations. But despite support from government, diffable people in Indonesia are rarely involved in professional settings, with a lack of confidence often mentioned as the reason.
While diffable people have already shown what they are capable of in the field of sports - medals won by Indonesians in international competitions such as Special Olympics and Paralympics throughout the years have proven the extraordinary abilities of Indonesian diffability athletes - the picture is quite different when looking at the arts and culture scene.
Ballet.id, which aims to establish a place for promoting excellence in ballet and contemporary dance and to promote the development of a uniquely Indonesia ballet style by enabling an exchange between local and international dance artists and scholars, will host “An Inclusive Dance Event” on 23 September at Teater Jakarta to provide a platform for diffable dancers.
During the event, performances by outstanding diffable dancers from across the globe as well as inclusive dances with Indonesia’s diffable and non-diffable dancers will no doubt captivate the audience and make them see their incredible talent and capabilities.
The line up for this dance event is impressive: Marc Brew, an Australian who trained as a professional dancer and was paralyzed from the waist down after a car accident at the age of 20, will take to the stage as well as Magali Saby, a French diffable dancer, model and actress who choreographed the piece “La Fille de l’Air”, which will premiere in Indonesia.
Candoco Dance Company’s Studies for C presents a piece inspired by Tennessee Williams’ play “Camino Real” and Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot”, danced by London-based contemporary dance company of disabled and non-disabled dancers. The CANdoDANCE consists of 14 Indonesian dancers, some with hearing and speaking impairment. They were coached by Candoco Dance Company’s Mirjam Gurtner and Tanja Erhart since July 2017.
The Queensland Ballet will showcase the beauty and purity of ballet through the Black Swan pas de deux and Spartacus excerpts, whereas the Universal Ballet presents the best of Asian ballet.
Additionally, there will be collaborative performances between Indonesia’s premier dance company EKI Dance Company and the Disabled Children’s Counseling Foundation(YPAC).
The Ballet Gala is supported by British Council Indonesia and Institut Francais d’Indonesie.