Starting Line, formerly called Outdoor Commission, part of the Torch Event and Cultural Olympiad is exploring the focus and discipline of athletes as they prepare for the London 2012 Paralympic Games, the intensity of the race and the pride in representing their country. Creative Junction have been connecting with young people from the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in Sydney, Australia who have been developing their own performance around these themes.
Eighteen participants who are enthusiastic theatre-makers and performers have been drawing inspiration from Creative Junction’s e-community and the UK based young people and artists to create their own unique performance in Sydney in June. This month they will then share back their artistic responses to influence the UK artists producing the commissioned outdoor performance named ‘Starting Line’, which will be performed at the Paralympic opening celebrations on 28th August.
The Sydney group is led by artists Sarah Hone and Brett Rodgers with the guidance of Peter Mountford and with several other artists supporting the work including filmmaker Brendan Norvill who is documenting the process. The group have been exploring the different types of Paralympic sports and the range of warm-up activities and preparation techniques that the Paralympic athletes need to get ready for the competition. Several of the NIDA participants have themselves taken part in the Special Olympics and have taken on leadership roles within the group, sharing their experiences as athletes.
Through their investigation of the core Paralympic values: courage, determination, inspiration and quality, the artists have noted a marked difference in the community of the group. The participants have developed excellent team-building skills and feel proud to be part of a project which exists both within their work in Sydney, whilst impacting upon the work in the UK and indeed with other groups around the world.
Accentuate has worked in partnership with Creative Junction and the 2012 Creative Programmer to commission Starting Line. The culmination of all this work will be the outdoor performance in Aylesbury town centre on Tuesday 28th August. The Creative team, Artistic Director Ryan Laight, lead artist Rachel Gadsden, Abigail Norris (film maker) and Candoco young dancers will perform this triumphant piece of visual art, dance & film to coincide with the Paralympic Torch’s journey, as it travels from Stoke Mandeville to the London 2012 Opening Paralympic Ceremony.