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When art goes beyond disability…

vendredi 30 juillet 2010 , par auteur Coline Bergeon , Yffic Cloarec (traduction Mathilde Vautier)

trad article traduction [English] [français]

« It’s not over, it’s not over !! ». There were many encores, bravos and thunderous applause on Friday night, after the premiere of « Ballet de chaises » on the Chaussée Saint-Pierre. Looking at the emotion one could read on the artists or the spectators’ faces, Charli Encore’s challenge paid off. The self-made clown and rocker, also Fête dans la Ville aficionado, decided to offer non-professionnal disabled artists to take on the stage.

With the support of Le Hangar, Amiens Métropole and Saint-Quentin Borough Council, Charli launched a series of auditions in the two areas back in Januray 2009 to create a wheelchair ballet ! 10 non-professional artists were selected to give us the best of themselves.

‘A nice lesson about life’, ‘A real moment of emotion’, ‘Such a preuve d’amour’ were some of the comments after the performance.

Disabled from birth, after an accident or a disease, these artists challenged their own fears to confront the widespread attitude of looking away from disability. Dances, songs, short concerts, paint-ball shoots, short stories : each of them defended their belief and made us happy . For Mimi, shooting champion…., ‘it is another challenge for me’, she confides, ‘I am shy and I had to get over that. But like in sports, when I get involved, I’m 100%. I wanted to prove disabled and non-disabled people that you can do something of your life, and I wanted to show how much I love living ! Today, I’m definitely up to follow Charli if there is another project coming up !’

Dressed as a robot, our good old Charli was there on stage with the artists, though never stealing the show at any point. Saint-Quentin-based choreograph Sandrine Didier, who helped him direct the ballet, gives them a tribute at the end the performance, dancing a solo in a wheelchair, on the music ‘Sixième Sense’ from Grand Corps Malade. A choreography that beautifully seals this lovely story of sharing and moves the audience…

Charli is pleased : ‘I think the audience has been brilliant. It wasn’t that easy to perform at nightfall, away from the city centre. But I’d love to have premieres like these more often ! I actually had a contingency plan in case we would be told to perform somewhere else : the space needed for our show is the same dimension as the Jules Verne circus track !’
As per performing the show somewhere else in France or abroad, Charli would be very up for it : ‘But it requires quite an important logistics, therefore a subsequent budget and a real commitment from the organiser. I think it is a very original concept and we could maybe headline a festival with it in the future’. That’s all we wish for…

Below, a selection of pictures from Joël Verhoustraeten

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