There’s one thing almost all humans want: to belong. Whether that’s as part of a team, band or a relationship, we all want to belong to something bigger than ourselves. It’s this universal feeling that Belgian choreographer Koen De Preter addresses in To Belong, on at The Lowry as part of SICK! Festival.
Dancing and music is one way we come together and become connected, and De Preter makes full use of these as part of the performance. The participants – who are made up of mentally disabled actors from troupe Theater Stap – play, dance and explore the stage together, creating a feeling of unity that draws the audience in. The show feels particularly pertinent given that disabled performers are too often excluded from mainstream arts, treated as though they themselves do not belong.
Take a look at the work of Theater Stap and you’ll soon identify its key strength: the performers commit fully to the shows, without any barriers between them and those watching. As a result, no group is better placed to ask questions about inclusion and identity as the dancers lose themselves in movement and become one with each other in an authentic way.