This summer I am attending another workshop with Stopgap Dance Company. Nadenh And I worked together on the You et Vous choreography by George Adams. Within those two years I got to work with dancers in a wheelchair and it changed my way of dancing. Also during those years Nadenh got a new chair. Now I am curious about the similarities, differences, how does it change your dancing and how do you choose a new chair?
Nadenh told me that he had to old chair already for 10 years. He is still dancing with it, so the chair is not broken or anything. The reason why he needed a new one is that he wanted to explore more movements and move more flexible. He says: ’I can do more tricks and the new chair is light weight’. It was just time for a new one.
The main difference is that the old one is more triangle and therefor very stable compared to the new one. Having the wheels triangle works very well for outdoor pieces. The front wheels of the old chair are bigger and located further away from the big wheels. That makes the chair less compact. Also he made his solo about his old chair, so it has a emotional value. Although, the breaks are a little broken. This Sometimes the breaks do not work and when you do partner work this is not save. With his new chair the wheels are straight and the front wheels are closer to the big wheels. That means it is not that stable and more compact. This changes his movements completely. It gives Nadenh more freedom and flexibility to move. Sharp corners it goos a little faster and makes the movement float because of not having to use the breaks that much.
Next to this all it is very important for Nadenh to feel safe dancing with other dancers. Because the wheels of the old chair are wide it its more likely to role on someones toes. Compared to the new chair Nadenh is less wide so the dance partner can dance closer to him. Of course still both dancers have to pay attention.
At last, finding Nadenh’s new chair went trough having contact with other dancers that use a wheelchair. So after gathering all the information GBL company was the lucky one. Nadehn’s new chair brand is Ti Lite. Nadenh is strongly advising to work with this brand because it’s a nice and light chair. Although every dancer’s body is different therefor another brand might be better for you to work with. For more questions you can always contact Dance Renegades.
Best Joop & Nadehn