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photo of dancer Amy Butler with bunny ears being kissed by David Toole

David Toole and Amy Butler, from Stopgap's 'Artificial Things'

Stopgap Dance Company and The Point have announced the final programme for their iF Platform (Integrated Fringe). They describe this as a "ground breaking showcase featuring the best integrated arts companies from the UK" as part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2015.

The iF Platform (Integrated Fringe) is a unique opportunity for companies and artists producing work with disabled and non-disabled artists. It will showcase the best integrated work from the UK at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe from 23rd – 30th August 2015 to coincide with the British Council Showcase year.

“High quality integrated work is very scarce at the Fringe and by supporting the platform we will be able to help programmers make bold and exciting choices to build new and diverse audiences. The standard of applications we received for the iF platform shows that high quality diverse work is prevalent in the UK and by supporting these productions we hope to change the way audiences think and inspire the next generation of diverse artists.”
Lou Rogers, Creative Producer Strategic Touring, Stopgap Dance Company.

The final programme for the iF platform 2015 is:

Stopgap Dance Company, Artificial Things
Stopgap Dance Company’s critically acclaimed contemporary dance production Artificial Things features David Toole, from DV8’s award winning film Cost of Living, with Laura Jones, Chris Pavia, David Willdridge and Amy Butler. Slowly suffocating in each other’s company, five dancers seek escape in an explosion of riotous rock-n-roll. However, their wild disorder descends into playground politics and reveals some uncomfortable truths. In this cinematic and evocative production Stopgap Dance Company creates a compact world of riddles that question our notions about unity and co-existence.

Jo Bannon, Alba
Alba is about paleness, blending in and standing out. Combining elements of contemporary opera, blinding light, choral sound, proximity, invisibility and movement to create a visual poem that explores the multiple narratives we inherit, construct and acquire in relation to our own identity.

Alba explores the stories we tell of ourselves and the stories told about us. The myths we inherit and the ones we embody, the identities we cannot shake off and so instead perform.

Marc Brew Company, For Now I am
An intimate, new dance solo in which Brew, for the first time since his car accident in 1997, engages directly with his body as it is now - investigating and exposing his changed form. Exploring themes of what it is to be broken, reborn, purified, to reconcile being in the world in an entirely new way, to build a dialogue with a body transformed.

Rowan James, It’s Easy For You to Say
First impressions count. How often do we assume we know someone simply based on what we see? Until we speak that is. Until we go beneath, bouncing words between each other, finding the rhythms that rest under our assumptions. This is the debut show from Ipswich based performance poet, Rowan James. Drawing on his and others’ experiences of living life with learning difficulties and what that phrase actually means, Rowan will challenge society’s assumptions and ideas of what (dis)ability means. Using poetry, storytelling and the remarkable rhythms of beatboxing, he will unfold and unpick (dis)ability with big beats, big words and a beaming smile.

Tourette’s Hero, Backstage in Biscuit Land 
Jess Thom has Tourette’s Syndrome, a neurological condition that makes her say ‘biscuit’ 16,000 times a day. Frank, funny and fearless; combining storytelling, comedy and puppetry. With the promise that no two shows are ever the same, it offers an intimate, life-enhancing glimpse into Jess’s unique perspective on life, laughter and lamp-posts and tells a powerful story about the nature of theatre itself.

“The quality of artists selected for this years’ iF platform demonstrates the wealth of disabled artists that we have in the UK.  We have deliberately chosen a range of artists and art forms: from spoken word to avant-garde dance and from artists at the outset of their career to artists with a proven track record.  We have chosen artists with a unique creative voice who have important things to say about the world in which we live.”
Owen Calvert-Lyons, Artistic Director, The Point

The platform is part of the larger 3-year Reach project, awarded Strategic Touring funding by Arts Council England The Strategic Touring Partnership is led by Stopgap Dance Company and supported by partners Embrace Arts, The Point, University of Bedfordshire and Zinc Arts. Its aim is to raise the profile of integrated work.

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the largest arts festival in the world. Stopgap are leaders in the world of integrated work and along with the Reach Strategic Touring Partnership, Unlimited and the British Council will highlight excellent diverse work so that it will be viewed equally alongside the best new work that programmers travel to Edinburgh to find.


Please click on the StopGap website for more news about the iF Platform