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On missing Unlimited 2014

14 September 2014

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Photographed through some railings this green, street notice board, besides some current information posters, also explains where the nearest safe evacuation point is: Tsukuda River City Area.

Today the ocean seems to be falling out of the sky. Wheeling out is ill advised. Having blogged my distress at missing Unlimited 2014, I have tried to follow what I can from Tokyo, which of course means Dao blogs and reviews. Today is a good day for catching up, sorting my growing collection of photos and doing some rather neglected drawing. I have really enjoyed the video blogs from Colin and Tony and from Sue Austin (10th September 2014) The added atmosphere of Sue's busy Southbank...

Tokyo Disney celebrates Halloween.

13 September 2014

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This dark blue image, with the moon visible in the background, shows two life-size plastic cartoon horses pulling an old fashioned spooky-looking coach driven by a disney ghost.The coach wheels have green lights, the horses orange ang black livery, but th

I'm not a Disney person so I've never minded being the only person in my world who'd never tried a Disneyland, anywhere. Today that changed when we decided to check out this very popular Tokyo destination. The weather forecast predicted rain, people muttered, 'typhoon season' but the day looked ok; the metro to Tokyo Disney takes about 15 minutes from the centre of Tokyo. Actually it was a toss up between Disneyland and Disney-sea, Disneyland being the same the world...

Tokyo: megalopolis of city-villages.

12 September 2014

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Looking into a small allyway at a very battered little building with broken panes in a groundfloor front of small wooden windows. There are blue balconies on the first/top floor of what looks like two dwellings. Outside the variety of green plants include

I've been on a photographic hunt for the little tin and wooden buildings that are disappearing from Tokyo. Today I watched the demolition of one. It was on top of another one story building and made mostly of wood and just streets away from the busy carriageways that contain everything bar strictly local traffic. The site is being cleared for development and I had already noticed that one such building had gone from this particular patch. I pause to watch. The buildings appear to be...

The Royal Festival Hall hosted a series of Unlimited presentations, visual arts, film and t-shirts

12 September 2014

Blog Unlimited 2014

By Richard Downes Summer can’t decide whether it should be autumn today. Reaching the end of Hungerford Bridge I hear the Buzzcocks asking ‘Ever Fallen In Love’, Diverse City’s Young Performance Company have drawn a crowd appreciative of dance and circus skills. Entering Foyer 2 Tom Doughty and Adrian Lee from the Paraorchestra are strumming and singing to an attentive audience. The whole place is buzzing. I’ve got friends here and I’m at Unlimited a festival...

Rain, climate change and dengue fever.

11 September 2014

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Hanging in the trees above our heads are small triangular, green plastic boxes. Perhaps 20cms long and open ended they look like something used for monitoring wildlife. the one in this picture catches the light from thr flash on my camera. Behind the tree

The rain held off until the evening when it torrented down and the forecast thunder arrived. In the morning the streets were full of blossoming plants, it felt a bit like being in Africa . I saw blossom I'd never seen in Tokyo before and exotics like Cannas, that I've only ever seen here in rather tired leaf, now green and gorgeous with giant red and orange blossom. Big purple flowers of Morning Glory scrambled over everything. Masses of purple and white spiked liriope and small...

News: Disability Arts Touring Network: The Ugly Girl Tour

11 September 2014


News: Disability Arts Touring Network: The Ugly Girl Tour

A wildly comic twist on the stereotype of a queer, disabled, intellectual trouble-maker, featuring an international cast of disabled actresses including Liz Carr (Silent Witness) and Julie McNamara (Let Me Stay). This no-holds barred musical about what it means to be the quintessential Ugly Girl adrift in a comically hostile universe is full of slapstick, music and dark humour. Presented as part of a tour to develop disability arts.

Review: Penny Pepper: Lost in Spaces

11 September 2014


Award winning writer, poet, performer and rights activist, Penny Pepper presented her highly anticipated, unique one-woman show, Lost in Spaces at the Soho Theatre last Monday. Review by Colin Hambrook

Review: Unlimited 2014: Jo Bannon: Exposure

10 September 2014


Jo Bannon's Exposure was a ten minute one-on-one performance event, which took place in a room on the fourth floor of the Royal Festival Hall. Sue Austin describes its impact on her in the context of her own live performance art


Review: Unlimited 2014: Juan delGado: The Flickering Darkness (Revisited)

9 September 2014


Juan delGado's The Flickering Darkness is a video installation filmed at the Corabastos market in Bogotá (Columbia), the largest of its kind in Latin America. Produced during a three-month residency in the city in 2009 and re-edited for Unlimited, the project explores the journey produce sold at the market takes, from its arrival before dawn to its consumption. Review by Gary Thomas

Review: Unlimited 2014: Bekki Perriman: The Doorways Project

8 September 2014


Bekki Perriman’s installation ‘The Doorways Project’ explores homelessness through spoken word and photography. Nina Muehlemann reflects on the quiet and cautiously assembled work in the Royal Festival Hall, that is part of this Unlimited research and development award.

Unlimited 2014: Chisato Minamimura: Ring the Changes+

29 August 2014


Whilst eagerly awaiting the delights of Unlimited Festival next week, Sarah Pickthall attended a recent sharing of work in progress of Chisato Minamimura’s commissioned work Ring the Changes+ at TripSpace Studios in Haggerston - a collaboration produced by digital artist Nick Rothwell and Body>Data >Space.


Interview: Unlimited 2014: Ian Johnston: Dancer

18 August 2014


Created with the late Adrian Howells, 'Dancer' is a gentle provocation on what it is to be a 'dancer'. Producer Lucy Gaizely answered a few of Dao’s questions about what promises to be a fun and thought-provoking show in the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre on Saturday 6 September.

Interview: Unlimited 2014: Owen Lowery: Otherwise Unchanged

12 August 2014


Owen Lowery is the author of a volume of poetry, Otherwise Unchanged (Carcanet 2012), and is the recipient of an Unlimited award. John O’Donoghue interviewed the poet by email about the inspiration, form and development of his work providing an insight into his creative identity. What follows is an edited version of this correspondence.

Opinion: Unlimited 2014: Katherine Araniello hosts The Dinner Party Revisited

30 July 2014


Katherine Araniello first presented The Dinner Party in 2011. A development of that work, The Dinner Party Revisited, has been commissioned for 2014’s Unlimited Festival - a commission that confirms Katherine as one of the most significant Live Artists in the UK. So what does it mean to be a 'Live Artist'? Lois Keidan, Director of the Live Art Development Agency (LADA) explains.


SenseAbility presentation: Ten Years of Dao: a potted history

17 June 2014


Dao Editor Colin Hambrook was invited to speak about Disability Arts Online at SenseAbility – an event held at the Pound Arts Centre, Corsham from 10-14 June. The festival, exploring inclusion in the arts and community, was organized by Tanvir Bush in partnership with Bath Spa University. This feature contains a transcript of his presentation

Gallery: Shape Creative Steps: David Hevey documentaries

9 June 2014


As part of London-based disability arts development agency, Shape's Creative Steps programme, seven disabled creative practitioners participated in a series of fascinating film documentaries. Made by award-winning director, screenwriter and photographer, David Hevey, the purpose of this documentary-series is to act as a calling card  highlighting the talents of the disabled artists that Shape supports - and who in turn, support...

Poetry: Penny Pepper: Lost in Spaces

19 May 2014


Penny Pepper is a writer, poet and performer with an extraordinary versatility to her work. Genre-defying and quirky, her work is infused with her passion as a veteran disability arts activist.

Poetry: Julie McNamara: Chaos Calls

17 May 2014


Julie McNamara has been a tour de force within the field of Disability Arts for more than twenty years. Her current theatre work: Let Me Stay is a recipient of an Unlimited 2014 award, and is currently touring. Julie has also had her poetry published in several anthologies. Below Dao previews a selection from her first collection Chaos Calls, published by Vital Xposure.

Poetry: Owen Lowery: Otherwise Unchanged

12 May 2014


Writing and studying poetry was initially part of Owen Lowery's recovery following a spinal injury incurred while competing in a charity judo tournament as a young professional sportsman. Having recently won an Unlimited Award, Lowery's first major poetry collection, 'Otherwise Unchanged', was published by Carcanet in 2012. The work speaks in a range of voices, drawing from poetic traditions far and wide.