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Sonja Parmentier, Wendy Veerman, Joop Oonk and Katja Grässli | An inclusive practice: in discussion with experts (NL)

Expert session
Inclusion in the performing arts is becoming an higher priority and the subject is getting more and more interest. But how does this work in practice? How do you get started? What should you pay attention to and how do you finance your inclusive project? In order to give insight into the daily reality, experts offer a quick peek behind the scenes during short introductions. Next, we’ll have discussions in smaller groups so that your questions and experiences can be shared as well. In this workshop, Sonja Parmentier (dancer, choreographer and teacher), Wendy Veerman (senior advisor donations VSB Fonds), Joop Onk (artistic director at Misiconi Dance Company) and Katja Grässli (choreographer) will give acte de presence.

Sonja Parmentier is a professional dancer, teacher and choreographer. Several years after completing her education at Codarts Rotterdam, while she was working as a dancer and teacher her body slowly started to change and with that, her life. One thing didn’t change: her love for dance. Now, the wheelchair is her friend and she uses all of her professional knowledge and experience to draw attention to the fact that people with a disability should also be able to develop themselves at all levels of dance. She loves to share her passion for her profession everywhere, with a sprinkle of activism when necessary.

Wendy Veerman is a senior advisor at VSBfonds, a foundation that helps make projects in the cultural sector and the social domain financially possible. Working from the creed ‘Everyone participates’, the foundation has been promoting inclusion for years and encourages applicants to be open and welcoming towards their audience and participants. Physical accessibility is an important part of that. Wendy Veerman previously worked for Theater Instituut Nederland, the former sector institute for theatre and dance, and has excellent insights into the performing arts. VSBfonds is active in every discipline of art and heritage.

Joop Oonk is the artistic director and founder of Misiconi Dance Company. She graduated from Codarts and got her master’s degree in Dance Cultures at the University of Surrey with a specialisation in improvisation and choreography (2013). Misiconi DC is special and unique because of its expertise in the field of inclusive dance. The company sets itself apart in its productions and its open attitude towards the individual, regarding age, heritage and disabilities in all its forms. The work of Misiconi DC has toured both nationally and internationally.

Katja Grässli is choreographer and initiator of MoveToMeet. She strongly agrees with the Asian philosopher Raimon Panikkar, who says that everyone looks through his own ‘window’ to the world, and is not able to see the whole reality. With her work Katja Grässli intends to create a situation for people to meet, exchange and to come to mutual understanding between different people, cultures and ways of life from an artistic point of view. Sinds 2014 she realised several dance production’s, with a crossover of sign-language and dance, with an artistic quest about what deaf and hearing people unites and divide.