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It is not abouthow courageous they are; LDParts edited by Laura Davis.

Byline: Laura Davis

IT'S hard to hear the name of Heidi Latsky's dance work GIMP without feeling uncomfortable.

After all the term, originally meaning twisted fabric, has evolved into a terrible insult.

Yet her show, performed by four disabled and four non-disabled dancers, is far from pejorative.

A celebration of different physicalities, it casts aside any idea of what is perfect.

"You put people with a disability on stage and it's automatically a political act, especially in the dance world because it's not something you see that often," says the New York-based choreographer, who is bringing the work to Liverpool's disability and deaf arts festival, DaDaFest, for its UK premiere on Thursday.

"But it wasn't coming from a political place, it was coming from a genuine interest in these bodies and these people and what they could do that I could not.

"It was not going to be a sentimental piece, it was not about how courageous they are."

The name came from one of the dancers in the group, she adds.

"Lawrence (Carter-Long) kept coming in with these T-shirts that said 'Get ready to stumble' and 'Keep staring at me, I might just do a trick'," she explains.

"Then one day he came in with a T-shirt on that said 'Gimp' and I questioned him on it. "We looked up the definitions and we decided together that, as the piece got more edgy and as I learned more about the disability community and wanted to be a little bit more provocative, to use it as the title."

The work draws on all definitions of the word, including "interwoven fabric", which is expressed in the prologue - an aerial duet on silks performed by a non-disabled gymnast and his partner, who was born without legs.

"More than anything it's about the eight people who are in it," adds Latsky. * GIMP is at the Liverpool Playhouse on Thursday.


New York-based choreographer will be bringing her dance piece GIMP to Liverpool on Thursday
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:Nov 16, 2010
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