Going for Gold – power, passion and the Paralympic Games

Going for Gold – power, passion and the Paralympic Games

A major new production staged at Glyndebourne and performed by artists with learning disabilities will premiere on Glyndebourne’s main stage on 1st April 2012.

Gold Run illustrates the power and passion of the Paralympics, articulating the captivating story of the learning-disabled athletes welcomed into the Atlanta Paralympics in 1996, but later banned from competing in the Paralympic Games when the Spanish basketball team fielded non-learning disabled athletes. Gold Run welcomes back into the Paralympic fold the learning-disabled athletes who previously faced a challenging 12 year ban.

Gold Run is the creative response to this controversial history, communicating a powerful story through compelling film, music and visual art – the project brings together learning-disabled and non-traditional artists in the creation of a bold, multi-genre performance. This creative production incorporates a 30-strong choir, original films and one giant sculptural head – designed and created by artist James Lake.

This powerful new production is a collaborative arts project supported by Glyndebourne’s visionary education department and delivered in conjunction with renowned disability arts organisation Carousel and Pallant House Gallery, the home of Modern Art in the South. The production features a chorus of singing fictional athletes who passionately relay the highs and lows of this compelling Paralympic story.  Specially commissioned films are projected onto screens to illustrate the fast paced sporting action and artistically, the cast and creative team behind the project include both learning disabled and disabled artists working alongside able bodied and non-learning-disabled individuals.

Supporting the project are two of London 2012’s most exciting Paralympian hopefuls, hotly tipped for winning action this summer. Sophia Warner, Team GB 100m and 200m short distance runner and Adam Field, Team GB wheelchair Tennis player have both supported the project from the outset and feature at the heart of the production via a creative film section entitled movie memories; Sophie said: “Working in support of a multi-disciplinary production is something that is close to my heart. I passionately believe in advocating support for anyone who faces challenges as a learning disabled individual and believe we must harness the creative skill and talent held by so many people with a learning disability; we must enable individuals with learning disabilities to reach their potential in the arts.”

Gold Run has been made possible thanks to a large number of donations including support from Arts Council England and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. Produced in conjunction with Pallant House Gallery and Carousel, this timely new production is an original commission created and presented by The Carousel Singers (conducted by James Redwood), Oska Bright filmmakers; Matthew Hellett and Sarah Watson and Outside In artist James Lake. These captivating artists are supported by learning-disabled, marginalised and non-learning disabled artists from across the South.

Sally Abbott, Regional Director, Arts Council England, said, "Arts Council England are delighted to support Gold Run,  a  production which has been devised and  delivered by three of our National Portfolio Organisations - Pallant House, Glyndebourne and Carousel  - and which will tour to two more, Brighton Festival and Chichester Festival Theatre,  before the year is out. With the South East as the home of the Paralympics because of Stoke Mandeville, it's great news that a collaborative, multi-art form project like this exists, articulating the fascinating story of the Paralympic Games through artistic practice and by such talented people. It's great news that it will be performed this summer as part of the South East's 2012 celebrations and I look forward to seeing the final production and congratulate all involved for producing something which brings such a fascinating story to life in such an imaginative way."

The final piece will also be performed live at The Corn Exchange, Brighton Dome (21st May 2012) and at Dilston Grove Gallery, London and the Chichester Festival Theatre later in the year.

Following the live performances the work will be transformed into a digital installation, Gold Run: Re-Mix, which will be exhibited throughout the Paralympics at Dilston Grove Gallery, Southwark Park, before touring nationally as part of Pallant House Gallery’s Outside In initiative.

Comments

It was my first trip to Glyndebourne yesterday to see the Gold Run. The perfect setting for an amazing performance. Congratulations to everyone involved in the production.

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