Propel Dance, the UK’s first all-wheelchair professional dance company, who will perform their contemporary, reimagined version of The Snow Queen at three venues across the Midlands in April.

Birmingham-based Propel Dance will perform their contemporary, reimagined version of the fantastical fairy tale at three venues across the Midlands in April

white snow covered trees with masked blonde haired woman in grey dress on a wheelchair
The Snow Queen re-imagined By Propel Wheelchair Dance Company. Short Tour to Start in April

Propel Dance, a brand-new professional all wheelchair-user dance company based in Birmingham are delighted to announce a short tour of their premiere production of The Snow Queen, which will be the company’s first ever live performances.

The company secured investment from Arts Council England in the latest round of funding in November to pilot the tour to three venues in April. Led by an all-female leadership team, the company was instigated and founded by Helen Mason, a Birmingham-based Dance Artist with a track record of making dance for and with disabled people for over twenty years.

Suitable for ages 5+, The Snow Queen promises to be a captivating and enthralling dance production which focuses on the origins of the queen who brings endless winters. It will be brought to life by a talented company of professional wheelchair dancers. The production is a contemporary retelling through music and movement, based on the Hans Christian Anderson original story. The Snow Queen will visit The Old Library in Mansfield on Friday 14 April, Midlands Arts Centre in Birmingham on Sunday 23 April, and the Arena Theatre in Wolverhampton on Thursday 27 April.

The company is the first of its kind in the UK, and the four hand-picked wheelchair dancers alongside a professional wheelchair musician will rehearse at Midlands Arts Centre (MAC) in Birmingham for three weeks before taking the full-length show out on tour in front of audiences. The company features artists Joseph Powell-Main, Kat Ball, Lauren Russell, Ayuna Berbidaeva and Rebecca Fowler. Collaborators are musician and composer Kris Halpin, creative mentor Kimberley Harvey and access advisor Rick Rodgers.

Propel Dance’s Artistic Director Helen Mason said, “We care deeply about equity and equality of opportunity. It’s why we exist. There are few professional opportunities for wheelchair dancers, and we want to be that change; to create something that enables progression and inspiration to the future generations. We stand for compassion, inclusion, and representation throughout our dance projects and opportunities. Guided by our shared values, Propel Dance hopes to inspire, lead and propel change in professional wheelchair dance.”

Blond haired woman in wheelchair in grey dress. Red haired woman in purple wearing purple top and applying hairspray
Getting Ready For The Tour With Lashings of Hairspray

Amy Dalton-Hardy, Executive Director at Propel Dance added, “We are so excited to be able to shine some light on this exciting, long-overdue and much-needed initiative, and we can’t wait to share The Snow Queen with audiences this April. We would particularly like to encourage wheelchair users and their families to come along to these shows. The team at Propel Dance and our three partner venues are all committed to fully meeting the needs of our audiences, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch to let us know how we can support you. Tickets are available to book on a ‘pay what you feel’ basis. We know that price is a barrier for some, and we hope that this approach will give a wider range of people the chance to engage with the important work we do.”

Dancer Rebecca Fowler said, “I’m very excited to work with Propel Dance and be part of this ground-breaking project. Wheelchair dancers have been part of inclusive dance companies before, but I am eager to work in an all-wheelchair-user dance company and learn together as we create the show. I hope this will create many more opportunities for wheelchair dancers and be the first of many shows for the company.”

Propel Dance’s The Snow Queen is very kindly supported by the following organisations: Arts Council England, Cerebral Palsy Midlands, Midlands Arts Centre, Inspire Youth Arts, Sense and Arena Theatre Wolverhampton.

Propel Dance are grateful for the support of these organisations in enabling progression and inspiring the next generation of wheelchair dancers.

To find out more:

To book tickets:

The Old Library, Mansfield – Friday 14 April, 7pm: Book tickets

Midlands Arts Centre (MAC), Birmingham – Sunday 23 April, 7.30pm: Book tickets

Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton – Thursday 27 April, 7.30pm: Book tickets

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