Hiraeth, created in collaboration with 6 disabled and non-disabled dancers from Armenia, was choreographed by Jemima Hoadley in partnership with Candoco Dance Company and NCA Small Theatre, Armenia.
The production of Hiraeth was the result of the British Council’s Unlimited: Making the Right Moves programme, which facilitated exchanges between the UK’s Candoco Dance Company and disabled artists from Armenia since 2013. The programme of skills training and creative development led to the establishment of Armenia’s first inclusive dance company, consisting of disabled and non-disabled dancers.
Hiraeth, commissioned as part of the programme, premiered in High Fest 2015, at Small Theatre in Yerevan. Hiraeth opened the Glasgow Tramway Unlimited Festival 2016, marking the Small Theatre’s UK debut.
Hiraeth is a Welsh word describing a feeling of homesickness, possibly for a homeland that you have never visited. Hiraeth is a story of migration, statelessness and a longing for home. The stateless plight of the Armenian people is often underreported and overlooked in historical terms but seems an apt parallel to the wider refugee and migrant crisis that currently sees millions without a safe place to call home.
From Armenia, to Belfast, to Africa.
The British Council speaks to choreographer Jemima Hoadley (Candoco), director Vadan Badalyan (Armenia) and theatremaker Paula McFetridge (Kabosh) about their experiences placing marginalised voices at the heart of their work