Triple Bill

Touch Compass integrated dance troupe has just finished playing their new season show 'Triple Bill'. A week or so before the show kicked off at Auckland's Concert Chamber The Edge, I caught up with founding company director Catherine Chappel and Choreographer and performer Suzanne Cowan.

Read the review here.

Touch Compass

Left: Adrian Smith and Suzanne Cowan in Grotteschi. Right: Suzanne Cowan (left) and Julia Milsom in Six.

Slip I’m not falling I’m just hanging on for as long as you hold me.
Jesse Johnstone-Steele and Emilia Rubio inSlip I'm not falling I'm just hanging on for as long as you hold me.

Slip I’m not falling I’m just hanging on for as long as you hold me
Slip I'm not falling I'm just hanging on for as long as you hold me. Left to right: Julia Milsom, Emilia Rubio, Daniel King (back), Alisha McLennan, Jesse Johnstone-Steele (back), Kerryn McMurdo.

Photographs by Kathrin Simon.

Is China modernising its approach to disability issues?

The China Disabled Persons Federation is part of the Chinese Department of Internal Affairs, and Madame Tang combines her role as Federation vice-president with that of Member of the National Peoples Congress. It makes for an interesting exchange of information about the relationship between central government and community services. But it's information that Madame Tang and her colleague Dr Chen are obviously intrigued by. It says something about the future direction of Chinese government and its workings with the non government sector, not to mention business enterprise.

One of our site visits is to a community business enterprise - Abpost, an agency that specializes in employing disabled people. And whose wages are topped up to minimum wage by Work and Income if the productivity of each worker falls short. Keeping tabs on progress for Abpost workers is Workbridge placement coordinator Dave Barry. As a wheelchair user, Dave Barry is himself a source of interest to our guests. And coming from a nation that traditionally bans disabled people from driving, Madame Tang and Dr Chen seem inspired by the adaptation to Dave Barry's car

Nothing like an object lesson in equipment that enables disabled people to function fully in their profession. Although the notion of a disabled person as a professional job seeker for other disabled people might be quite novel for our guests. But maybe not so novel as it might've been. I sit down with Madame Tang in between appointments, and she says one shouldn't underestimate the positive impact on attitudes in China of the Beijing Paralympics.