EMPOWER IN MOTION Gala Enlists Internationally Acclaimed Dancers

The gala will take place on February 7, 2024.

By: Dec. 07, 2023
EMPOWER IN MOTION Gala Enlists Internationally Acclaimed Dancers
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A host of exciting new names have been announced as part of Children Today's fundraising gala, Empower in Motion – A Ballet Inclusive, at Sadler's Wells on February 7th, 2024. This stunning evening of classical ballet and contemporary dance will feature show-stopping performances from both disabled and non-disabled dancers who share narratives of unity and inclusivity. All proceeds generated from the gala will go towards the charity's work providing specialised equipment, support and care to families across the UK.

The additions to the line-up are:

  • Daniil Simkin, a globally renowned male soloist and principal dancer previously associated with both the American Ballet Theatre and Berlin State Ballet, is scheduled to dazzle audiences with his Ballet performance of Le Corsaire, and a contemporary piece of which will be disclosed closer to the date.
  • Interlinked, a Neo-classic masterpiece by renowned choreographer Juliano Nunes, will showcase a captivating Pas de Deux performed by Yaoqian Shang, principal dancer and partner at the Birmingham Royal Ballet.
  • National Youth Ballet and Parable Dance will present a compelling film directed by Kate Church showcasing the work of their All In! Performance Company, alongside a short duet performed by All In! company dancers, capturing the power and magic of inclusive practice.
  • A Soloist from Propel Dance, the UK's pioneering first all-wheelchair professional dance company, will perform The Snow Queen title role.
  • Students from The Royal Ballet School will present a piece developed for the Ursula Moreton Emerging Choreographer (now the Frederick Ashton Emerging Choreographer), a prestigious choreographic opportunity designed to spotlight emerging artists.

Alongside the new names confirmed for the line-up, the first rehearsal images and footage have been released from one of the performances giving audiences a glimpse of what to expect on the evening. The video shows Alice Bellini, an award-winning First Artist at English National Ballet and Denecia Allen, a dancer from creative therapeutic company icandance rehearsing some of their performance of Reunion, a piece which celebrates their friendship and shared passion for dance.

Further details have also been released about the performances from the already announced acts below:

  • Gala ambassador Joseph Powell-Main will perform a duet The Sleepwalker, a contemporary reimagining of La Sonnambula, alongside leading dance artist Hannah Rudd. Joe is a professional dancer and choreographer who gracefully performs using a wheelchair and Hannah is an acclaimed dance artist. This compelling piece is devised by Alexander Campbell, Principal of the Royal Ballet with choreography by fellow Principal artist of The Royal Ballet, Kristen McNally. The piece is accompanied by a dramatic and powerful original score composed by Sophie Cotton.
  • Alice Bellini, an award-winning First Artist at English National Ballet, will grace the stage in a captivating performance of Reunion. She will be partnered with Denecia Allen, a dancer from icandance, a visionary company committed to providing therapeutic dance opportunities for children, young people, and families with lived experience of disabilities.
  • Stopgap Dance Company, internationally renowned for its innovative efforts in advancing disability access in the realm of dance, is poised to present a unique compilation of highlights from its extensive international touring repertoire spanning more than a decade. This gala performance will feature two distinctive works, including a solo piece and a collaborative group performance that brings together disabled and non-disabled artists.

Children Today is committed to making a positive impact on the lives of disabled children and young individuals across the UK. The charity is devoted to supporting disabled children and their families by providing essential support and life-changing equipment from adapted trikes and buggies to sensory equipment. Such equipment often enables better access to education, work and leisure activities, resulting in both improved physical heath and mental-wellbeing. 

Emma Prescott, charity director, at Children Today Charitable Trust says: “We're very excited to confirm this amazing line-up for Empower In Motion. It's fantastic to receive such overwhelming support from dancers of all abilities. “We believe dance should be for everyone and as we celebrate 30 years of helping disabled children and young adults, we hope to create a lasting legacy of inclusive dance for the next 30 years and beyond.”

One of the performers Yaoqian Shang said ‘'Empower In Motion has built an inclusive platform for artists of all abilities. It is truly an honour to be a part of this wonderful community and to support Children Today.''

Ross Freddie Ray and Henry Dowden, Producers of ‘Empower in Motion' “We can't believe the support we are receiving for this project. To have these dancers and organisations involved is a real testament to the spirit of inclusivity and the ambition that the ballet world can become a more inclusive space. It's going to be a wonderful night and we can't wait to share it with you. ”


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