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Nakshatra SA – Miracle on Wheels

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Miracle on Wheels, the world's first professional wheelchair dance company arrives in South Africa in November and aims to raise awareness of the plight of persons living with disabilities. This special dance production company's visit is aligned to the month-long commemoration of Disability Month from 3 November to 3 December 2018.

 

Nakshatra SA and the IADA (Indian Arts Development Agency), will host the world's first professional dance company on wheelchairs in Johannesburg. The globally recognised 'Miracle on Wheels' dance company is a Bangalore-based operation under the guidance of Dr Syed Sallauddin Pasha, who recognises, nurtures and promotes the potential and talents of differently abled youth, to build tolerance, empower and embrace inclusivity.

 

Nakshatra in partnership with the Joburg Theatre will host a performance on Wednesday, 28 November 2018 to commence this project which will see South Africa advance the skills and empowerment for persons living with disabilities.

 

Nakshatra SA will partner with Miracle on Wheels over a 3-year period to leverage a deepened understanding of the needs of differently abled persons in society. The initiative confronts education, unemployment and a lack of opportunity within the sphere of the arts, and is a specially tailored therapeutic vocational training programme, that is professionally choreographed, to eradicate stereotyping.

 

"This project has brought meaning and relief for the performers and gives hope to the audiences where they feel inspired to learn new skills and contribute to the financial needs of themselves and their families," says Dr Syed Pasha.

 

Many people living with disabilities are not only coping to deal with their disabilities but are challenged by their environment which is often not equipped to meet their needs. This creates a barrier to employment opportunities. The programme will provide a creative and cultural platform to engage with beneficiaries and civil society; will ensure that a transfer of skills to benefit South African youth, is critically embedded in the initiative; nurture inclusivity and audience development, through holistic and dynamic edutainment programmes; and act as a catalyst for socio-economic empowerment through the creation of employment.

 

"As one of the leading artists of Miracle on Wheels, other than being an artist, I'm also a trainer and choreographer. Miracle on Wheels has developed me professionally to edit film and sound which is an additional source of income. Today I am financially independent and run my home with pride and dignity," says Ashiq Usman, a 27-year-old, who is physically challenged through polio.

 

Nakshatra is engaging with the business sector and various government departments on local, provincial and national levels to adopt this programme which will impact the lives of people living with disabilities which builds inclusivity.

 

The importance of sustaining education and awareness programmes cannot be more relevant and needed in communities which will deal with the issues of inclusivity in the creative space, for youth living with disabilities.

 

 

Background info on Nakshatra SA

 

Nakshatra SA plays a significant role in supporting the development of South African arts, artists and communities in the Gauteng and nationally, of persons living with disabilities. Nakshatra's multi-disciplinary approach, including a range of cross-arts and cross-cultural initiatives has been acknowledged for its imaginative and inclusive approach to creating and presenting the arts of the Indian sub-continent to audience in the South Africa and internationally.

 

Its intention is to promote the appreciation and practice of South African Arts by nurturing and developing talent in South African arts within the disability sector; promoting and co-promoting performances while delivering education-based programmes with schools and colleges.

 

Nakshatra organises conferences and meetings targeting South African arts professionals at national level focussing on people living with disabilities; developing and brokering ground-breaking inter-cultural projects in collaboration with artists and organisations seeking all-inclusive South African artistic contributions; participating in regional and national groupings interested in the advancement of arts development that includes people with disabilities. Nakshatra is well poised to open up links internationally by identifying and supporting visits by global artists to stimulate and complement SA practice.

 

Nakshatra is structured to appeal and to attract people from the widest part of our population in terms of its content. While there is an orientation towards popular culture, as a result of its primary audience being the youth, nevertheless there is no shortage for a more developed audience base.

 

This includes a string of performances, master classes and workshops where the idea is to introduce young people to a wide range of art forms in such a way that these forms become more accessible and meaningful for them. We are in a unique position, having both the interests of the youth and of the arts community at heart.

 

 

For more information please contact:

Jeremy Deysel

Media Manager

Tel: 078 400 0306