Sharlene wants to create 55-minute hip hop dance theatre piece, My Journey, that addresses the stigmatisation of disability in society, she will touch on her experiences dealing with local councils, the NHS & social care workers and how the relationship between a mother and daughter changes when the parent becomes disabled.
11 years ago, Sharlene’s life drastically changed when her mum had a car crash that evolved into a severe disability. Sharlene’s mum Pat now suffers with Ataxia Cerebellar, a condition that has left her wheel chair bound and needing social care support to do every day things, due to the damage in part of her brain that controls muscle coordination.
This traffic accident has had a life changing effect on both Pat & Sharlene and their mother and daughter relationship. Using the form of spoken word and hip hop dance, Sharlene wants to combine her passion for hip hop dance and working within the Barking and Dagenham community to create an autobiographical work retelling this powerful story.
Sharlene has been successful with Arts Council England funding, which will support her three-week creation of My Journey and partially cover the cost of her project. However, to create this personal piece into the sophisticated production Sharlene envisions it to be, she is fundraising an additional £6000 to work with disabled director Liza Vallance, Artistic Director of Studio 3 Arts and cover the rest of her outstanding creative costs. This will enable Sharlene to create a personal yet poignant piece of hip hop dance theatre with sophisticated theatrical content and high production values.
As well as creating her own 55 minute dance theatre piece, Sharlene will pair 3 local youth street dance companies to 3 professional hip hop dancer's from My Journey to create a piece of work together to act as support pieces to the evening of work. The 3 youth companies will create a professional piece of work that is centred around themes from Sharlene's story but told from a young person's experience. This money raised will also go towards paying the 3 professional hip hop dancers to mentor the next generation of dancer's and choreographers in creating a piece of hip hop dance theatre.
My Journey and the community dance pieces will be presented at the Barking Broadway Theatre on Thursday 20th September to over 300 12-18 year olds from the Barking & Dagenham Borough. There will also be two public performances on Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd September.
Sharlene Carter is a dance artist that works with the hip hop community within the Barking and Dagenham borough. Over the last 5 years she has worked with Barking & Dagenham council, Creative Barking & Dagenham, Green Shoe Arts, Studio 3 Arts and Redbridge Drama Centre in providing opportunities for young people to experience and partake in high quality dance projects, whether that is watching professional shows, dance classes & workshops or outreach projects.
This project is supported by Arts Council England, Studio 3 Arts and London Borough of Barking & Dagenham.