ATHENS, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) -- A contemporary dance performance of people with and without disabilities was held at the Athens Concert Hall on Monday evening to mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
Three female dancers from the famous UK Candoco Dance Company, a mixed troupe of disabled and non-disabled dancers performed to raise awareness on the lack of inclusive opportunities for disabled people.
"The message is that dance gets better as much more people get to it. We celebrate a sense of ability and difference profoundly. Dance is about inclusiveness, by inviting all people," Ben Wright, artistic co-director of Candoco Dance Company, told Xinhua.
Under the title "Culture, our common expectation; People with or without Disabilities," the Greek Ministry of Culture organized the dance act along with a two-day workshop to make culture more accessible to people with disabilities.
According to the latest data released by Eurostat, one in four EU citizens has suffered long-term disabilities as of the end of 2017. In Greece, people with long-term disabilities accounted for 24 percent.
"The persons with disabilities can, as far as possible, begin from the same starting line and to have the same opportunities with the other members of the society to actively and equally participate in the social, economic and political life of the country," Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos said in his message.
"Our main goal is to have equal education. To have access to culture," Filareti Papadopoulou, who has cerebral palsy and attended the dance workshop stressed.
For Filareti, dance is a joy. She participates in dance workshops for people with disabilities in the last five years, and she loves it.
We met her during the workshop as she was preparing to leave aside her wheelchair, warm up and take part in the dance improvisations.
She felt frustrated and excluded as there are only workshops and seminars to attend in the Athens. She would like to have the opportunity to do more.
Prior to the performance, people had the opportunity to take part in the workshop where they worked creatively with movements under the guidance of dancers from the Candoco Dance Company.
Mickaella Dantas born without a right leg and Olivia Edginton without any disability showed to the attendees that they were both equal and there were no physical barriers to practice.
Candoco Dance Company has been acclaimed for the contemporary dance rather than the disabilities of some of its members.
"Through the workshop, we saw how a disable and a non-disable dancer practice and perform on equal terms," Nina Alkalae, a professional dance teacher who took part in the workshop said.