Presenti Accessibili

Workshops, meetings, performances on performing arts and disability

The Project

Oriente Occidente means different cultures coming together, accessibility, embracing differences, education for beauty but also artistic research and innovation.

Proud of our work and building on these pillars, we have decided to organize an event to raise awareness on the topic of accessibility in the performing arts. This is unprecedented in Italy. In approaching these topics, the Italian Ministry of Culture and Region Lombardy have not only given a significant support but have also actively participated in organizing this event.

In the period 2018 - 2023 Oriente Occidente participates as Italian partner in EBA Europe Beyond Access, a project co-funded by the European Union, along with several other important European institutions (British Council – UK, Onassis Cultural Centre - GR, Holland Dance Festival – NL, Kampnagel - DE, Skånes Dansteater - SE e Per.Art - RS).

In the past years we have created the Italian network “Europe Beyond Access 2021-2023”, in which 51 Italian cultural organizations have signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at setting up a network of partners raising questions and inviting the cultural scene to discuss accessibility and inclusion in the performing arts, in order to raise awareness, disseminate knowledge and good practices, and encourage a greater participation and leadership of artists and cultural operators with disabilities.

In addition to Oriente Occidente, as the lead partner, the following organizations have joined the network to date:

EBA - Europe Beyond Access is the largest Arts and Disability project in the world.


In Europe, 12.8% of people aged between 15 and 64 years old have one or several disabilities. Considering the total European population, people with disabilities make up one fifth, i.e. 19%, of the population.

According to the 2019 Report by Istat, the Italian Institute for Statistics, there are 3.1 million people with disabilities in Italy (1.5 million of them are over 75 years old). President Mattarella has said that "This is a gold mine of energy and resources that Italy fails to exploit because it does not give them the opportunity to express themselves".

video-manifesto by Al.Di.Qua Artists

The severe limitations they live with hamper their cultural participation: only 9.3% of them go to the cinema, theatre, concerts or museums (compared to 30.8% of people without disabilities). And yet culture is an essential right in the life and experience of human beings. As the Dresden declaration also underlines, theatre and the performing arts "are powerful, majestic forms of artistic expression. They stimulate reflection and foster equality and democracy". This is not only a cultural but also a "political" function that is fulfilled through attendance and entertainment. This general and pervasive lack of knowledge prevents disabled artists, arts professionals and audiences from participating in culture.

Europe Beyond Access, with the First International Event entitled Accessible Present, aims to support an interesting generation of dance and theatre artists with disabilities.

We believe that the Italian and, indeed, European cultural sector, must necessarily investigate these issues and work concretely for the inclusiveness and accessibility of its audiences and workers” says Anna Consolati, General Director of Oriente Occidente, the Italian partner of Europe Beyond Access.

The Event


Workshops, meetings, events on the performing arts and disability
27, 28 and 29 April 2022

An initiative by Oriente Occidente, the Italian Ministry of Culture and Region Lombardy within the context of EBA Europe Beyond Access, the largest project in the world on art and disability, co-funded by Creative Europe.

In collaboration with Al.Di.Qua. Artists, the first Italian association of professionals established in 2020 by artists with disabilities.

27 April

10 am-12 pm and 2 pm-4 pm

Spazio Fattoria, 1st floor
Fabbrica del Vapore
Train the trainers, train the artists
Stopgap Dance Company

Join Stopgap Dance Company artists Laura Jones and Cherie Brennan to expand your inclusive dance practice.

This workshop will give away top tips and skills helping inform your current knowledge and is suitable for those who have experience in this area and those who are interested in discovering something new.

The workshop will be divided into two parts:

  • Inclusive Approach – An introduction to open language
    Stopgap’s approach to teaching (inclusion & rigour), What is open language & why do we use it?

  • Learning Differently
    To develop understanding of supporting dancers/people with learning disabilities (how everyone learns differently). Supported by an example class, with tools and tips Stopgap have learnt over the last 25 years of teaching.

Click here to enrol

Building the bases

Meetings organized by Al.Di.Qua. Artists

Day one sets the basics for our dialogue, agreeing on the languages to use and sharing the foundation story on which we can build.

Conferences and working tables are reserved to cultural operators.
To participate, please send an e-mail to

2 pm

Spazio Fattoria, Theatre
Opening session
Introduction by Marina Cuollo, journalist at Vanity Fair

3.15 pm

Spazio Ex Cisterne, Room 3
Lost in Translation. Disabilities on stage
Presentation of the book by Dalila Flavia D’Amico, in conversation with Marina Cuollo

4.15 pm

Spazio Ex Cisterne, Room 3
Presentation of the association Al.Di.Qua. Artists
Brief history of the movement and a first approach to the concept of accessibility

5 pm

Spazio Ex Cisterne, Room 3
What does "ableism" mean?
Al.Di.Qua. Young, the youth section of the association, introduces the topic of ableism

5.30 pm

Spazio ex Cisterne
Working tables
Room 3
Which forms of curation?
How to present, promote and protect the bodies of professionals with disabilities in the cinema and the performing arts
With Donatella Franciosi, film artist manager, and Giulia Traversi, manager and curator of the performing arts
Moderated by Dalila Flavia D'Amico
Room 1
A poetic audio description
A poetic approach to the narration of contemporary dance for blind and visually impaired audiences
With Camilla Guarino

6.15 pm

Spazio Ex Cisterne, Room 3
Closing remarks with Marina Cuollo, journalist at Vanity Fair

28 April

Strategies to practice alliances and connect worlds

10 am-12 pm and 2 pm-4 pm

Spazio Fattoria, 1st floor
Fabbrica del Vapore
Train the trainers, train the artists
Stopgap Dance Company

10 am

Spazio ex Cisterne
Working tables
Room 3
Deaf culture and its artistic expressions
10am-11am Chiara di Monte. The deaf language, community and culture
11.15am-12.15pm Chiara Pennetta [aka thé Undeaf]. The various nuances of deafness
12.30pm-1.30pm Maurizio Anselmo. The history of deaf theatre
1.30pm Lunch break
Room 1
Spaces, timings, tools of accessible communication - SOLD OUT
Presented by Elia Covolan [aka Elia Nadie]

3.15 pm

Spazio ex Cisterne
Working tables
Room 3
SHOWCASE: Three forms of artistic expression in LIS, Italian Sign Language: a song with Daniele Arcangelo Pino [online], a poem with Lorenzo Laudo, VV with Nicola della Maggiora
Room 1
The relationship between the blind and visually impaired and social media
Presented by Nicolò la Ferla [online]

4.45 pm

Spazio ex Cisterne
Room 3
Pop imagery: “one metre twenty
Marisol Agostina Irigoyen, actress with disabilities [online]
Rosario Perazolo Masjoan, author and director with disabilities [online]
Moderated by Marina Cuollo
Formal and informal training
Francesco Stefanizzi, actor with disabilities
Chisato Ohno, dance teacher at the London Contemporary Dance School [online]
Moderated by Maddalena Fragnito

6.30 pm

Spazio ex Cisterne
Room 3
Closing session


8.30 pm

Teatro Carcano
Feeling Good, FND/Aterballetto, choreography Diego Tortelli
Fine Lines, Skånes Dansteater, choreography Rosa Lopez Espinosa
Set and Reset/Reset, Candoco Dance Company, choreography Trisha Brown

29 April

11 am

Palazzo Lombardia, Sala Biagi
Presented by Marina Cuollo

Institutional welcome addresses:
Antonio Parente, Italian Ministry of Culture, Directorate General for the Performing Arts
Stefano Bruno Galli, Region Lombardy, Department of Culture Lombardy

In Italy today: the performing arts and disabilities

  1. Al.Di.Qua Artists | Demands by artists

  2. Anna Consolati, General Director, Oriente Occidente | The system and network of cultural organizations

  3. Donatella Ferrante, Consultant to the Italian Ministry of Culture | An overview of the industry

  4. Graziella Gattulli, Head of the Organizational Unit for Integrated Cultural Activities, Performing Arts and Autonomy | The experience of Lombardy

The market

  1. Charlotte Darbyshire, Artistic Director, Candoco Dance Company, United Kingdom

  2. Mira Helenius Martinsson, CEO and Artistic Director, Skånes Dansteater, Sweden

  3. Gigi Cristoforetti, General Director, Fondazione Nazionale della Danza /ATER Balletto

  4. Umberto Angiolini, Superintendent and Artistic Director, Fondazione Teatro Grande Brescia - Artistic Director, Triennale Milano Teatro

The policies

  1. Ben Evans, Head of Arts & Disability, British Council

  2. Walter Zampieri, Head of Unit Culture – EACEA Agency, European Commission

  3. Contribution by the Italian Ministry of Culture [contacts have been established for the attendance of the Minister of Culture]

1.30 pm

Closing session of the conference and refreshments

The Panel
Live Streaming

It will be possible to follow the 29 April conference online. To take part, please fill in the form.
A few days before, we will send you the link to access.

The Performance


Feeling Good, FND/Aterballetto, choreography Diego Tortelli

Fine Lines, Skånes Dansteater, choreography Rosa Lopez Espinosa


Set and Reset/Reset, Candoco Dance Company, choreography Trisha Brown

Openness to diversity, artistic research, dance and innovation merge in the work of three great national and international companies, in Triple Bill, an original triptych presented at the Teatro Carcano as part of the wider programme of PRESENTI ACCESSIBILI, the Italian event organized by Oriente Occidente within the EBA Europe Beyond Access, the largest project worldwide on the accessibility of art and culture.

The evening opens with two Mixed Doubles duets involving able-bodied artists and artists with disabilities: Feeling Good by Diego Tortelli, a co-production of Fondazione Nazionale della Danza/Aterballetto and Oriente Occidente: a poetic duet on the ability “to be” and “to feel”.

Tortelli defeats canonical beauty in the flow of movement, in the fragility of non-symmetry, to achieve the sublime. The second duet on stage, by choreographer Roser López Espinosa for the Swedish company Skånes Dansteater, features another couple, two delicate yet powerful female figures meet and expose the boundaries of relationships: what brings us together and what divides us? In Fine Lines, a refined poetics and strong physical element join in a vibrant, playful and at times ironic universe. Then the Candoco Dance Company, a pioneer in the integration of able-bodied and disabled dancers at professional level, takes us into the contemporary repertoire with a seminal work, Set and Reset, created by the great Trisha Brown in 1983.

Abigail Yager, a former dancer with the Trisha Brown Dance Company, has passed on to the Candoco performers the precise sequences of the original choreography and has guided them in a complex improvisation with the same instructions that Brown used with the company in 1983: keep it simple, act on instinct, work between visibility and invisibility.

On the notes of the song by the same title (Feeling Good, ed.) various multimedia effects unfold, inspired by the Vitruvian idea of "squaring the circle", within a clear and well-structured choreographic texture which is capable of making the two performers shine. And, finally, we were charmed by Fine Lines by the Catalan Roser López Espinosa. A veritable "pas de deux", produced by the Swedish company Skånes Dansteater.

- Hystrio on Mixed Doubles

Feeling Good

Choreography Diego Tortelli
Dancers Cristian Cucco and Annemieke Mooij
Light design Carlo Cerri
Video graphic design Michele Innocente
Lenght 15’
Co-production Oriente Occidente and Fondazione Nazionale della Danza/Aterballetto, as part of the Europe Beyond Access, a network co-founded by the Creative Europe a program of the European Union

Fine Lines

Creation and choreography Roser López Espinosa
Performers Madeleine Månsson and Anna Borràs Picó
Music Mark Drillich
Light design Mattias Jonsson
Costume design Åsa Gjerstad
Lenght 20’
Production Skånes Dansteatre, as part of the Europe Beyond Access, a network co-founded by the Creative Europe a program of the European Union

Rather than adapt the choreography to the performers, here the performers can happily adapt themselves to the choreography, and no matter whether they’re spinning a wheelchair, swinging a crutch or just extending an arm, it all just works – beautifully.

- The Guardian on Set and Reset/Reset
Set and Reset/Reset

Coreography Set and Reset (1983) Trisha Brown
Set and Reset/Reset (2016) Abigail Yager
Laurie Anderson (by courtesy of Canal Street Communications/Laurie Anderson Studio)
Costume design
Celeste Dandeker-Arnold OBE (original design of Robert Rauschenberg nel 1983)
David Lock (original design of Robert Rauschenberg nel 1983)
Chahine Yavroyan
Megan Armishaw, Joel Brown, Olivia Edginton, Tanja Erhart, Adam Gain, Laura Patay, Susanna Recchia, Toke Broni-Strandby
Migros Culture Percentage Dance Festival Steps


Buy your ticket here


PRESENTI ACCESSIBILI is organised by Oriente Occidente, Italian Ministry of Culture and Region Lombardy, in collaboration with Al.Di.Qua. Artists and Teatro Carcano.

The italian network

Accademia Nazionale di Danza – Roma
AMA Accademia Mediterranea dell’Attore – Lecce
Associazione Culturale Fuori Contesto – Roma
Associazione Culturale Teatro Menzatì co-gestore del Tex_Teatro dell’ExFadda – San Vito dei Normanni
Ater Fondazione – Circuito Teatri Emilia Romagna
BIG Bari International Gender Festival
Balletto Civile – La Spezia
BASE – Milano
C-FARA – Matera
Centro Nazionale Di Produzione | Virgilio Sieni - Firenze
CSC Cento Servizi Culturali Santa Chiara – Trento
Compagnia Menhir – Ruvo di Puglia
Compagnia teatrale L’Albero – Melfi e Matera
Compagnia Xe/Julie Ann Anzilotti, San Casciano Val di Pesa (FI)
Comune di San Vito dei Normanni
Danae Festival – Milano
Dancehaus più - Centro di produzione nazionale – Milano
ERT Emilia Romagna Teatro Fondazione
Factory Compagnia Transatlantica – Lecce
Fattoria Vittadini – Milano
FDE Festival Danza Estate – Bergamo
Festival Le Danzatrici en plein air – Ruvo di Puglia
Festival Tanz Bozen / Bolzano Danza
Fondazione Armunia - Castoglioncello
Fondazione Campania dei Festival
Fondazione Haydn di Trento e Bolzano
Fondazione I Teatri – Reggio Emilia
Fondazione Matera-Basilicata 2019
Fondazione Nazionale Della Danza/Aterballetto – Reggio Emilia
Fondazione Piemonte dal Vivo
Fondazione del Teatro Stabile di Torino
Fondazione Teatro Grande di Brescia
Fuorinorma – Brescia
IAC Centro Arti Integrate – Matera
La Luna nel Pozzo – Ostuni
Lenz Fondazione – Parma
MILANoLTRE Festival – Milano
MUVet – Bologna
Orbita | Centro nazionale di produzione della Danza di As. Spellbound – Roma
Orlando Festival – Bergamo
Pergine Festival – Pergine
Piccolo Teatro di Milano – Teatro d’Europa
Short Theatre – Roma
Teatro Carcano - Centro d’Arte Contemporanea Teatro Carcano s.r.l.
Teatro delle Moire Danae Festival – Milano
Teatro La Ribalta – Bolzano
Teatro Pubblico Pugliese - Consorzio Regionale per le Arti e la Cultura
Teatro Stabile di Bolzano
Teatro Telaio - Brescia
Triennale Milano Teatro
Versiliadanza - Firenze