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Disabled IW carnival troupe lead the way at Britain’s Biggest one-day Carnival

The New Carnival Company was delighted to show its newest work – ALEGRIA Samba School – at Luton International Carnival last weekend. Despite local weather warnings, the event dodged the thunder and the rain, leaving the Alegria team to take the carnival by storm!

Alegria Samba School is a specially created carnival collaboration, involving costumes, drummers and dance performance. It has been produced with international partners from Rio Carnival in Brazil – Embaixadores da Alegria, the largest inclusive and disability led carnival group in the world.

It is being performed by members of VIVA Carnival Club from Ryde, IW College performing arts students and RAW Samba; disabled and non-disabled people working together to make great carnival.  Over 60 Island performers took part in the Luton Carnival presentation.

Alegria is being backed by Unlimited, a national commissioning body which supports and promotes the work of disabled artists.

The New Carnival Company has fundraised to initiate, create and tour the performance. It is planned to be shown at the IW Mardi Gras in Ryde on Saturday 30 June and throughout the summer at Liverpool Carnival, the Mayors Newham Carnival, at London’s South Bank Centre for the Unlimited Festival, and at Viareggio Carnival in Italy.

The theme for the new piece is the Atlantic Rain Forest (Mata Atlantica, Brazil) – A cry for Salvation. Saving the rain forest in Brazil is a topical issue which connects Alegria with Embaixadores in Rio. Individual dancers in the parade include traditional forest characters from Afro-Brazilian folklore, such as Gaia (Mother Earth) and Oxossi (the god/protector of the forests).

The New Carnival Company developed the idea to support their Mardi Gras ‘Global Biosphere’ theme for 2018, which is supporting the Isle of Wight’s bid to become an UNESCO Biosphere Reserve by 2020.

Frankie Goldspink, Creative Director of the New Carnival Company said

‘to be asked to perform at one of the leading carnivals in the country was quite an honour. We were invited by the UK Centre for Carnival Arts who organise the parade. They recognise the work that the New Carnival Company is leading on nationally in promoting disabled artists in carnival and inclusive best practice. We hope to be working with them in the future in developing Alegria as a national movement.’

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