Journey from paralysis to performer

2 May 2016
Touch Compass Dance Company’s latest short film in its DanceBox series, Flipped: My Body Stopped To Let Me Remember, is a five-minute glimpse into dancer Renee Ball’s journey from paralysis to performer.

Six years ago, Renee Ball’s life was flipped on its head. Midway through a Bachelor of Dance Studies, the 19-year-old contracted Guillain-Barré Syndrome and within a few days she was paralysed.

Initially, Renee was able to communicate only through blinks and clicks. Five years of rehabilitation has seen most of Renee’s movement return.

Strength and fight to dance again

Through dance and music, Flipped is the story of Renee’s loss, and her strength and fight to dance again.  

Catherine Chappell, Artistic Director of Touch Compass, says the dance company has a profound impact on the lives of all its dancers. It also gives individuals like Renee the opportunity to dance and choreograph at a professional level.

Renee is a now a dancer, dance tutor, choreographer and dance judge based in Palmerston North.

“We take our role very seriously in challenging and changing views on what dance is and who can do it, and we hope Flipped goes even further to impact views around disability and the performing arts,” Catherine says.

The creative team

The film was led by Catherine Chappell and Director/Producer Romola Lang, along with Director of Photography and Lighting Ado Greshoff. Renee’s family also worked closely with the creative team to bring the story to life.

Catherine is the creative talent behind Touch Compass’ DanceBox series. Flipped is the fifth instalment in the series, and was filmed over two days at Corban’s Estate. It was made with funding from the Ministry of Social Development’s Make a Difference fund, Creative New Zealand and Foundation North.

Touch Compass’ DanceBox series is a community outreach project comprising a collection of short films that shine a light on profound personal moments that are life changing.

Flipped screens prior to selected films at The Victoria Theatre, Victoria Road, Devonport, Auckland from Thursday 28 April until Wednesday 4 May. Eddie the Eagle 12.15pm, 3.45pm, 6.10pm Tuesday 3 May, 12.15pm, 3.45pm, 6.10pm Wednesday 4 May) and Mother’s Day 11:10am, 1:30pm, 5:50pm Tuesday 3 May, 11:10am, 1:30pm, 7:50pm Wednesday 4 May).

Journey from paralysis to performer


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