After having spent a lifetime being an inspiration to others, Dan Daw is finally seizing the moment to inspire himself. “The Dan Daw Show marks an important moment in my life, as I take time to reflect on what being in my power means as a queer, Crip man navigating a world not designed with me in mind. With this work, I begin to let go of who I once was to make space for who I want to be and it is, ultimately, a celebration of my finally arriving to a place in my life where I’m able to take ownership over my body.” Dan Daw, Artistic Director and Performer Teaming up with theatre director Mark Maughan (The Claim, Petrification), Dan takes ownership of Creative Team the beautiful mess that encompasses all that he is, and lets go of who he once was to make room for who he wants to be.
The Dan Daw Show is a peep into the shiny and sweaty push pull of living with shame while bursting with pride. This is a show about care, intimacy and resilience, about letting go and reclaiming yourself.
Dan Daw returned to Sadler’s Wells with a new London premiere, after curating a Wild Card evening in 2017. In The Dan Daw Show, Dan is unburdening himself of any notion of expectation. After having spent a lifetime being an inspiration to others, Dan is finally seizing the moment to inspire himself and let go of who he once was, to make room for who he wants to be.
“The Dan Daw Show is a clear statement to the world that achieving joy is an act of resistance. It’s an ever changing process that requires great energy, care and clarity. At the centre of all this is Dan, whose willingness to make from the heart, and with integrity, humour and vulnerability, is nothing short of extraordinary. Collaborating with our brilliant team on this piece is a true reflection of the interdependence at the core of the work and I so look forward to sharing it with audiences this Autumn and beyond.” Mark Maughan, Director
The Australian dancer showed to us what pride means and he felt more free than ever! All his life Dan has been told that his body is not correct and that it had to be fixed because of his disability. He was told explicitly that he could not be a dancer. With this performance Dan proves us all wrong. He identifies as “crip” during the show and explains how he has managed the last years to build again from scratch the relationship he has with his body. During this show, Dan redefines the definition of kink, joy and pleasure and uses BDSM as a way to communicate, express and demonstrate the deep level of care and desire that is included with kink practices.
This performance was one of the best performances we have seen lately. It is very empowering and eye-opening showing how people with disabilities are often unfairly excluded from several things in life and demonstrates the inequality and stigma that exists towards disabled people. Dan Daw connects perfectly with the audience and shows how each body can and deserves to be celebrated.
Born disabled – he identifies as “crip”, reclaiming the word, and prefers not to detail his condition – Daw, 38, grew up in an outback town in South Australia and showed a talent for performing from a young age (his grandmother was a dance teacher). During a drama degree in Adelaide, Daw discovered that working with his body was what made him buzz, which led him to dance, to the UK, to Candoco dance company and then to making his own honest and autobiographical performances, the latest of which is The Dan Daw Show.
Despite his certainty that his body was his best creative tool, Daw has been on a real journey with it. “I’ve had to pull apart and rebuild the relationship I had with my body,” he says, “and I’m only in the past couple of years starting to really find the joy in my body, because I still felt an immense amount of shame.” The Dan Daw Show is about him finding a way to own what he calls his “messy” body, “and finding my crip joy inside that”.
Further dates will be announced later this year.