Forbidden Identity

Billy Read & Andrei Dragunov

Present a Tutting Workshop and work in progress performance

Funny Things Festival, Wolverhampton

Date: Saturday 2nd November

Time: 5pm

Venue: Chancellors Hall, Wolverhampton University

Andrey is one of the most advanced tutting artists in the world, he’s also deaf. After stunning audiences at Deafest, Andrei returns to Wolverhampton to the Funny Things festival. For the first time, he will collaborate with Walsall based, Deaf street dancer, Billy Read to lead a tutting workshop and show a short section of their new work in progress, Forbidden Identity, commissioned by Birmingham Dance Hub.

Tutting involves the movement of fingers and arms to create shapes in a unique form of dance. The workshop is fully accessible to deaf and hearing participants. 

Age 12+

  • Workshop leaders use BSL and International Sign language,
  • Interpreters will be available throughout workshop.

Forbidden Identity received an Integrated Dance Artistic Commission
Dance Hub Birmingham – Amplifying and connecting dance in Birmingham and beyond

Billy Read

Twitter @DefMotion @masterbilbo

In 2011 Billy Read founded the Deaf dance crew Def Motion. By 2013 the company was dancing at CLIN D’OEIL The European Deaf Arts Festival in Reims, France. In 2014 Billy Read began to work with Opera Circus and was a collaborating artist for 4 years on “The Complete Freedom of Truth” project, where he taught dance and created performances with young people from 7 European countries.

Billy’s interest in making dance shows that deal with oppression and appeal to young audiences is informed by this work. In September 2015, he made a new street dance show involving 30 people for the Birmingham Weekender Festival. Billy has a strong network of International Deaf Promotors and regularly works abroad, and collaborates with Deaf dancers. In the same year, he made new work with Antoine Hunter of Urban Jazz Company in the USA and presented new work at The Bay Area Deaf Dance Festival. In recognition of the disparity of opportunity for Deaf people in the mainstream, he supports emerging Deaf dancers here in Uk and abroad. In 2016, Billy Read received Arts Council funding to collaborate with Giulia Marchetti who is based in Italy and is trained in a popular Indian classical dance style. The twenty-minute dance show was promoted to Deaf Indian and Pakistani audiences and young people. “Like Mirabai” used British Sign Language to tell a story and fused Indian dance with street dance. In 2017 Billy Read received an UNLIMITED International R&D award, that was produced by mac Birmingham and Deaf Explorer. It was a collaboration with Hong Kong-based Street Dancer Ariel Fung.  In 2018 Billy Read was Supported by Unlimited to apply for another R & D from Arts Council England. In late 2018 he completed Sign Criminal R & D and performed to over 150 Deaf people and presented work to young Deaf people and children. In 2019 Billy Read delivered week long residency at Braidwood School, Communication Specialist College, Doncaster, Royal Derby School for the Deaf.