James Cousins Inclusive Dance for We Are Epic
“Dance pieces are always shaped by the bodies of the dancers, I was eager to see how the different bodies could create something new.” – James Cousins
We Are Epic Director, Anthony Evans met James Cousins at the Edinburgh Festival in August 2017 and they began discussing the possibility of James working on an international collaboration with Epic Arts. Ant and Onn Sokny, Co-Directors of Epic Arts, were excited to push the Epic Encounters Company to a new level of professionalism and James was excited to work with dancers with different bodies and abilities and to explore their diverse style of movement. A successful proposal was made to the Arts Council and British Council to fund James to visit Kampot to create a new original piece that would be his first piece working with an inclusive company.
“For me bringing out performers individuality is an exciting part of every creation and I hope to be able to do this whilst also commenting on the fact that often disabled people, in fact most minority groups, are put into a singular box and seen as ‘other’ from the seemingly (to themselves) homogenous majority”
– James Cousins, Choreographer
James touched down in Cambodia in August 2018, for a month long production with 7 Dancers form Epic Encounters the collaboration culminated in the new piece, ‘In Softer Skin’ which is now on the Epic Encounters repertoire and available for booking for international festivals, and shows.

Cloaked in uniformity seven personal stories unravel and intertwine in this emotive new work by James Cousins. In the blink of an eye we form perceptions of those we meet. As seconds turn to minutes and minutes to hours these passing thoughts harden into fixed ideas/prejudices. It’s only through looking deeper, through knowing that difference is surface level, that we begin to see each other in a new ways. We discover our shared histories. And we begin to view the world in softer skin.

Choreographer: James Cousins
Executive Producer: Anthony Evans
Cultural Advisor : Onn Sokny
Project Manager: Hayley Holden
Project Assistant: Po Sakun
Dancers: Ork Savy, Yoem Mary, Lay Saan, Soy SreyNoch, Phonr Vireak, Kim Socheat, Onn Chameroun

Photographs by Hayley Holden for We Are Epic / Epic Arts