Working with Zazel for the Bigger Plans Project co-produced with Lachi, has been an incredible journey!
Selecting outfits and accessories for her solo dance performance, was a mix of fun, excitment and learning.
A big round of applause for the star of our video: Ms Zazel O’Garra!!!
WHO IS ZAZEL O’GARRA?
I am a maker, a doer, a thinker, an African American disabled dancer, eternally entangled with the form. I work with the moving body as it relates to a myriad of variables, among them space, time, emotion, sensation, and energy. As a disabled artist, I want to show our vulnerabilities and strength. How we fall and recover, how we treat the parts of ourselves that love us, support us, the parts that we attempt to correct, chastise and obscure.
YOU HAVE AN INCREDIBLE PROFESSIONAL HISTORY: HOW DID YOU MANAGE TO REINVENT YOURSELF?
The struggles I faced in overcoming this set back were numerous. I could have quit what I love and moved on with my life. Instead, I decided to turn my setback into a comeback. I had the support of a loving family, and of a social worker who helped me erase all the fear I had. I knew I didn’t want to compete with my old SELF! Instead I focused on being a DISABLED ADVOCATE, ARTIST, EDUCATOR…DIVAWITHDISABILITY!
HOW WAS THE IDEA OF THE ZCO/DANCE PROJECT BORN?
I had a solo performance for the Brain Tumor Foundation during the Brain Tumor Awareness Day in NYC, a year after the surgery. I received a standing ovation from a packed audience of over 500 people. After the performance, I knew then, I had to start a company. God gave me back my life. Now it was time to give back to others.
WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR GREATEST SUCCESSES AS A DISABLED DANCER?
Oh, I performed at Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Lincoln Center, OFF-BROADWAY, WNBA, WNBC 4 andTelemundo 47.
DO YOU HAVE ANY FUN OR PARTICULAR STORY TO SHARE ABOUT YOUR DANCING STUDENTS?
My students are strong, expressive, charismatic, and will practice DAILY to get the job DONE! They are determined to have a good performance!
WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION WHEN LACHI TOLD YOU ABOUT THE BIGGER PLANS PROJECT?
I was SHOCKED!
Lachi is an incredible singer! I’ve often listened to her music and envisioned myself dancing to her songs! What an INCREDIBLE OPPORTUNITY!
YOUR DANCING ROUTINE IN THE VIDEO IS SO POWERFUL! WHAT WAS THE IDEA BEHIND IT AND HOW DID YOU FEEL WHEN THE SHOOTING WAS OVER?
The idea!!…BIGGER PLANS!!
THAT’S ME! THAT’S MY LIFE!
The Choreography was small, pulsating moves which quickly accelerated culminating in slow, sensual hand gestures. When the shooting was over I had a huge smile on my face!
I couldn’t believe we completed such an amazing work in such a short period of time!
WHAT DID YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT THIS EXPERIENCE?
I absolutely loved working with Lachi: such a TALENTED, BEAUTIFUL, AFRICAN, DISABLED, YOUNG SINGER!
THE CLOTHES AND ACCESSORIES YOU USE AND WEAR IN THE VIDEO, HAVE BEEN PROVIDED BY INTERNATIONAL SPONSORS THAT BELIEVE IN A MORE INCLUSIVE FASHION AND BEAUTY INDUSTRY: HOW DID IT FEEL?
I have to say, I felt AMAZING! The clothes and accessories were so unique and stylish!
WHEN SELECTING THE BRANDS AND ITEMS, I WANTED TO MAKE SURE EVERYTHING YOU WORE WAS GOING TO REPRESENT NOT JUST THE MEANING OF THE SONG, BUT YOU, ZAZEL. YOU HAD THE LAST WORD ON EVERYTHING - HOW DID YOU CHOOSE WHAT YOU WERE GOING TO WEAR?
I am a former model (Wilhelmina Model agency) and I wanted the clothes to accentuate my personality, my ethnicity and capture my LOOK!
WHAT IS YOUR MESSAGE TO THE FASHION, MUSIC AND ARTISTIC INDUSTRY?
I am looking forward to the achievement of full access for and inclusion of performers with disabilities by working conditions in, all areas of entertainment . Redefining the way to feel attractive again is what happens to many people who become disabled. Consequently, we have difficulty finding fashion and beauty lines that represent us since we feel they don’t keep us in mind.
EXCITING THINGS COMING UP FOR XMAS?
Keep an eye to our Facebook Page as we have a super performance live coming up on 18th December!
Learn More about Zazel:
[For your readers to know: Zazel is wearing Us, British and Italian brands – Smart Adaptive Clothing; Chiara Ferriolo; DisturbTheCancer; NeoWalk Stick; Parfait; Tee-Share
Images courtesy of: Zazel O’Garra, Lachi and Positive Exposure]