Held on 8 July 2011 at Carriageworks in Sydney, the aim of this symposium, presented by Accessible Arts and managed by Sarah-Vyne Vassallo, was to demonstrate and expand inclusive dance practice in NSW. Leaders and innovative thinkers in dance from across the country shared their knowledge, experience and skills, to inspire new directions for inclusive dance practice.
Symposium participants included emerging and professional dancers with and without disability, dance industry professionals, teachers, choreographers, performers with movement background, educators with dance experience and arts practitioners with an interest in disability arts.
The symposium comprised a four-hour forum followed by a three-hour masterclass.
The forum was facilitated by Jeff Meiners, Lecturer of Education, Arts and Social Sciences at South Australia University, a forerunner in dance and disability education and outreach programs nationally and internationally. Panel members included:
- Philip Channells, Former Artistic Director of Restless Dance Theatre, an industry leader in the field of disability arts practice who has achieved national and international acclaim.
- Cathy Murdoch, Director of Ausdance the peak professional body for dance in NSW, who brought her wealth of knowledge in arts management and strategic planning.
- Tim Podesta, Artistic Director of Disassemble Dance Project, a creative development program in regional NSW that worked with disabled and able-bodied dancers to create a multimedia dance piece.
- Rafael Bonachela, Artistic Director, Sydney Company, international choreographer, choreographer in retire for Candoco Dance Company on elf UK’s leading integrated dance companies.
The three-hour masterclass that followed, offered a professional and integrated creative process for people with some dance experience interested in developing an awareness of improvisation techniques and training methods for working inclusively.