It’s a Wrap! Pics and Vox Pop from Encounters 20161

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SLIDESHOW OF MOMENTS FROM ENCOUNTERS by photographer Katrina Folkwell. To purchase DVD of Encounters go to Shop.

VOX POP (from more than 50 audience members eager to share)
What were your favorite moments/aspects of the performance?
The emotion of the bandages dance was heart-wrenchingly beautiful and so moving … Brilliantly conceived and professional executed… The whole performance was incredible! Not a dull moment… Unbelievably good choreography… The feeling of connection and empathy between the performers… This was more than a performance, it was witnessing- dancers giving themselves totally to achieving something exceptional… Found the performance between Tara and Sinead very moving… Dance and visuals went well together… Hard to say favourite, there were so many beautiful moments… Hand gestures, twirling. Pathos. Images behind seemed to match exactly what dancers were doing… Very moving touching amazing exquisite performance. SO glad I came… I loved how it varied in tempo, rhythm etc. I loved the rawness/ physicality of each performance… Seeing the dancers phenomenal growth and improvement, both individually and as an ensemble. Highlights: Sinead and Tara’s partner dance, Street Crossings (Sinead and Max and Lizzie/Asher in particular), Tara and Max duet… A balanced presentation with the exceptional merging with the ‘emerging’… The music was wonderful, the lighting, costumes and props were poignant and used with integrity and without excess… You could see the excellent result of lots of work, the performers were very relaxed and it all flowed… The incredible focus and love up there. Stunning choreography. The ending was breathtaking… The music, the gentle arms, the intimacy of dancers, the stories… People being themselves- finding a way to see through the dance to the soul of the person… Chair comedy was a brilliant beginning to a wonderful performance… The wholeness of integration between cast and crew… The attitude of the dancers, who dance with abandon and are really in the moment… It was all very moving, authentic… The whole show was just wonderful, congratulations!!

Did the performance shift your perception or pre-conceived notions of anything? If so, what?
Yes, that anything is possible.. I see the great work achieved and the personal joy of these performers.. Yes, we are all human beings who need each other.. Showed me what is possible when disability is explored artistically and deeply in its humanness and when people with disability are valued as full and creative members of the community… Confirmed the feeling that art is powerfully healing… Yes that such a coordinated approach could be pulled off… Yes, amazing what can be achieved with disability… The quality of dancing achieved… People can achieve anything. This performance is an example of this… The discipline and cooperation required was to a high level… Made me think about different types of people doing art… Just the amazing power of movement- Thanks so much…. I really enjoyed the inclusiveness of all different levels of skills and how beautifully they CAN work together… (12yo boy) I came thinking that it would be boring, but it was great! … I haven’t seen dancing performances for awhile, reminder and showed me how dancing is so for everyone and able to be a way for anybody to express themselves with their bodies… so beautiful, thank you… A lot could be said here. It certainly is a relief and a delight to encounter the humanness of those we describe as being disabled.. Definitely. I have more understanding/insight into disability now. Dance is such a great medium for conveying emotion and one felt so much of the performers emotions… I have at times been doubtful about whether or not Sprung!! could reach a more professional level and this performance put my doubts to rest… The performance exposes the wonder of movement and music as a universal language…. The diversity of talent and body types and agility within the disability sector. I had thought that all bodies were the same, but I see now hat there is a big difference between the trained and untrained body, regardless of [perceived dis]ability… The expressive nature of hands… Perhaps I hadn’t even thought too much about the importance of creativity. It brought out so much “soul”… Excited that given funding persons with disability can contribute to the arts and display such talent… Happy to see such expressive movement- it surprised me- pleased to be surprised! Satisfied that disability can add a dimension to art … I thought it would be “good”, but I was proven wrong- FANTASTIC!!… Polished ability or Finesse does not a performance make! The enjoyment and dedication [of these dancers] outshines all other aspects… Deepened my appreciation of the insights and skills of [these] performers.. Thanks for bringing joy and meaning to the lives of these performers. They have so much to give and you have brought that out. Thanks and well done to all.

“Encounters” at Mullumbimby and Lennox Head this October

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Sprung!!’s latest, beautiful dance theatre work Encounters explores the journey of individuation and the quest for identity and belonging with 10 dancers with and without disability.

This work has been two years in development, and is now in the final stages of polishing before two weekends of performance in the Northern Rivers.

The work will premiere at the Drill Hall at Mullumbimby on October 7,8, and 9, with a sneak preview as part of the Drill Hall Centenary Open Day on August 28th.

It will then be the centrepiece of an Arts and Health Weekend at Park Lane Theatre, Lennox Heads Community Centre, on October 15th and 16th. This will begin with the “Encounters at Lennox” event on Saturday evening from 6-9, comprising a buffet dinner with live music, Encounters performance, and a Panel discussion with dynamic guest speakers offering different perspectives on Disability, Arts and Health, including Lynne Seear, past deputy director of QAGOMA and currently Arts Program Manager at Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in Brisbane. Be part of the Encounter!!

On Sunday morning guests will have the opportunity for personal creative expression with workshops in ceramics (tutor Amanda Bromfield), clowning (tutor Sally Davis) and creative writing (Hilton Koppe), plus a matinee performance of Encounters for those missing out earlier. Get your hands dirty!!

Sprung!! perceives disability as secondary to the primary experience of being human, and acknowledges the unique potential of every human being for creativity and connection. The Park Lane Theatre is wheelchair accessible, and the Panel discussion and the “Creative Writing” workshop will have Auslan interpreters.

Sprung!! intends for the community conversation on Arts and Health to be interactive. We want to know if you have ever approached a health or disability issue through creative expression, and what happened when you did? Have you ever had a wound helped by a great work of art, music, or theatre? Do you think it is true when the poet sighs, “How well they understood suffering, the Great Masters”, (Auden) or, “Don’t turn away. Keep your gaze on the bandaged part. That is where the Light gets in …” (Rumi). Please post your comments on this site or email us at info.sprung@gmail.com Be part of the conversation!!

Encounters at Mullum October 7-9

https://www.trybooking.com/Booking/BookingEventSummary.aspx?eid=225382

Encounters at Lennox: The Dinner/The Show/The Discussion October 15th

https://www.trybooking.com/Booking/BookingEventSummary.aspx?eid=222231

Encounters at Lennox: The Matinee October 16th

https://www.trybooking.com/Booking/BookingEventSummary.aspx?eid=225382

Encounters at Lennox: The Workshops (Clowning, Ceramics, Creative Writing)

https://www.trybooking.com/Event/EventSearch.aspx?keyword=sprung

Photograph by Fiona Reilly of dancers Elizabeth Venn and Tess Eckert. Graphics by John Rado.

A Week of Silliness ;)

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Only 6 more sleeps until the first day of our inaugural Week of Silliness to be held at Tintenbar Hall, Tintenbar from 4-8 July from 10-4 pm daily*

Sprung!! welcomes Playwright, Actor and Dancer Kate McDowell in a co-producer role and as Thursday’s Tutor. We will also be joined by Sally Davis who has relocated to the Northern Rivers from Second Echo Ensemble in Tasmania, Julian Louis from NORPA, Genevieve Butler the Costume Queen, and Anna Yen from Playmoves in Brisbane.

The Silliness week is open to anyone with an interest in physical theatre and the ability to play joyfully … or anyone wishing to re-discover this!

Cost is $250 for the week or 75$ per day. Limited positions remain. Contact Robyn or Kate at info.sprung@gmail.com        Bank transfer details under current-projects/a-week-of-silliness

Photograph by Katrina Folkwell

*Note the First Workshop Day 4 July will run from 11-5 to allow for a previous hall booking.

 

Four Dreams Development Update

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We are proud to announce the outcome of our recent Australian Cultural Fund campaign in which we have raised $11,000- a big thank you to all our generous donors who have responded from near and far. As we have also won an Accessible Arts Delineate Grant for 2015-16 towards this project, we are very excited about the possibilities that lie ahead.

This project is unique in that Four Sprung!! Dancers: Tara Coughlan, Sinead Skorka Brennan, Max McAuley and Elizabeth Venn, are primary creative agents involved in the development of the dance work, being mentored by Michael Hennessy, Sprung!! Artistic Director, with support from theatre director John Rado and writer/facilitator Robyn Brady. Dancers will have creative input into all aspects of the final production, from choreography to costume to set design and staging. The creative process, which will be documented in writing, photography and film, will have intrinsic value both to the dancers themselves as increasingly discerning young artists, and to companies devising work with persons with intellectual disability.

The starting point for the project was a series of Artist Interviews done at the end of 2015 in which these dancers articulated their passions and dreams for the future (see Four Dreams). Sprung!! considers itself immensely fortunate to have four quite different dancers with disability who each have an extensive pre-existing dance vocabulary and strong ensemble abilities to draw from.

This week we are observing the emergence of preliminary dance phrases and exploring character and identity. We are also learning to recognise the emotion or intent behind a dance phrase and how this informs the movement and affects how people feel when they watch. The results are already mesmerising. Watch this spot.

Party Time at Sprung!! Open Doors

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April 3:  First Sunday Sprung!! Open Doors at Tintenbar Hall, this time with Tara Coughlan as guest artist, with Michael Hennessy leading more fun and merriment including a costume party, afternoon tea and a birthday cake for Rhys.

Be there or be square. First Sundays from 2-4:30, 20$. Showing and afternoon tea from 4, gold coin donation.

Sprung!! Open Doors.

We opened the doors on last Sunday to our brand new Sprung Open Doors Program. We were delighted to see old friends returning like Elsie Ruth Smith and Livi Rado, as well as Zac Mifsud, Julie Allen and Frances Smith. Special thanks to our core Artists Tara Coughlan, Max McAuley, Sinead Skorka Brennan and Elizabeth “Lizzie” Venn as well as Tess Eckert and Michael Hennessy. And a very big welcome to a new friend called Nicky Hocking.

We are also very lucky and delighted to welcome back Sara Tinning in her Disability Support Role. We are grateful to the Northern Rivers Community Foundation (NRCF) for making this possible with their generous grant as well as Accessible Arts NSW who are auspicing this grant.

The day was very successful, with the new format taking shape, of rehearsals in the morning 10am – 1pm and Open Doors from 2pm to 4pm. Our guest teacher was Max McAuley introducing the gang to his unique hip-hop techniques.

The showing in the afternoon contained some hypnotic work by everyone… it is clear that this year will find new energy and growth.

Photographs: Cathy McDouall – a big thank you to her.

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