Sprung!! Winter Masterclass Series

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“Best yet” “Set a new bar” “Loved working with your wonderful artists and tutors” “great food” “More, more more…!”

Thanks to all who were able to join us for the Sprung!! Winter Masterclass Series in July. Thankfully our balmy Northern Rivers winter put on a good show and some of us even SWAM (brrr) while others just breathed the fresh air and enjoyed visiting the coast for some whales and dolphin viewing.

Particular thanks to our incredibly talented and educationally masterful tutors: Travers Ross (HipHop), Peter Notley (Contact Dance) and Ira Seidenstein (Clowning- pictured bottom left- or didn’t I need to say that?)

Hope to see you next year!!

Photograph by Jodie Bailie




Its official: Sprung!! have been shortlisted for an Australian Dance Award for Outstanding Achievement in Community Dance for our work Encounters, choreographed by Michael Hennessy, with original compositions by Fred Cole and backdrops/video by John Rado. Congratulations to all of the dancers, creatives, and support team who brought this work to fruition.

“Encounters” drew from workshops with schools, festivals, Byron Youth Theatre, and a children’s hospital. Within it we explored identity, ability, and belonging, and acknowledged the difficult journey of individuation and Rumi’s possibility of wounded-ness or flaw, as “the crack where the light gets in”. We hold fast to the dignity of every individual and to creativity as the force that allows that light to be revealed.

The initial stage of development was funded by a Regional Arts Fund grant, and production was supported by partnerships with Drill Hall Theatre Mullumbimby, Park Lane Theatre Lennox Head, and by private donations for which we are immensely grateful.

We look forward to frocking up for the Dance Awards ceremony in Melbourne on September 24th, and rubbing shoulders with the greats in Australian dance, such as Bangarra and Sydney Dance Company, who have also been shortlisted (different category LOL).


Photograph of dancer Tara Coughlan by Katrina Folkwell

Introducing the “SHARE HOUSE” projects

Remember SHARE HOUSE life? The gourmet meals, the sense of tranquility, the fulfilling partnerships, the strong work ethic?
SHARE HOUSE is a disability-led funky dance theatre project which explores these ambitions, through the humour and antics of 5 young dancers, for whom “moving out” has these challenges and more!
Commissioned by both Newcastle Crack Festival and Lismore Art State Festival, the work-in-progress combines mime, physical comedy, and hip hop, with a nod to musical theatre with such tunes as “Lets Go Fly a Kite”, performed with laundry baskets. In both festivals the work will be site-specific i.e. specifically designed for performance to boutique audiences in an actual house, increasing the authenticity of the joys and challenges for the performers and the sense of intimacy for viewers. “Sooo cool!”, “Very funky”,”I love it!!!!! I want more !!!” say pilot viewers.

A spin-off from the show has been the desire to make a series of ultrashort films showcasing the five dancers as they paint the town red doing other ‘normal’ SHARE HOUSE activities: going to the laundromat, painting the living room, cooking pizza. This side project began as an opportunity to observe what might happen with these exceptional improvateurs at the intersection of rehearsal and everyday life, where reality meets whacky fantasy. Our pilot, shot by surf filmmaker Ishka Folkwell, is shown above. We’d love to hear from people their favourite SHARE HOUSE disasters, so we can incorporate these into future sketches!
Our original sketch was supported by an Accessible Arts Delineate grant, and is now seeking funding for further development. Please consider donating to Sprung!! to help get some more action happening!

This project features dancers Tara Coughlan, Max McAuley, Elizabeth Venn, Kayah Guenther, and Sinead Skorka Brennan, with mentors Michael Hennessy and Kate McDowell and producer Robyn Brady.

2017 Programme Launch


Want to be part of a community dance organisation that honours the creative spirit in all people? In 2017 Sprung!! has something for everyone:

First Sunday Open Doors (lunch included) for persons with an interest in dance and the ability to engage, on the First Sundays of Feb, March, April, May, June, August, September, November, and December from 1-4 with “Showing” at 4

First Saturday Clowning from 10-4 with Cheryl Wheatley, Sally Davis, and Kate McDowell.

“Dancing Stories” deaf-inclusive contemporary dance week with Anna Seymour, contemporary dancer (deaf) and Michael Hennessy, artistic director (hearing): April 10-13

Open Contemporary Dance week: 5 exciting tutors helping keen dancers move in new ways: July 17-21

Sprung!! Senior Ensemble and Share House projects- training and development for senior dancers by invitation.

For more information see the drop-down programme or Follow us on Facebook: Sprung Integrated Dance Theatre Inc

It’s a Wrap! Pics and Vox Pop from Encounters 2016

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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.

Four Dreams Development Update

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.