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Posted by Diversityworks on 15 December 2011, 2:30 pm in , , ,

Diversityworks Trust announces new community arts project

Diversityworks Trust is pleased to announce a new community arts project to take place in 2012. The "Images of Change" project aims to engage a group of creative people with unique and common function (disabled and non-disabled) to work together to create a performance narrative using the technique of image theatre.  

Image theatre combines imagery, tableauxs, physical movement and basic counter-balance/acrobatics. Socially aware physical theatre is used consistently in both developed and developing countries as a tool for conflict resolution, leading to a diverse range of people working together to create progressive, thought provoking performance.

"Images of Change" is informed by this global legacy of peace through art projects. The projects structure is adapted from the image theatre model used by Makhampom Theatre Company in Thailand, where the innate creativity and inner wisdom of each participant is highly valued. Dialogue is encouraged and there are no props or costumes. We produce engaging theatre through the reliance and use of our bodies and voices.

Diversityworks Trust aims to create social change through the relationship between diversity and creativity, having found that engaging with diversity through an arts project builds confidence, creative expression, a sense of self-worth and empowerment, a sense of achievement and an accumulation of creative social capital. The project aims to bring people together to create a unique performance expressing solutions to problems that limit our opportunity to celebrate and capitalise on the diversity within our communities focused on function (disability).

The project is tailored for around 40 participants, who are interested in both creative expression and social change. Six full day workshops will be spaced over three weeks in May 2012, facilitated by Sarah Houbolt and Edward Clendon.

Sarah is a professional circus and physical theatre performer, actress and community arts worker who specialises in aerials, acrobatics, hula hoops and fire. She has worked with Vulcana Women's Circus in Australia, Auckland circus theatre company The Dust Palace and as Community Arts Coordinator at Auckland City Council. In 2011 she built upon her applied theatre knowledge by spending several weeks in Northern Thailland, teaching circus skills to refugee children and working with Makhampom on their community theatre projects. Makhampom specialise in image theatre and are one of the leading community cultural development companies in the region, with excellent processes and sustainable outcomes.

Edward is an ex-gymnast, a trained actor and an experienced performer. His current passions are aerials, acrobatics, tumbling and handstands. Having studied teaching, Edward has studied teaching, has experience working with children with unique needs and adults from diverse backgrounds.  He uses image theatre to teach drama to children in primary schools and holiday programs, is Sarah's acrobatics and aerials creative partner, and is also a member of The Dust Palace, Outfit Theatre and Co. Theatre Physical.

Participants will gain performance skills and experience, increased connection and networks, as well as renewed awareness of diversity.

If you are interested in participating, please contact Project Coordinator Barbara Pike at barbara@diversitynz.com

(Photos show Sarah working with 2011 Be. Leadership participants.)

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