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A collaboration between our Level Up Circus Academy and Disabled Youth training in our ‘Circus? You Can!’ program.
In 2022 a new process of creating and performing was explored with an outcome in August of a performance experience for our newest and most vulnerable performers – youth with disabilities. In this process these youth are referred to as the Story Tellers. They are given the floor to be the authors of this work and the authors of how they want others to see them. The 2022 presentation was staged in the Fremantle Town Hall during their local winter festival 10 Nights In Port. This experience tested the ensemble and creative teams processes and honed everyones capacity to create and perform together.
Since August 2022 we have continued to teach circus to 11 youth with disabilities of whom 6 are our Storytellers who will take us towards full production of this work in 2024. In 2023 we have a full creative team which now includes a Set Designer, Composer and Projection Artist – List of artists on the download. In early 2023 with the support of Telethon7 the creative team began working together to build the physical and sound container for the full show vision, and across this year we will test and adjust these components with our storytellers.
Natano Fa’anana: Director
Bryan Woltjen: Set Designer
Shenzo Gregorio & Jude Iddison: Co-Composers
Hugo Flavelle & Roly Skender: Co-Projection artists
Sarah Healy: rehearsal director and writer
Ben Kotovski-Steele and Nel Simpson: rehearsal directors
Adelaide Harney: Lighting Designer
B’Spoke is a thought-provoking and heart-warming circus and physical theatre show about a bespoke lighthouse – Walt – that doesn’t quite fit in with its counterparts. While it doesn’t have the same look or practical features as normal lighthouses, Walt possesses unique attributes allowing it to do more and teach us lessons about ourselves. Through charming storytellers and the magical world of circus, B’Spoke explores themes of individuality, acceptance, and the true meaning of beauty.
Our circus arts training program Circus? You Can! and Level Up Academy are transformative circus and performing arts programs designed for children and youth living with disabilities. Participants engage in comprehensive weekly circus classes, specialised choreography workshops for diverse body types, and captivating performances in clowning and physical theatre. Through the power of circus arts, the performance is a culmination of all the achievement throughout these programs which strive for a more inclusive society that celebrates diversity and provides equal opportunities for youth with disabilities.
B’Spoke and Circus? You Can! focus on identity and participation in society. We believe that the transformative power of the performance itself leads to empowering outcomes.
By actively engaging and participating in the performance, young people have the unique opportunity to shape their identities and be seen for who they truly are. Through this active involvement, they assume new roles as performers, forming meaningful connections with their peers and the audience, and becoming integral members of a vibrant community. This immersive experience within the performance context enables a broader range of social outcomes, fostering personal growth, empowerment, and a profound sense of belonging for all participants.
The program raises awareness about the abilities of young people with disabilities, challenging stereotypes and fostering inclusivity. It encourages community members to actively participate in and appreciate the arts by showcasing the talents and creativity of young people with disabilities.
To learn more about the impact and outcomes of CircusWA’s disabilities programs, and the QI-Disability evaluation framework developed as an outcome measure for Experience Collider, read our Impact Report with Telethon Kids Institute.
CircusWA acknowledges the Whadjuk people of the Noongar Nation are the spiritual and cultural birdiyangara (custodians) of the land upon which we train, create and perform.
Fremantle is Walyalup, sited on the banks of the Derbal Yerrigan. We recognise this land was never ceded and acknowledge our first people’s continuing connection to boodja (land), kayep (waters) and Noongar culture.
We pay respect to our Elders past and present.