Abstract – reflections from abroad

Having recently returned from the Global daCi/WDA Dance Summit in Taipei, I have been invited to submit an abstract for the World Alliance for Arts Education (WEAA) Global Summit conference titled, ‘Cultural Encounters and Northern Reflections’. This conference is scheduled 7 – 10 November 2012 and will be held at the University of Lapland, Finland.

The Guiding Aims of the 2012 Summit are:

1.            Reviewing and developing the WAAE’s strategic plans within the areas of Research, Advocacy and Networking.

2.            Developing relationships between creative pedagogies and cultivations of knowledge-based societies that value the role of arts education in nurturing sustainable development, global solidarity, co-operation and human rights.

3.   Developing strategic partnerships between the WAAE, industry, civil society and government representatives.

Specific Objectives are:

The above aims are focused through the following specific objectives:

  • sharing international arts education research on pedagogy, curriculum, cultural sustainability and community engagement
  • reviewing and developing the WAAE alliance and strategic plans within the areas of Research, Advocacy, Networking
  • advancing understanding of UNESCO’s Seoul Agenda:  Goals for Arts Education

Abstract Title: Reflections from abroad

Dance changes the lives of the people that come together. It offers opportunities for people to grow as creative individuals and encourages pride and integrity in their work.

Inclusive dance practice changes attitudes towards people living with a disability by responding to individual needs of the dancers I work with. Embedding access into the creative processes, considering the audience and what barriers they might need to overcome to experience new work in a non-discriminatory way are measures for success in the Australian contemporary performing arts scene.

I will discuss how I work, my experience as a dance maker and educator in Australia and abroad and the processes I undertake to achieve excellence in what I do. This presentation will be divided into three parts:

1.     My background

Navigating a non-typical pathway through dance

2.     Examples of my work (video footage)

Next of Kin – no ordinary status family (2010)

3.     Reflections on speaking in an international forum

What are the key differences in language, practices, aesthetic values, ideas of collaborations, expectations of people with disabilities, expectations of audiences etc very much vary around the world.

I will pose several questions which include:

  • Is there a need to have more universal definitions?
  • Do we need to share and engage our practice more with others?
  • Should we be critiquing each other’s work processes and encouraging more dialogue? What constitutes good practice?
  • How can we inform each other about cultures of disability in a dance context?