stArts with D
A performing arts ensemble engaging artists with disability in programs to build skills, co-create, collaborate and present disability-led performance works.
Incite Arts has produced Arts & Disability Performing Arts programs since 2005, nurturing and supporting relationships between collaborating and mentoring artists with the disabled artists and disability service providers. The quality and quantity of time spent together has forged strong bonds of trust between Ensemble members, creating a space in which to share stories and connect deeply with others.
In 2013 Incite initiated the formation of stArts with D Performance Ensemble, a group made up of a core of eleven people with disability (female, male, aboriginal and non-aboriginal) from 18 to 52 years old. The group was formed as a response to feedback from the highly acclaimed 2011 production Close to Me. Some performers wanted to continue as a group to build skills, and create and perform self-devised performance theatre. The group presented their inaugural work Somebody Everybody.
In 2014 Ensemble members, Tiffany Malthouse, Brandon Williams and Martin Armstead collaborated with Kat Worth and Incite artists/mentors to create the short dance film Meet You at the Edge. Brandon and Tiffany were proudly able to present the film premiere at the 2014 Arts Activated Conference, Sydney.
Tiffany was the NT representative selected to attend the 2014 Arts Access Australia and Weave Movement Theatre intensive workshops with UK-based artist Caroline Bowditch (An Australian leading the way in disability-led arts practice both in Australia and internationally).
In 2015 stArts with D engaged in two key skills development projects. One with Michelle Ryan, Artistic Director of the internationally recognised company Restless Dance, a leader in arts and disability dance in Australia. The other was with Katie Keys, writer and poet (aka Kate Larsen). These projects enabled the Ensemble members, along with local mentoring artists, including Miriam Nicholls, to explore new dance and choreographic skills and new artform skills with literary expression, through creating and combining poems with photography.
The stArts with D Performance Ensemble have been significant contributors to Unbroken Land since 2015 when the performers presented solo works for the first time.
2018 – 2020 saw new collaborating artist Lauren Jones engage with the artists for the Connect2Culture and Move Masters programs. Ensemble members continued to take new leaps in building their skills and performance capacity with the support of dedicated artists/mentors. The works created as part of these programs were included in Unbroken Land presentations.
2021 – 2023 sees the Ensemble undertake the creation and presentation of a new multi-art, immersive celebration event: Strong Feelings to share with new audiences. Access will be fundamental to the core aesthetic of the exhibition, ensuring inclusion for all.
On the ‘stArts with D’ Performance Ensemble
“There is a sense of camaraderie and friendship that has grown over time amongst this group. The delight and elation as they enter the rehearsal room each day is priceless and a joy to observe.”
On the experience of ‘Somebody Everybody’
“I love this show because it’s good fun. We practice lots and lots. It’s special to me because it tells my story of loss.”
“Thank you for the honesty of everyone’s performance and for the beauty of togetherness. It was magical.”