in 2003, Somersault is a long-term project designed to develop a
sense of community around people with disabilities, their families,
friends, and colleagues through the arts. In particular, those with
intellectual & multiple disabilities who are involved in day
activity programs, but increasingly the project is catering for
people with all types of disability, from many different backgrounds.
in the project takes place through annual programs of workshops
& events. Workshop outcomes range from the creation of artefacts
& artworks, to rehearsal & performance of music & movement
based productions. Workshops take place in a range of host communities
in metropolitan & regional South Australia.
outcomes (artwork and performances) are showcased as part of the
“Creative Village” indoor/ outdoor installation. As
more communities participate, their lives & creativity add to
the Creative Village experience. The Creative Village setting has
also hosted dance, theatrical, & musical performances at a variety
of locations, such as the Adelaide Festival Centre Plaza & the
Semaphore Street Fair. Somersault Events promote & demonstrate
the capacity for disability & mainstream artistic & cultural
integration, as they feature mainstream & disability culture
artists, performers & audiences side by side.
of Somersault’s 2009 program include the Creative Village
Installation, & a performance & visual arts workshop series
travelling to the Clare region of South Australia, continuing to
provide an opportunity (for people with disabilities, audiences,
& community artists) in regional areas to participate in an
exciting community cultural development project.
major emphasis of our 2009 visual arts workshops will see participants
create brightly painted & decorated market umbrellas. Participating
communities & disability organisations keep their finished umbrellas,
& are encouraged to bring them along to collectively feature
at disability culture & mainstream community events, in addition
to utilizing & displaying them in their workplaces & communities.
successfully modelled this “Umbrella Meme” as a symbol
of disability inclusiveness & creativity, Somersault is keen
to increase project participation & continues to extend its
reach throughout South Australia’s disability & arts sectors.
The resulting “flotilla” of decorated umbrellas becomes
a highly visible & recognisable link between numerous disability
crowning event on the 2009 Somersault program will see an “Umbrella
Fest” event staged as a major two-day highlight of the City
of Port Adelaide Enfield’s “Port Festival” on
Friday & Saturday, October 9th & 10th. This event will invite
participating communities & their painted & decorated umbrellas
together from across the state. It will feature an inclusive &
diverse program of performance, including performances from current
& previous Somersault participants, as well as some of South
Australia’s leading disability arts ensembles, & diverse
array of accomplished mainstream performers.
Director & initiator Tony Doyle is blind, & has had sight
impairment throughout his life. Through his work (CV available on
request) he has been an acknowledged & effective international
advocate for, & demonstrated his commitment to, the global Disability
Culture Movement. The principles of this Disability Culture Movement
(including disability self-determination & self-direction) continue
to inform & guide the development of the Somersault Project.
2009 Events Overview
2009 sees the culmination of a unique disability arts project. Beginning
in 2003, “The Somersault Project” has involved many
people with a disability, their families, support workers and carers
in arts workshops and major events, and in creating new and exciting
art works and performances.
core themes of The Somersault Project have been:
– of the power and richness of disability culture through
performances and major events
Installation – the transformation of spaces through the Somersault
“Seetainer Creative Village” into a dynamic and exciting
place for workshops and events
Journey – for participants, as they develop their talents,
express themselves and connect with the broader community.
2009 sees the staging of 4 major celebratory events that embody
these core themes. A “flotilla” of painted market umbrellas,
created by people with disabilities in Somersault visual arts workshops
features alongside a disability inclusive program of performances.
All takes place against the striking backdrop of the “Creative
AT LE FEVRE – Friday, April 3rd
is a coming together of people with mainly intellectual and physical
disability on day activity programs, and the wider community. Many
participants in day activity programs are always on the move looking
for exciting options and experiences – a community need addressed
through The Somersault Project – and do they like to party
and get involved in this high participation event.
LAUNCH - SOMERSAULT AT THE GOV – Tuesday, June 2nd
is a performance event that aims to feature many of the companies
and artists that have been part of the Somersault Project over the
last 5 years. From Tutti Ensemble to No Strings Attached, Restless
Dance Theatre, Chris Finnen and many more this will be a day of
high quality entertainment, featuring many of the painted umbrellas
created to date.
AT CLARE – Friday, September 4th
continues taking its energy and creativity to regional SA, bringing
together Adelaide based artists and performers to work in conjunction
with those at a local level. Clare region music & visual arts
workshops will culminate in this exciting daytime community celebration.
- SOMERSAULT AT PORT FESTIVAL 09 – Friday & Saturday,
is Somersault as part of a major festival, again featuring disability
culture alongside mainstream artists and companies. It will see
all the elements of Somersault, from community participation to
high quality performances, the transforming power of the Seetainer
Creative Village, and the flotilla of umbrellas along with those
who have made them. Celebration, Installation and Journey marks
the culmination of the Somersault Project in this major 2 day event!
project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the
Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding & advisory
Department of Families & Communities have contributed funds
towards this program.