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"Me Tarzan, You Jane?" OR "Me Marzipan, You Sane?"

  • Weil Park Hall Woolwich Road Woolwich, NSW, 2110 Australia (map)

RUCKUS ensemble collaborating with Epic Encounters during our 2 weeks residency at Epic Arts, Kampot, Cambodia in 2016. Photo credit: Jerome Pearce

This is a disability accessible and translational movement workshop

On the 15th and 16th of May Dean Walsh is running a two-day movement-based ‘creative translational methodology’ workshop. This workshop embraces aspects of his choreographic practice known as PrimeOrderly. It will be geared towards full integration for people who identify as living with or without disability and is for anyone who considers themselves professional or just a passionate amateur. In other words, all diverse bodies, minds and experiences are welcome.

Dean is a renowned dance practitioner; performer, choreographer, teacher, writer and researcher. He has 28 years professional experience working across Australia and internationally. Over the course of his career he has also worked in many wider community outreach capacities; conducting workshops and classes in movement play and creative expression for diverse groups of people in Sydney, Brisbane, Nowra, New York City, Edinburgh and London. These accommodated at-risk youth (including many LGBTQI youth), from traumatic and lower socio-economic backgrounds.

He has been working in the inclusive arts sector across Australia for the past eight years and has held many workshops for professional and non-professional artists living with disability – from high functioning to high support needs. He also works regularly with various disability groups (most notably with RUCKUS ensemble) and as tutor in performance at Sydney Community College for their Access2Ed performance course.

Over these two-days we’ll look at reciprocal methods of inclusion and communicating our personal and creative needs in order to feel as fully integrated into the creative movement composition process as possible. This means we’ll focus not only on integration methods between the facilitator-participant relationship, but also look at promoting co-participatory integration and best care-giving practices that aren’t condescending.

Dean identifies as living with hidden disability – this being Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC - Asperger’s Syndrome) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), compounded by other factors. As such, he is well aware and very sensitive to the confusions associated with sensory and information overloading, many who live with neurodiversity/disability can feel - especially relating to sound. This can include too many people talking at once, having too many options open at once or suddenly wanting to super-focus on one aspect of something because our minds became instantaneous 'fascinated' with and see multifarious possibilities where others cannot. Time exploring this can alleviate distress and "meltdowns" that can be very unpleasant to feel let alone for others to witness.

But this can be the very nature of given creative rehearsal exploration. But how can we be fully inclusive and allow everyone to have their chance, in their own time and space, to unpack creative ideas and apply them to movement compositions? How can we enable, not further disable, people who have never had the chance to even explore their potential as professional artists? These are leading questions we'll explore.

At the end of day two (3:30pm) we’ll hold a 30-minute show and tell performance of aspects of what we explored and discovered to members of Hunters Hill Council and anyone else who’d like to attend.

(photo credit: Tom Jones. Pictured: Dean Walsh, Matt Shilcock and Mel Tyquin, Underbelly Arts 2015, originally published by Realtime Arts)

No experience working inclusively?

This workshop is open to both those with experience working in integrative capacities with diverse abilities, as well as others who have very little or no experience in this practice, but are keen to learn some methods that promote best inclusive movement  practice. This includes having our unique lived experience and access needs heard and accommodated through various forms of expressing our needs and creative interests – conversation, writing, drawing – and applying these into adaptive and translation-based methods. Integration works both ways.

Read more about PrimeOrderly methodology.


$100 per person for both days or $60 a day. It’s recommended you attend both days as we’ll carry what we discover in day 1 over to day 2 for extended exploration. If you can only make 1 of the days, we’ll accommodate this.


Tuesday 15th and Wednesday 16th of May – 9:30am at the hall for a 10am start through to 4pm.


Weil Park Hall, Woolwich Road, Woolwich, directly opposite Marist Sisters College.

Getting there:

Car: Free all-day parking is available on Woolwich Rd (in designated zones) or on Prince George Parade which you can get to from Gladstone Avenue off Woolwich Rd.

Ferry: We recommend this as the most convenient (and picturesque) way to get to the hall. The F8 Cockatoo Island ferry is the one to get. They are only every hour so best to get the 8:45am which will get you into Woolwich Wharf at 9:15. I will be waiting there to pick you up and drive you to the hall – otherwise it’s a 15 min walk mostly up hill. (what a limber up!) We might need two trips for this, dependent on numbers, which is fine.

Bus: Get off buses at Hunters Hill Hotel then walk back to Fairland Community Hall on Woolwich Rd. From here, catch the 538 (Woolwich Wharf) but get off at Marist Sisters College (which is Serpentine Rd). Then walk down to the College (50m), cross the road to the park and you’ll see the hall on your left, nestled in amongst trees.

Support workers:

We’ll have another assisting Dean as support-worker. You are, of course, more than welcome to have your own support worker present.

Accessibility and the venue:

Weil Park Hall is an accessible venue managed by Hunters Hill Council. The Hall has bathroom facilities (toilet, shower, basin) and kitchen facilities (fridge, kettle, stove, utensils etc). There are also public toilets just outside which are wheelchair friendly and the hall has ramp access.

A note on Duty of Care and insurances:

Dean has worked for many years in highly responsible roles through major independent and government agencies / companies, including the Education Dpt, and has a current ‘Working with Children and Vulnerable People’ certificate and police check. These can be provided if needed.

He also has his EFR (emergency first response). He is covered with insurance – National Indemnity, Public Liability) - as is Chronology Arts, the not-for-profit charity producing these workshops. These certificates can be provided if needed.

Any further questions please feel free to email Dean or Andrew on 0430 120 327.