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One last Spark

One last Spark

The Spark Festival was a terrible blow to my ego. I was repeatedly told I’m a genius, I was asked out on a date, I was told I’m an amazing woman and a great teacher and I was told, I like you. And while not everyone at Spark was happy all the time, there was a refreshing directness and honesty in how people communicated. Going in, I knew to expect an adventure, I just didn’t know what that adventure would look like. All sorts of unexpected things happened from a guy in my first workshop deciding he would lead the workshop himself to the woman who refused to participate throughout and then got up and genuinely thanked me at the end. It was a dance to discover how to allow people to be however they were and to have that work for everyone and for the fulfilment of the workshop. I’ve come out exhausted and all used up. And that’s how I like it.

It has been one of those life experiences that nothing anyone could have said beforehand would have impacted the fact that I simply had to experience it for myself. I am a different human being.

Love

Danica

The Spark Finale

The Spark Finale

Here’s a snapshot of the concert from this year’s Spark Festival – for adults with intellectual disabilities to explore what’s possible inside the Arts. After two days of back-to-back workshops, the participants choose a group (or two) to be in to perform in the grand finale concert.

Walking into the auditorium, the grand reveal was behind heavy black curtains – a world of wonder, colour and awe. The space had been transformed as we walked through the hula dancers greeting us and gazed up at stilt walkers in incredible costumes amongst jugglers, trapeze artists and heart sculptures. It really was moving.

And so the concert began – wait until you see the final act by aerial artist, Paul Nunnari, grand final participant in Australia’s Got Talent. This guy will blow your mind.

Love

Danica

Put this on your Bucket List

Put this on your Bucket List

When was the last time, if ever, you shared a hug with a person who has Down’s Syndrome? I’m on the dance floor at the Spark Festival Disco when the last song is played and the disco lights are suddenly replaced by fluorescent lights and the night is over. I walk past a group of people I haven’t met yet when a young man turns around and sees me looking over at them. His face lights up with an immense amount of joy at seeing me then he opens his arms and comes straight over. We share a delightful hug and walk out together, waving goodbye at the door. It made me wonder – what would the world be like if all human beings greeted each other that way and received each other that way. I wonder if joy is actually our natural resting state, our natural self-expression?

Love

Danica

 

Preparation for the Spark Festival

Preparation for the Spark Festival

I’ve been invited to lead 9 singing workshops over 3 days this week at the live-in Spark Festival! The whole thing ends with a concert (oh my god, where’s my costume?! Oh, that’s right, it’s not about me.) I’ve created a workshop called:

Sing your Heart Out

Your body is an orchestra with voice as the main instrument. Discover the joy of singing together as we use our bodies and voices to explore sound, rhythm and song. Enter the symphony of music: we will sing our hearts out with an uplifting modern song.

Each group will come in for 45 mins and participate in the workshop. On the third day, the participants get to go back to their favourite workshop and be in that group for the concert.

Did I mention the participants have an intellectual disability? Hardly seemed relevant and yet central and integral as the Spark Festival was developed in recognition of the barriers to participation for many adults with an intellectual disability in the Arts. Adrienne Coulter is the spark behind the Spark Festival – a woman with a big heart and committed to making a palpable and tangible difference.

See last year’s fun here:

Love

Danica