Black Swan Joins Festival's Disability Arts Alliance

Black Swan Joins Festival's Disability Arts Alliance

Perth Festival is proud to have commissioned You Know We Belong Together, Julie Hales' theatrical celebration of the power of love, the pursuit of dreams and living with Down syndrome which will have its world premiere with BLACK SWAN State Theatre Company at the 2018 Festival.

You Know We Belong Together, a BLACK SWAN, Perth Festival and DADAA co-production, will be a highlight of the closing weekend of the Festival next March. Co-created by Hales and BLACK SWAN Artistic Director Clare Watson, it was announced as part of BLACK SWAN's 2018 season launch on Monday, 28 August.

The involvement of the State's major theatre company is a significant step in the Festival's commitment towards greater access and expression for disability arts in partnership with DADAA (Disability in the Arts, Disadvantage in the Arts WA).

Festival Artistic Director Wendy Martin said: 'I am delighted that BLACK SWAN, under Clare Watson's leadership, has so wholeheartedly embraced the Festival's commitment to celebrate diversity in the arts. You Know We Belong Together brings Julia Hales, a unique new Western Australian voice, to the main stage. It is exciting for us to be co-producing this world-premiere production, a work that I know audiences will love.

'It is also an important milestone to have the extraordinary work that DAADA does now realised with State's leading theatre company and in the spotlight of the Festival. I couldn't be more excited by this outcome of our partnership.'

This is the first professional work for Hales, who has been developing her skills in writing, dance, theatre and on the screen for 20 years through DADAA's award-winning Community Arts and Cultural
Development program.

Working through the ground-breaking PIAF Connect program, the Festival and DADAA are in the third year of a partnership to support exchanges between outstanding artists with disability and the WA arts and disability community. Previous guest artists have been Claire Cunningham, Jenny Sealey and Back to Back Theatre.

DADAA Executive Director David Doyle said: 'This is the first time that a major Australian arts festival has invested so strongly in the disability arts community. The national impact of this is huge. Suddenly there is a whole conversation going on because of PIAF Connect and its focus on arts and disability.

'Julia Hales is a fantastic example of an artist, now writing and performing professionally, who has been supported through our programs,' Mr Doyle said.

BLACK SWAN Artistic Director Clare Watson said: 'BLACK SWAN is thrilled to co-produce with DADAA and Perth Festival.

'It has been a privilege to work with Julia Hales, who is an artist with over 20 years involvement with the team at DADAA. Her personal story and the research she has compiled about finding love and pursuing your dreams is inspiring and heartwarming.

'Collaborations of this nature allow us to have access to a wealth of ideas, experiences and build our community of artists and creatives here in Western Australia. This is a project that is a perfect combination of new friends and old friends collaborating to make a work that will feel really fresh and exciting for our audience.'

You Know We Belong Together is produced with the support of the Australia Council and the Blue Room LOFT program.

Supported by

FESTIVAL INFO: 08 6488 5555 - perthfestival.com.au For media interviews please contact:

Founded in 1953 by The University of Western Australia, the Perth International Arts Festival is the longest running international arts festival in Australia and Western Australia's premier cultural event. The Festival has developed a worldwide reputation for excellence in its international program, the presentation of new works and the highest quality artistic experiences for its audience. For 64 years the Festival has welcomed to Perth some of the world's greatest living artists and now connects with hundreds of thousands of people each year.

Wendy Martin is the Artistic Director 2016-19.

WHAT: You Know We Belong Together
WHERE: Studio Underground, State Theatre Centre WHEN: Mar 1-3, 7.30pm, Mar 4, 5pm
BOOKING DETAILS: perthfestival.com.au

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