Making work with & for autistic young audiences

Wed 19 October

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Making work with & for autistic young audiences

Everyone has the right to artistic experiences – to have access to cultural activities and to express themselves. Young audiences with complex needs are often under-represented, underserved and face multi-barriers to accessing the arts.

Barrowland Ballet’s Artistic Director, Natasha Gilmore, will present insights into the development and creative process of her body of dance theatre and film work created with and for autistic young audiences. Gilmore will question how we might give young people agency from process to performance; what creative challenges and opportunities does this create; and what is the impact of this approach on the relevance and resonance of the work created?

The session will include screenings of her dance-film works Strings and Frames both created with children with complex needs, and reflection on the ongoing learning from highly successful performance work Playful Tiger, created with and for children and young people with complex needs. Playful Tiger was presented alongside Tiger Tale at Baboró International Arts Festival for Children 2019 and has toured all over the world.

This workshop is for artists working in dance and performance, and other creative professionals with an interest in making work for young audiences with complex needs. The workshop will include practical work as well as presentation and discussion, so please wear comfortable clothing and footwear.

Presented by Baboró in collaboration with Theatre for Young Audiences Ireland.

Barrowland Ballet is one of Scotland’s most exciting contemporary dance companies built around the artistic work of choreographer Natasha Gilmore. The company produces high-quality, accessible dance theatre performances and films which tour nationally and internationally. The work’s themes are delivered with wit and humour, and the insightful observations of human behaviour are rooted in personal stories. Barrowland Ballet’s work has gained critical international acclaim, touring to venues and festivals across the world. In 2017, Natasha Gilmore was the UK nomination for the ASSITEJ Award for Excellence for her work for young audiences.

Natasha Gilmore is passionate about working intergenerationally and with untrained dancers, seeing different ages and bodies onstage is central to her practice. In 2016, Barrowland Ballet established an intergenerational company, The Wolf Pack, which subsequently won the Most Innovative Project at the 2019 ‘Generations Working Together’ National awards. Most recently, the company has been recognised for contemporary dance work with and for neuro-diverse audiences and children with Barrowland Ballet complex needs. Barrowland Ballet’s latest video installation, Family Portrait, won the Best of the Fest at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2021, and their short film Whiteout became an award winner at San Francisco Indie Short Festival and Denton Black Film Festival 2022.