27 Jun 2020, Sat
3pm – 4pm (GMT+8)


Zoom Webinar




Estimated Duration

Approximately 1 hour

How is an inclusive dance performance created? What is inclusive dance? What are the challenges of inclusive dance? Can we create a new dance landscape through inclusivity?

Join Gavin Webber, Kayah Guenther, a young man with Down Syndrome, and his mother Leanne Guenther from Australia as they discuss their insider’s perspective in creating and touring The Crossing.

Whether you are completely new, or would like to deepen your understanding of the inclusive dance and arts scene, come and participate in this discussion. The dialogue will draw upon real life examples from The Crossing to frame the meanings and philosophy of inclusive dance through Kayah’s background. Kayah, Gavin and Leanne will discuss their personal journeys and perspectives, reflect on ethical considerations and more in hopes of inspiring new insights to inclusive dance involving similar or different backgrounds and abilities.

The Crossing is co-choreographed and co-performed by Gavin Webber and Kayah Guenther. The work explores the desire for self-expression from two different artists and the meeting point between them. Gavin mentors Kayah in the use of dance and improvisation to express the way he sees the world, and the way he is viewed by the world. The unique bond that they share sets the stage for this moving performance where Kayah expresses his strength, masculinity and sexuality, alongside his vulnerability and sorrows.

The Crossing was originally programmed as a family-friendly, free public showcase for the 11th Edition of M1 CONTACT Contemporary Dance Festival’s Dance at Dusk this year. While the live performance has been rescheduled due to the pandemic, we would like to welcome you to join in the discussion on inclusive dance and inclusive arts on Zoom Webinar. The session will be moderated by Athelyna Swee, Festival Manager.

About the Speakers

Gavin Webber (Australia) The Farm

Gavin Webber started dancing late after many lost years spent hitch-hiking, skiing, writing, camping and studying. Eventually he decided to start making art instead and joined Meryl Takard’s Australian Dance Theatre and following that Belgian company Ultima Vez. Throughout his career, Webber has worked between Australia and Europe and as Artistic Director of Dancenorth from 2005-2009, he took the company from regional Australia to national and international tours. He is presently co-Artistic Director of The Farm, a company based on the Gold Coast, Queensland, whose work has been seen across four continents. With The Farm, he has collaboratively created works such as Cockfight, Frank Enstein, The Crossing, Throttle, The Ninth Wave and Helpmann Award Winning TIDE. In 2017 he was awarded the Sidney Myer Individual Performing Arts Award and in 2019 The Farm was awarded a Drover’s Award for Best Touring Production for Cockfight. He still writes, camps and studies but the hitch-hiking and skiing is over for the time being at least.

Kayah Guenther (Australia) The Farm

Kayah Guenther is a NSW artist whose practice crosses dance/theatre and film. He has a range of experience working with Gavin Webber (The Farm), Philip Channells (Dance Integrated Australia), Travers Ross (YT Dingo) and Paul Gazzola (OSCA). Through Screenworks, he collaborated with HW Collective and Gavin Webber on the award-winning short film, The Battle (2015). 2019 saw him in Adelaide with Paul Gazzola for the second development of Boys and Men, development and performance season at Metro Arts for a work titled Explain Normal with Daniele Constance and Phluxus Dance Collective and a development in Launceston at Tasdance with Gabriele Comerford titled The Gentle Warrior.Guenther travelled to Bega for a project titled Move Me with Gabriela Green Olea funded through Regional Arts NSW. He performed The Crossing with Gavin Webber at HOTA , Hong Kong and Kuala Lumper and a first development with his sister Maitreyah titled Siblingo – A Life In Translation at HOTA.

Leanne Guenther (Australia)

Leanne will often be found enjoying the beauty of nature and is passionate about learning and knowing that we continually need to push ourselves to do and be better.She has a Diploma in Community and Special Care which she acquired before the birth of her son Kayah who has Down Syndrome. She has always been passionate about equality and supporting someone to be the best they could be.

In 2012 she founded Studio Aperio so that her son and other people with disabilities could access professional dance classes, this operated for 5 years, and received an award for being a finalist in the Tweed Shire Access and Inclusion Awards. Through these classes the journey with Gavin Webber commenced. Since 2012 she has followed the path with Kayah, accessing as many dance workshops, mainstream and integrated opportunities as she can. She believes that finding the path to ones capabilities is allowing growth and opportunity to always be present.