Hahna Briggs

From Conversation: Difference is our Strength

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Dancers, Jenny Newstead and Hahna Briggs have been accepted to perform their duet, "From Conversation: Difference is our Strength" at the Undercover Artist Festival, Access Arts, Brisbane, Australia, June 26-27 2015.

But we need your help to get there. We have been given $1,200 from Arts Access, Brisbane and would like to match this amount through our Boosted campaign. The money you donate will help cover our expenses such as travel, accommodation, food, costumes, and studio hire.

Jenny and Hahna are part of GASP! Dance Collective, based in Dunedin, New Zealand. In addition to choreographing and performing for GASP! they co-teach the collectives inclusive community dance class (dance for people with and without disabilities).

The artists' have been engaging in a movement dialogue spanning 8 years, which has resulted in the following recent performances: "Creative Illusions" (Inaugural Disability Studies Conference, Dunedin, NZ, 2012) "From Conversation" (The Body Festival, Christchurch, NZ 2014) and "Difference is Our Strength" (The Dunedin Fringe Festival, NZ, 2015).

"Difference is Our Strength" grew out of ongoing movement conversations between the two artists. Hahna's view has been to use mobility devices as tools of play thereby taking the stigma of disability away from the mobility device. Whereby Jenny's view was to create an illusion of "sameness" to take away the preconceived prejudices of disability. Jenny's view has now changed to celebrating our differences as strengths.

Hahna developed "From Conversation" with a group of dancers with and without disabilities. We focused on exploring movement through our own group conversations and observations of strangers in public spaces. What emerged was a quirky interpretation of 'others' gestural movements and the power of the public gaze.

Jenny and Hahna aim to combine thematic and movement material from "Difference is Our Strength" and "From Conversation" to continue their ongoing movement dialogue. This will be performed as a 20 minute work at the Undercover Artist Festival.

Travelling to Brisbane will also be a great opportunity to take part in the Dance Integrated Australia Residency during the festival and network with Australian artists. Ideas, skills and choreographic techniques learnt during the festival can then be bought back to the Dunedin dance community and shared with other local artists.

We appreciate all the help we can get!


  • Our Journey So Far


    We made it to 100% We are so excited and grateful for all of the support! Extra donations will continue to contribute towards the overall costs but will also allow us to participate in the festival dance workshops and any other education events. Having the opportunity to learn new skills and network with other artists is important for our professional development!

    Jenny and I have been busy rehearsing and promoting our trip. Our story has featured in local newspapers and the local TV station.

    Local Dunedinites have the opportunity to watch our work before we head off to Brisbane. Come see us at Toitu on Sunday 14th June, 2pm. This is a FREE performance.


    Our Journey So Far

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