Beyond the Walls 2022

Published by: Kabuku PR | 1-Dec-2022
Dancers embodying powerful stories from incarcerated youth.
Venue: Sydney Dance Company
Address: Wharf 4/5 , Walsh Bay Arts Precinct, 15 Hickson Rd, Dawes Point NSW 2000
Date: 10 - 15 December
Time: 7pm
Ticket: $0-$60
Buy / Ticket:
Call: (03) 9654 3257
Celebrated Australian arts company Phunktional will bring their extraordinary dance work, Beyond the Walls to Eagle Vale High School on December 10th, and Sydney Dance Company on December 14th and 15th, 2022.

This inspiring program of original dance works was choreographed by young people incarcerated in Youth Justice Centres, directing the professional dancers. First presented in 2019, the public performances of Beyond the Walls, including a sold-out performance at Redfern Community Centre, were acclaimed by audiences.

Throughout November 2022, Beyond the Walls once again visited two NSW youth justice centres – Frank Baxter and Reiby Youth Justice Centre, workshopping five brand new dance works to present to audiences. They worked with the young people aged 11 to 19, encouraging them to share experiences and stories in the form of dance and directing the dancers. Together, they found a collective voice for their individual experience.

Inspired by the heart-breaking stories of young people in Youth Justice Centres, artist, dancer, and social activist Gerard Veltre wrote his first educational theatre production in 2007 to educate and support other young people from making similarly avoidable and painful mistakes. Phunktional has since collaborated with artists on projects across the country, and more than 350,000 people have been a part of or seen their work.

In the lead up to the performance at Sydney Dance Company, Gerard Veltre, and members of Phunktional will host a series of performances and events across NSW to raise awareness of youth incarceration and mental and physical health of young people. The program will include a screening of the dance films created in Frank Baxter Youth Justice Centre and a live performance of a dance piece created by the young women in Reiby Youth Justice Centre. There will also be a Q&A panel featuring the artists from Beyond the Walls after the performances.

Phunktional Founder and Artistic Director Gerard Veltre said the company is thrilled to be able to share this immensely powerful, uplifting, and inspiring work with new audiences across NSW.

“This is a unique opportunity to see work created by incarcerated youth, to support their journey of healing and to celebrate their achievements by sharing their stories beyond the walls” he explained.

Phunktional is passionate about providing equal opportunities for diverse communities and using the arts as a vehicle for creative expression to inspire change and to confront social issues of concern.

“At Phunktional we are passionate about creating art that enables a greater diversity of human perspectives and experiences to be heard here in Australia and internationally. Working with young people, and in this case with young people in youth detention, provides them with the skills and support required to experience positive things in their life and affect real change.

It is also an opportunity for us as a society to have conversations about whether we continue to lock up children and what the alternatives might be. New and innovative approaches are needed to engage and support young people who are at risk of incarceration” concluded Gerard.

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