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ACO Move Diary

Posted on 1 Aug 2016 by Cristina Maldonado


Emily Dash, our ACO Move 2016 guest artist.

It is the ACO's vision to remove barriers for people with disability to participate fully in our activities and programs. This year, ACO Move had the privilege of creatively collaborating with Emily Dash, writer/actor/speaker with disability.

The program facilitator, Dean Watson, first met Emily in 2014 when they worked together in Social Network Stories at Carriageworks. “From day one I knew that Emily was a truly gifted artist” says Dean.

Emily’s brief for ACO Move 2016 was to diarise the project from within and create a written performance piece based on her observations. 



ACO Move participants getting familiar with the sound, look and feel of the cello.

I’m proud to have been engaged as a professional writer on the ACO Move program. Documenting and reflecting on the process each week has allowed me to clearly articulate what makes this program so important. First and foremost, it makes movement and music accessible to people of all abilities. But its benefits extend far beyond that, and still its premise is simple. It’s not concerned with any kind of polished performance. It’s just a group of people - participants, professional artists and facilitators alike - who come together to create, respond to, share and enjoy something beautiful. There’s an understanding here, and deep acceptance. It doesn’t matter who you are, what your story is or what challenges you face. For a moment, you can let go and be free. This is your time and your space to express whatever you feel inside, however you want. And in this world, that is a truly extraordinary thing.

Emily Dash


Participant conducting the ensemble.

Read below one of Emily’s pieces, written during her collaboration with ACO Move.

How to Be Alive
If you look at me with the sun in your eyes 
You won't see the sparks alight in mine
If you listen for my heartbeat like a whisper in the trees
You won't hear the thunder come 
Undone, the clouds begin to breathe in me. 
Unanswered questions, crossed wires. 
This is the storm that's in my mind. 
I cannot walk the line you drew for me. 
I need to speak up, break out, let my body move 
And I know 
This is it
This is how to be alive 


ACO Move 2016
Read Emily's full diary here.