Speakers

Jo Bannon

Jo Bannon is a UK artist making live art and performance. She has presented work in the UK, Europe, South America, USA, China and Australia. Jo’s work is concerned with identity, sensory perception and human encounters and her work attempts to unpick the ways we look, hear and sense our immediate environment in order to rethink or make unfamiliar these intrinsic human behaviours. Foto: Paul Blakemore jobannon.co.uk

Gianni Blumer

Gianni Blumer is an actor at Theater HORA. He performs together with Tiziana Pagliaro in the music video ‘Morgefrüeh’ by the Swiss reggae singer Dodo Jud. He took part in various HORA productions, amongst them ‘Disabled Theater’ (2012), ‘Freie Republik HORA’ (2013) and ‘Egotopia’ (2018). He also directs his own work, for example ‘SOLO: HUNGERSPIEL VON DER HÄLFTE VOM THEATER HORA’ (2014) on the central stage of the Zurich theatre spectacle (part of FRH2) and ‘HUNGER GAMES’ (2015) (a collaboration with Das Helmi).

Marc Brew

Marc Brew, artistic director of AXIS Dance Company, is an acclaimed International choreographer and trained at the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School and The Australian Ballet School. For over 20 years he has been a director, choreographer, dancer, teacher and speaker and has worked with the Australian Ballet Company, State Theatre Ballet Company of South Africa, Infinity Dance Theatre, CandoCo Dance Company and AXIS Dance Company. Since 2008 Marc has been dedicating time to his own choreography with Marc Brew Company. marcbrew.com

Amelia Cavallo

Amelia Cavallo is a blind, USA born theatre practitioner and works as a multi-disciplinary performer, musical director, lecturer and consultant on access and audio description. She is currently a PhD candidate at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London. She has performed with disability led theatre companies such as Extant, Graeae and Birds of Paradise as well as with regional theatres such as The New Wolsey, Theatre Royal Stratford East and The Royal Ex-change Manchester. 

Colette Conroy

Colette Conroy is an Associate Dean at the University of Hull. She is the author of Theatre & The Body (Palgrave, 2010), editor of Research in Drama Education and publishes on the connections between politics, bodies and performance, including disability cultures and sport. She has a background as a theatre maker and was an Associate Director at Graeae Theatre Company during the 1990s. She is currently working on a book project about the philosopher Jacques Rancière. colette-conroy.uk

Claire Cunningham

Claire Cunningham is a performer and creator of multi-disciplinary performance and lives in Glasgow, Scotland. One of the UK's most acclaimed and internationally renowned disabled artists, Cunningham's work is often rooted in the study and use/misuse of her crutches with a conscious rejection of traditional dance techniques. Her current works ‘Give Me a Reason to Live’, ‘Guide Gods’ and ‘The Way You Look (at me) Tonight’, a collaboration with Jess Curtis, have toured extensively across the globe. In July 2019 her new ensemble piece ‘Thank You Very Much’ will premiere at the Manchester International Festival. clairecunningham.co.uk

Jess Curtis

Jess Curtis is an award-winning choreographer and performer. He has created and performed multidisciplinary works with the radical SF performance groups Contraband and CORE and the experimental French Circus company Cahin-Caha. In 2000, he founded his trans-continental performance company, Jess Curtis/Gravity. He is a researcher, writer, teacher, advocate and community organiser in the fields of contemporary dance and performance and holds a PhD in Performance Studies from the University of California at Davis. Photo: Sven Hagolani jesscurtisgravity.org

Tanja Erhart

Tanja Erhart grew up in Tirol and studied Cultural- and Socialanthropology in Vienna. As a contemporary dancer she trained with Adam Benjamin, Sonja Brown, Vera Rebl, Michael Turinsky, ImPulsTanz, AXIS Dance Company and  Candoco Dance Company, which she joined from 2014 to 2017. Currently she shares her experiences and dance practice in Advisory Panels, Workshops and Conferences and performs in Farah Saleh’s ‘Brexit means Brexit’ - touring Scotland in May 2019 - as well as in Claire Cunningham’s first ensemble piece about the impersonation of Elvis Presley - premiering in July 2019.

Theater HORA

Theater HORA is the only professional theatre in Switzerland of which all ensemble members have a ‘learning disability’ certified by the Federal Disability Insurance. Besides the theatre ensemble, HORA also employs a band. At the centre of the current artistic practice is the long term project ‘Freie Republik HORA’, a laboratory for ‘learning disabled’ artists to direct, choreograph and perform their own works. On top of projects by the artistic co-directors Michael Elber and Nele Jahnke, there are regular co-productions with prestigious exponents of the national and international dance, theatre and performance world. hora.ch

Nele Jahnke

Nele Jahnke is the artistic co-director of Theater HORA, the only professional theatre company with learning disabled actors in Switzerland. She produced several of HORA’s works and, together with Michael Elber and Marcel Bugiel, conceived and manages the long-term experiment Freie Republik HORA (2013-?). From 2016 to 2018 she was a research assistant of the SNF project ‘DisAbility on Stage’ at the Institute for Performing Art and Film.

Sarah Marinucci

Sarah Marinucci, MA, is writing her PhD in theatre studies at the University of Bern (Switzerland) and is a research assistant at the Zurich University of the Arts, Institute for the Performing Arts and Film. Her dissertation, which is part of the SNF research project ‘DisAbility on Stage’ at the Zurich University of the Arts in collaboration with other Swiss universities and theatre and dance ensembles, explores the reception of works by learning disabled artists in Switzerland.

Kate Marsh

Kate Marsh is a disabled dance artist with over 20 years’ experience of performing, teaching and making. Her interests are centred around perceptions of the body in the arts and notions of corporeal aesthetics. Specifically, she is interested in each of our lived experiences of our bodies, and how this does (or doesn’t) inform our artistic practice. Her recently completed PhD focusses on leadership in the context of dance and disability and draws strongly on the voices of artists to interrogate questions around notions of leadership, perceptions and the body.

Nina Mühlemann

Nina Mühlemann grew up in Zurich and studied English literature in Basel and London. At the end of 2017 she completed her doctoral thesis in the fields of performance and disability studies at King’s College London, where she also worked as a teaching assistant. Since summer 2018 until spring 2020 she is co-directing the Future Clinic for Critical Care together with the artist Jeremy Wade, a socio-culturally animated performance project about the politics of care and disability.

Alex Oberholzer

Alex Oberholzer studied mathematics, literature and history of art (MA). He works as the editor for film at Radio 24 in Zurich. He is the president of the international short film festival ‘Look & Roll’, which focuses on disability, and is part of the programme committee of the Allianz cinemas Zurich and Basel. He is also a member of the board of theatre Hora and is on the advisory board of the Cybathlon (ETHZ). Once a month he is a guest at Moritz Leuenberger’s Bernhard matinee.

Edwin Ramirez

Edwin Ramirez is a stand-up comic and performance artist based in Zurich. He was nominated for Best Newcomer of the Swiss Comedy awards in 2017. His biggest performances so far include two television appearances for ‘Stand Up!’ at the Bernhard Theater, a live Radio Show for the SRF3 Comedy Talent Stage, as well as performances at the Bierhübeli in Bern and the Club Joy in Baden. rollingeddie.com

Alessandro Schiattarella

Alessandro Schiattarella was born in Napoli, Italy. In 2000 he graduated from the Rudra Béjart School, Lausanne. During the next 15 years he worked with several internationally renowned dance companies. His last creations ‘ALTROVE’ (AEROWAVES TWENTY 17 selection), ‘TELL ME WHERE IT IS’, ‘STRANO’ and ‘ONE AT A TIME’, focus on the theme of disability under different perspectives. Alessandro is currently following a master’s in fine arts at the FHNW Basel and in 2019 he will be artist in residence with the support of ProHelvetia Johannesburg. alessandroschiattarella.com

Sandra Umathum

Sandra Umathum is a theatre and performance studies scholar and works as a dramaturg. From 2013 to 2018, she was Professor of Theatre Studies and Dramaturgy at the Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Art in Berlin. From 1998 to 2002, she worked for various productions by Christoph Schlingensief. She received her PhD with her thesis Kunst als Aufführungserfahrung (a book on intersubjective experiences in exhibition art) in 2008. She co-edited the book, Disabled Theater, with Benjamin Wihstutz in 2015. Her new book on Postdramaturgien (co-edited with Jan Deck) will be published in 2019.

Jenni-Juulia Wallinheimo-Heimonen

Jenni-Juulia Wallinheimo-Heimonen is a textile and conceptual artist. She has exhibited in Finland and abroad and her short films have been screened at international film festivals. In 2016 she received the Municipal Art Award of Nurmijärvi and in 2009, the Finnish Disability Culture Award. Her film Reflector of Living Will won Best Screenplay at the 2018 Pisa Robotics Film Festival. From 2019 to 2021 she will make Empathy Objects with three years of funding by the Arts Promotion Centre Finland. jenni_juulia.fi