Doing Things Differently, a week-long event dedicated to celebrating diversity within the arts, will be dancing, vaulting and talking its way into Bristol from 14 – 21 September.

The 2016 Rio Paralympics has made waves with the celebratory #yesIcan tagline, which has extended into the realms of art, music and everyday life as well as sport. But accessibility and disability is just one aspect of Doing Things Differently, whose aim is to mirror the rich diversity of the UK on stage and within various art forms.

This ethos will shine through in myriad events across venues in Bristol this September, including shows, exhibitions, workshops and talks covering a variety of thought-provoking topics. So what exactly can you do at Doing Things Differently?

Falling in Love with Frida

Leading UK disabled artist Caroline Bowditch tells the story of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo through song, dance, and lashings of humour. Kahlo was renowned for her uncompromising attitude toward the female form and portrayal of Mexican indigenous traditions in her work, which is still celebrated internationally today, and Bowditch combines this feminist energy with her own tale of empowerment.

When? Saturday 17 September, 7.30pm

Where? Circomedia, Portland Square, Bristol, BS2 8SJ


11 Million Reasons

11 Million Reasons is a series of photographs by Sean Goldthorpe, featuring deaf and disabled people who love to dance. The exhibition was a commission by People Dancing, a UK organisation dedicated to providing opportunities for those who wish to experience dance. The aim was to use powerful imagery, inspired by iconic dance moments in film, to place deaf and disabled people who dance in a positive light.

“I hope people will look at these images and smile, sense what a great time we all had making them and see disabled dancers – and disabled people more generally – in a new and refreshing light.” – Sean Goldthorpe, photographer

When? 14-21 September, 12pm – 6pm

Where? SPACE, 6 West street, Old Market, BS2 0BH

doing things differently

Sean Goldthorpe’s images recreate famous film dance scenes, including this image based on the Chicago tango

State of the Nation

Prepare for action as this full day of discussion, performance and debate tackles some important questions surround the arts and inclusion in the aftermath of the EU referendum. Guest speakers include Anu Giri,  executive director of Dance Umbrella, Vicki Amedume, artistic director of Upswing and writer and historian Dr Edson Burton.

When? Friday 16 September, 10am – 7pm

Where? M Shed Bristol BS1 4RN


At the centre of Doing Things Differently will be a beautiful free circus show from Extraordinary Bodies, the UK’s leading integrated circus group, in Castle Park. This high-rig, acrobatic performance will tell a tale of love, loss and discovery backed by a five-piece band and a unique 200-strong community choir.

Doing Things Differently are recruiting members of public ahead of the event to join the mass singing at the finale of each performance, and are keen to feature as many Bristol residents as possible. Visit the website to register your interest and get involved in a fantastic performance!

“Literally anyone is welcome to join in our choir – regardless of experience or expertise – and we are looking forward to creating something really special together. This is a real chance to do something different together in Bristol!” – Rachel Adams, Diverse City Producer

When? Saturday 17 & Sunday 18 September

Where? Castle Park, Bristol, BS1 3XD

doing things differently circus

To find out more about Doing Things Differently or to book tickets, visit