British Council Transform is an arts and creativity programme that aims to develop the artistic dialogue between the UK and Brazil as part of the Olympic legacy. Transform enables artists and professionals from the arts sector in both countries to share experiences and collaborate to foster creative and social change.

  • Photo by Ratao Diniz

    Graeae Theatre Company - Reasons to be Cheerful

  • Photo by Ratao Diniz

    Marc Brew


Transform works across seven artistic sectors - visual arts and museums, film, dance, creative economy, literature, music and theatre - and connects artists, arts organisations and professionals, and government bodies with new artistic talent, training opportunities and skills development through different collaborative projects and activities.

One of the major themes running through Transform is making the arts more accessible, both through creating opportunities for co-creation and new work between artists in Brazil and the UK, and more specifically looking at disability in the arts, promoting work produced by disabled artists through major platforms such as Unlimited.

Three of the five international Unlimited commissions featured collaborations with Brazilian artists, Breathe, Boomba Down The Tyne, and Heart n Soul’s The Dean Rodney Singers. In addition, work by other Unlimited artists has been showcased in Brazil. For an overview, watch this short film about Unlimited at Transform.

The Teatro Sérgio Cardoso in Sao Paulo has presented three UK-based artists to date. Claire Cunningham’s ME (Mobile/Evolution) first premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2009 to great acclaim, and showcases her extraordinary dance technique and power, telling stories of doctors, dancing, bikes and ballet as she dances – spins, balances, swings and hangs from - her crutches. For a flavour of this piece, watch this short film of ME.

Robert Softley’s If These Spasms Could Speak had its Brazilian première at the same theatre. This one-man play is a playful and poignant look at disabled bodies, created through a process of stories shared with Robert by other disabled people about how they perceive themselves. In addition to two performances, Robert led a workshop with performance students at the theatre and you can read about Robert's experience in Sao Paulo in our Blog.

Ramesh Meyyappan’s Snail and Ketchups features a very physical performance on an aerial set to tell the story of a young boy who takes to live in the trees in an effort to escape his brutal home environment. Ramesh’s wonderfully expressive use of gesture complemented by an original live score brings a young boy’s imaginative world to life in the solace of the forest.

All of these artists are featured in our Artists and Companies directory where you can find out more about them and their most recent creations.

You can find out much more on the Transform website.


Related Profiles

Robert Softley

Established figure in the Scottish arts scene with varied roles including actor, performer, writer and artistic director. Read more

Ramesh Meyyappan

Glasgow-based Singaporean, deaf theatre maker who develops performances using an eclectic mix of visual and physical theatre styles. Read more

Latest blogs Visit blog

IntegrArt: embracing disabled leadership

By: Nina Mühlemann On: On 2 and 3 May 2019, the 7th edition of the IntegrART symposium took place in Zurich, Switzerland, at the Gessnerallee theatre. For the first time, the two-day symposium was curated and organised by two women who identify as disabled, Nina Mühlemann, performance scholar and arts practitioner and Tanja Erhart, a UK-based cultural anthropologist and dancer. Mühlemann writes about her experience as a co-organiser.
Read more

Europe Beyond Access: developed in the laboratory

By: Joe Turnbull On: Europe Beyond Access is a four-year pan-European project aimed at supporting disabled artists to break the glass ceilings of the contemporary theatre and dance sectors, initiated by a consortium of seven leading culture organisations and co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union. As the project celebrates its first milestone event, an experimental skills-exchange laboratory followed by a public sharing on 16 February at Kampnagel in Hamburg, Joe Turnbull speaks to key project partners about this crucial intervention into Europe’s arts sector.
Read more

Latest resources Visit resources

/ Artistic Exchanges

Case Study / OHMI Trust

Organisation / A Guide to Theatre Access

Toolkit / Innovation Diversity – New Approaches of Cultural Encounter in Europe