A documentary made by Sky Neal from Satya Film. Filmed over 3 years it’s inspired by loving and intimate letters between a mother and her transgender son’s journey, during the three years of his transition.

Cara Mamma

After our World Premiere at BFI Flare: London LGBTQIA+ in March, we are thrilled it has been released on The Guardian Documentaries and is on their spotlight.
It will also be showing at 5pm on 7th July at the Bristol Pride: Queer Vision Film Festival. Book your tickets here.

Through candid personal letters exchanged over three years, Dear Mamma follows Naissa as he stands firmly for his independence and identity, and Daniela as she wrestles with her fear of losing a child.

As Naissa embarks on his professional dance career and proudly embodies his gender, his mother also embarks on a journey of understanding and acceptance of her son’s choices.

Director and Producer: Sky Neal
Protagonists and Letters by: Naissa Essart Nielsen, Daniela Essart
Editor and Sound Designer: Dara McLarnon
Cinematography: James Hughes
Additional Cinematography: Sky Neal
Choreography: Naissa Essart Nielsen
Main Contributor of Music: Bea Brennan
Post Production: Sound/Image Cinema Lab at Falmouth University
Executive Producers: Lindsey Dryden, Charlie Phillips
Executive Producers for The Guardian: Lindsay Poulton, Jess Gormley
A Guardian Documentary

Photo by Gabriella Piccaluga

EMERGING is a stage to screen film centring on the relationship between a transgender son, who has questioned his gender identity for as long as he can remember, and his mother, whilst they embark on a journey into the unknown.


We’re thrilled to announce the Emerging film has been selected for the Full Length Category for the Circus International Film Festival 2024! Showing online on 29th March, get your tickets here or read more about it here.

And don’t miss the Cara Mamma World Premiere at BFI Flare: London LGBTQIA+ Festival screening on Saturday 23rd March at 10:45am and Sunday 24th March at 2pm. A documentary across 3 years with Sky Neal of Satya Film, whilst creating Emerging. Read more about it here.

With Emerging we want to not only tell our story, but use our art form to give voice to others who are navigating similar journeys and to let them know they are not alone. We want to highlight the nuances, the fragility and ferocity in this journey, bravery and fear, determination and dignity. We have made Emerging because we aspire to live in a world where gender diverse, non binary and trans people are visible, valued and live safe and fulfilled lives’.
– Daniela Essart, Scarabeus Artistic Director and Naissa Bjørn, Performer and Collaborator

An exploration on the themes of gender, identity and representation; combining aerial, dance, theatre and excerpts from letters, EMERGING navigates a complex parent-child relationship and life-changing process. It’s an intimate experience of the power of creativity to facilitate profound change.

Artistic director & performer: Daniela Essart
Performer & collaborator: Naissa Bjørn
Soundtrack: Domenico Angarano
Choreographer & movement director: Becky Namgauds
Dramaturg: Tessa Walker
Video & Projections Designer: Marisa Zanotti
Lighting designer: Joshie Harriette
Costume designer: Giulia Gallon
Aerial apparatus design: Joe White
Technical Director & Rigger: Søren Nielsen
Stage Manager: Sam Rush
Producer: Flora Herberich
Engagement Producer: Fae Fichtner
Marketing: Lucy White
Footage courtesy of The Lowry & Satya Films, edited by Marisa Zanotti
Video Edit and Post Production: Mark Morreau

A journey from dark to light,
from feeling alone to belonging somewhere.



Created in August 2022, we worked with our Take Flight participants to develop a short film by young people, for young people.

Guided by director Sebastian Whyte, of Whispering Rebel, and performed by our young Take Flight flyers we explored themes of individual journeys, different pathways, and colliding worlds; using aerial arts as a platform for expression, freedom and connections.

Supported by the Media Trust and funded by John Lyon’s Charity.

Photo by Daniela Essart.


Our House Is On Fire, a unique short-film circus production exploring climate change, sustainability and social justice from the perspective of young people. This new work has been created with young aerialists and teachers from our Take Flight programme.

Our House Is on Fire

Our House Is On Fire is a commission from Jacksons Lane Arts Centre as part of the nationwide Here and Now celebration of culture within communities, led by Future Arts Centres and celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the National Lottery.

Image and film by Mark Morreau.


A collaboration between Keys Meadow Primary School & Scarabeus Aerial Theatre.

A child of stories

Inspired by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston’s A Child of Books and Anthony Browne’s The Tunnel, together with traditional stories from the cultures of the children at Keys Meadow Primary School. A Child of Stories invites you to join brother and sister Maya and Kwame on an unexpected journey which requires all of their courage and bravery.  

Bored because they have not been at school for months, whilst the world is stricken by a pandemic, Maya and Kwame bicker and bicker. Mum and Dad send them out to play. Little do they know that Kwame will get lost in a dark tunnel whilst chasing a ball, which will lead him to be captured and imprisoned in a suspended cage, frozen by fear and nearly eaten by fierce wolves. Maya, helped by her Auntie, who happens to be a very smart witch, will have to summon all her courage to find Kwame in the scary forest full of noises and perils. They will fight the bad wolves together with the caring witches and wizards who come to their rescue. Once safely back at home, Maya and Kwame have learned to rejoice in each other’s company. But are they really safe…   

Created with Keys Meadow Year 5 Eagles & Owls pupils, who took leading roles in performing, filming and marketing this new short film. Each group has been working with professional artists, including circus performers/directors, filmmakers, costume designers and arts marketing experts. 

Supported using public funding Arts Council England.

Check out Artistic Director Daniela Essart’s Case Study of the project Family Arts Campaign.

Image by Daniela Essart, video by Lucy Whitehead and Chloë Plumb.



A collection of movement pieces created by the participants of the online classes delivered by the wonderful Lauren Carter; these zoom sessions kept our young people from Take Flight gleefully engaged throughout lockdown.

Moving through lockdown film