Tag: disability dance

Prosthetic Design Allows New Movement Possibilities & Creative Opportunities

The word “prosthesis” refers to an artificial, supplemental device that attempts to return a disabled body to a state of “normalcy.” A prosthetic hand resembles and functions as a “normal” hand; a prosthetic foot resembles and functions as a “normal” foot. Such technologies are laden with political expectations, namely, the insistence that there is such […]

Welcoming Everyone to Our Work

Watching Alice Sheppard‘s DESCENT a few months ago, I put on the multitrack audio descriptions. On top of the music, I heard close-up sounds of the dancers moving onstage, plus a spoken description that was so nuanced it bordered on poetry. I’d seen the work in person before, but this experience hit me in an […]

Alice Sheppard Is Moving The Conversation Beyond Loss and Adversity

It can be hard to focus when Alice Sheppard dances. Her recent sold-out run of DESCENT at New York Live Arts, for instance, offered a constellation of stimulation. Onstage was a large architectural ramp with an assortment of peaks and planes. There was an intricate lighting and projection design. There was a musical score that […]

Watch: These Differently-Abled Dancers Are Pushing the Limits of Breaking

There’s a tradition in hip-hop culture of reclaiming negative words as positive ones. That’s why you might hear things like “nasty” or “bad” as compliments. The same goes for ILL-Abilities, a breaking crew comprised of differently-abled dancers: “The ‘ill’ does not refer to ‘sick’ or ‘unwell’ but rather to incredible, amazing, intricate, talent,” they write […]

Why Physically Integrated Dance Still Faces So Many Challenges

After 30 years of pioneering work in physically integrated dance, AXIS Dance Company co-founder Judith Smith has announced plans to retire from the Oakland, California, company. Throughout her tenure, she strived to get equal recognition for integrated dance and disabled dancers, commissioning work from high-profile choreographers like Bill T. Jones. Her efforts generated huge momentum […]