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Upcoming Events

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Past Events


2021 Chicago Inclusive Dance Festival Keynote Address: "Sustaining a Bodymind: Disability and the Value of Moving With/In Pain" 

The presence of disabled bodyminds in dance presents exciting challenges to traditional methods of bodily conditioning to avoid pain and injury in dance. Western dance practices often demand that dancers train their bodies not only to meet technical standards, but also to reduce the possibility of pain or injury. Disabled dancing bodyminds, however, often already experience the types of pain and injury that might signal the end of a performer’s career in mainstream dance. Drawing on work across dance studies, dance medicine and performance studies, I trace lineages of pain and aging in dance training and making, placing them in conversation with work emerging from disability studies that situates pain as relational and culturally informed. This critical theory project leverages a critique of normative practices in mainstream dance to imagine a disability dance future that insists on the artistic value of pained, injured and aging bodyminds in the dancemaking process. I take up disabled dance artist, Kris Lenzo’s concept of “sustainable choreography” as an example of the opportunity disability offers to develop dancemaking practices that understand care for the bodymind as essential to the work. Complicating Lenzo’s concept through my own dancemaking practice, I then explore the aesthetic opportunities offered by those bodies dancing with/in pain, ultimately arguing that sustaining disabled dancing bodyminds requires simultaneously working against the disabling impacts of dance while also insisting on the artistic value of movement generated by pained, aging and disabled bodyminds.


Disability, Dance and Chicago: The History and Future of Integrated Movement in the Second City

Your chance to hear from some of the founding artists, advocates and allies of Chicago’s integrated dance community. In conversation with moderators Maggie Bridger and Sydney Erlikh, as well as one another, panelists will provide a look into the successes and challenges of integrated dance in Chicago. Along with tracing a history of integrated dance in our city, we will explore the role of activism and advocacy in shaping the artistic work of this community and what the panelists envision for a future of integrated dance in Chicago. Panelists: Stephanie Clemens, Ginger Lane, Kris Lenzo, Alice Sheppard, Alana Wallace

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