Meet Disabled Dancers Alice Sheppard & Laurel Lawson | SEEN | NowThis

Meet Disabled Dancers Alice Sheppard & Laurel Lawson | SEEN | NowThis


People understand the work. I mean, one audience member
said, And people notice the hand
placement on the wheels and how we touch and
stroke and move and push. These are things that are known to people who are really
working through that. And it’s not to say that
you can’t appreciate it if you don’t have that lived embodiment, but it is to say that We are making work that
comes from long training, experience as artists, as
dancers, as choreographers working within the canon
of Western concert dance. We are bringing in
technique that is authentic to our embodiment – So much of the work that we see explains something about disabled life to non-disabled audiences. We’re not making work that tells you what is it like to be me, what is it like to live in my body. We’re not looking to hide impairment. We’re not looking even to make the flat statement of impairment. We’re making work that arises – Just as little girls go to [New York City Ballet] and they look at the prima ballerina up there en pointe in the pas and they identify with that
and they want to be that, we have those children,
we have disabled children, we have queer children,
children of all races who can come and recognize themselves and identify and have that spark of desire to participate in art,
participate in cultural life. I don’t wanna like, tricks, I don’t want the physically spectacular
where you come away going, ah! I didn’t see the disability,
I didn’t see the wheelchairs. Oh, they can do so much. Oh, are they actually disabled? Do they need those? No. When you are truly with me
and when I am truly with you on stage, I am on the edge of my seat because I am drawn into the world that you have invited me into. I want to be able to issue an invitation, I want you to accept that invitation, and then I want us to have a journey through a five minute
piece, a 10 minute piece, an evening-long work, so that at the end when the lights go to black, we have both experienced something. – That’s why dance is a live art. Kinetic Light is a collective
of disabled artists. It is, I believe, the first professional disabled artist collective
certainly in North America. But we don’t stop at artistic equity. We’re talking about equity
for every audience member. And by equitable, I mean
something much more impactful than how do you make it accessible? But equity for every person who comes through that experience matters. I want you here. – Dance is an incredibly hard skill, particularly learning as an adult. I was terrible. – I sucked. (laughs) Oh, man. Not only did I suck, I mean, I just couldn’t put the stuff together. But I did. And I resigned my job. I was like, I am going to become a dancer even if this doesn’t work, And now 10, 11, 12 years
later, If you’re watching this
and you wanna figure out, wherever you are, how to
dance, where to dance, how to get started, how to connect with the rest of the community
that’s doing this work, Just know that you don’t have
to be alone in the studio literally reinventing the wheel. There’s a wide community of us out there, and there are professional
training opportunities. – [Narrator] Visible is the new way to think about phone service. Just $40 a month all in for unlimited messages, minutes, and data. All on Verizon’s 4G LTE network. No hidden fees, no annual contracts. When you think the future of
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3 thoughts on “Meet Disabled Dancers Alice Sheppard & Laurel Lawson | SEEN | NowThis”

  1. Learn more about the disabled artists collective 'Kinetic Light' — Visit: https://kineticlight.org

  2. Who you are creates the art you make. The wheel is a shape and a motion. They make arcs across the floor and through the air.

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