Get Your Dance On
First, a note on how I curate content for this series: I specifically look for videos of reasonably good production quality, which rules a lot of things out. The reason that I do this is that I’d rather not trigger vomiting, seizures, or other adverse reactions to the videos posted here. I’m particularly concerned about videos that are really shaky, have sudden changes in volume, or have flashy things; unfortunately, a lot of the videos of disabled dancers I find are shot with handheld cameras which wobble all over the place or have weird background sound going on, so even though the piece is amazing, I can’t use it. It takes me a while to hunt things down and rule out candidates which are unsuitable and, yes, I always appreciate recommendations!
Reader Mo passed along this lovely piece:
The video opens with a bunch of apparently nondisabled people practicing in a ballet studio. The camera cuts to the outside, where we see an amputee roll up in a wheelchair. He looks in on the dancers, swings out of his chair, and goes into the studio, where he starts dancing with the dancers and then performs a splendid pas de deux (duet) with one of the women. The clip is from ‘The Cost of Living’ (2003).
Reader Janet brought up the question of gendering in some integrated dance pieces, asking specifically about wheelchair dancing with a woman in the chair, which led me to hunt down this video:
This piece, an excerpt from “the beauty that was mine, through the middle, without stopping” choreographed by Joe Goode (2007), is performed by AXIS, an integrated dance company based in Oakland. It’s a modern piece with a mixture of a variety of bodies.
A very short clip from ‘Spoke’, by the Touch Compass Dance Trust in New Zealand:
Finally, a short piece on cheerleaders at the Maryland School for the Deaf:
I happen to be a huge fan of cheer, so I thought I’d end on a high note!