A few weeks ago, Blind Motherhood posted a blog about an accessible, new theatrical performance heading to New York City! DESCENT will be performed at New York Live Arts (NYLA) Thursday, March 22, Friday, March 23, and Saturday, March 24 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are now on sale via New York Live Arts in person at the box office, via phone at 212.691.6500, and online at https://newyorklivearts.org/event/descent/.
The anticipation for DESCENT continues to build. In preparation for opening night, Blind Motherhood would like to provide you with some more information about the show’s lead artist, Alice Sheppard, and her groundbreaking organization, Kinetic Light. We will also look at New York Live Arts and the generous funders who have helped make this show possible!
About Alice Sheppard:
Kinetic Light’s founder and artist lead, Alice Sheppard, saw Homer Avila, a disabled dancer, perform in 2004. Avila dared her to take a dance class; she did, and she loved moving so much that she resigned her academic professorship at Pennsylvania State University in order to begin a career in dance. She studied ballet and modern dance with Kitty Lunn and made her debut with Infinity Dance Theater. After an apprenticeship, Sheppard joined AXIS Dance Company, an Oakland-based company where she toured nationally and taught in the company’s education and outreach programs. Since becoming an independent artist, Sheppard has danced in projects with Ballet Cymru, GDance, and Marc Brew Company in the United Kingdom and Full Radius Dance, Marjani Forté, MBDance, Infinity Dance Theater, and Steve Paxton in the United States.
As an emerging, award-winning choreographer, Sheppard creates movement that challenges conventional understandings of disabled and dancing bodies. Engaging with disability arts, culture, and history, she attends to the complex intersections of disability, gender, and race by exploring the societal and cultural significance of difference. In addition to performance and choreography, Sheppard is a sought-after speaker and has lectured on topics related to disability arts, race, and dance. For more information visit alicesheppard.com.
More About Kinetic Light:
Working in the disciplines of art, design, architecture, and social justice, Kinetic Light creates, performs, and teaches at the intersections of disability, dance, and race. Through rigorous investment in the histories, cultures, and artistic work of people with disabilities and people of color, Kinetic Light transforms understandings of the dancing body thereby enabling new, powerful understandings of the moving world. The collective seeks to showcase freedom of movement as a pathway for others to understand how mobility—literal, physical, and conceptual — is fundamental to participation in civic life and to our understanding of American identity. For more information visit kineticlight.org.
New York Live Arts:
Located in the heart of Chelsea in New York City, New York Live Arts is an internationally recognized destination for innovative movement-based artistry offering audiences access to art and artists notable for their conceptual rigor, formal experimentation and active engagement with the social, political and cultural currents of today. At the center of this identity is Bill T. Jones, Artistic Director, a world-renowned choreographer, dancer, theater director, and writer. New York Live Arts commissions produces and presents performances in its 20,000 square foot home, which includes a 184-seat theater and two 1,200 square foot studios. New York Live Arts serves as home base for the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, provides an extensive range of participatory programs for adults and young people and supports the continuing professional development of artists.
DESCENT was made possible, in part, by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; general operating support was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project with funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation; The MAP Fund, supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; Dance/NYC’s Disability. Dance. Artistry. Fund, made possible by the Ford Foundation with additional support provided by the Mertz Gilmore Foundation; and the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography at Florida State University. Kinetic Light researched, developed, and honed DESCENT with financial, administrative, and residency support from the Dance in Process program at Gibney Dance with funds provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. DESCENT was also supported by Dancers’ Group’s CA$H grant program, Puffin Foundation West, Ltd., and the Yip Harburg Foundation.
DESCENT performances are part of New York Live Arts’ Plus program, designed to allow mission-aligned performing arts organizations access to state-of-the-art facilities and support toward the growth of their work. More information at newyorklivearts.org.
Are you planning on seeing a performance of DESCENT? Drop me a comment below and maybe I’ll meet you at the theatre.