ON AND BEYOND THE STAGE: PRACTICING DISABILITY ACCESS, AESTHETICS, & TECH
Centering intersectional disability access, culture aesthetics, and design, Alice Sheppard and the artists of Kinetic Light discuss their work, provide a window into the new disability arts movement, and offer a provocation to those who would view dance and disability through inclusionary lenses.
Founded by Alice Sheppard, Kinetic Light is a disability arts ensemble working at the nexus of disability, dance, race, gender, sexuality, tech, and design.
Meet artists Alice Sheppard, Jerron Herman, and Laurel Lawson for a challenging conversation and experience some of the work of Kinetic Light.
Open to the Harvard community, this live virtual event is presented by the Harvard Dance Center’s Visiting Artist Series, supported by the Office for the Arts and Dance Center partners.
DATE: Wednesday, October 7, 2020
TIME: 6-7pm EST
FORMAT: Online via Zoom meeting
ACCESS PROVIDED: Closed captioning, ASL interpretation, and audio description.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for any other accommodation needed for your participation.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Alice Sheppard is the Artistic Director of Kinetic Light, as well as a choreographer and dancer in the company. Accepting the outcome of a dare, Alice resigned her tenured professorship to train with Kitty Lunn and Infinity Dance Theater. After an apprenticeship, Alice joined AXIS Dance Company where she became a core company member, toured nationally, and taught in the company’s education and outreach programs. Since becoming an independent dance artist, Alice has danced in projects with Ballet Cymru/GDance, and Marc Brew Company in the United Kingdom. In the United States, she has worked with Marjani Forté, MBDance, Infinity Dance Theater, and Steve Paxton. As a guest artist, she has danced with AXIS Dance Company, Full Radius Dance, and MOMENTA Dance Company. Alice has also performed as a solo artist and keynote academic speaker throughout the United States.
A USA Artist, Creative Capital grantee, and Bessie Award-winner, Alice creates movement that challenges conventional understandings of disabled and dancing bodies. Engaging with disability arts, culture and history, Alice's commissioned work attends to the complex intersections of disability, gender, and race. She was a 2018 AXIS Dance Company Choreo-Lab Participant made possible with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Her choreography has been commissioned by producers from KQED and UCLA as well as physically integrated companies such as CRIPSiE, Full Radius Dance, and MOMENTA Dance Company. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times and such journals as Catalyst and Movement Research and Performance Journal. www.alicesheppard.com
Laurel Lawson Dancer, choreographer, and engineer; Laurel found that dance combines her lifelong loves of athleticism and art. Featuring liminality, synthesistic myth, and partnering, her work includes both traditional choreography and novel processes for extending and creating art through technology and design.
Laurel began her professional dance career with Full Radius Dance in 2004 and is part of the disabled artists’ collective Kinetic Light, where in addition to choreographic collaboration and performance she contributes costume design and leads technical innovation, including the Audimance project, a revolutionary app centering non-visual audiences, and the Access ALLways initiative. Beyond dance, Laurel is an advocate and organizer, musician, skates for the USA Women’s Sled Hockey team, and leads CyCore Systems, a technology consultancy specializing in novel problems.
Laurel Lawson is a 2019-20 Dance/USA Artist Fellow. Dance/USA Fellowships to Artists is made possible with generous funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
Jerron Herman is a dancer. He is also a writer, moderator, and advocate for the arts; he has served on the Board of Trustees at Dance/USA since 2017. In addition he developed and moderated a panel series of disabled artists called Access 2.0: Mapping Accessibility for the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation. From 2011-2019 he was a principal member of Heidi Latsky Dance and also served as their Development Director from 2016-19. Jerron was a finalist for the inaugural Apothetae/Lark Play Development Lab Fellowship and was also nominated for a Fellowship in Dance from United States Artists. His latest works include Breaking and Entering with Molly Joyce at Danspace Project, Many Ways to Raise a Fist for the 29th Anniversary of the ADA at the Whitney Museum, and Relative – a crip dance party – for the disabled-led festival I WANNA BE WITH YOU EVERYWHERE at Performance Space New York. Jerron studied at Tisch School of the Arts and graduated from The King’s College. The New York Times has called him, "...the inexhaustible Mr. Herman." www.jerronherman.com
Image description and photo credit:
A grid of four square headshots, all featuring the artists of Kinetic Light. Clockwise, from top right: Laurel Lawson, a white woman with short blonde hair and blue eyes, gazes away from the camera with a wry smile highlighted by crimson lipstick. Jerron Herman, a Black man with a beard and black hair, looks directly into the camera; he wears a blue shirt with tiny stripes and holds his palsied hand in front of his chest. Alice Sheppard, a light-skinned multiracial Black woman with short very curly brown, red, and golden hair, looks over her shoulder and stares into the camera intensely. Michael Maag, a white man with a large white beard and flowing white/blonde hair, smiles at the camera; he wears thin framed glasses. Headshots by Robert Kim, Dan Kim, and Beverlie Lorde.