dancers with disabilities

8:00pm

Thu April 10, 2014
Arts & Culture

AXIS Dance Company expands the boundaries of performance

AXIS Dance Company 2012. Dancers: Emily Eifler & Sebastian Grubb. In choreography by Amy Seiwert.
David DeSilva

Three dancers are sweating under their choreographer’s demanding eye. They turn, jump, and lean into each other, flowing across the room. The sound of bare feet mixes with the squeaking of rubber against the floor.

That’s the sound of dancer Joel Brown’s wheelchair. As he propels into a turn, the other dancers, Sonsheree Giles and Sebastian Grubb, match his movements, but on their feet. Then choreographer Marc Brew, who’s been watching from the front of the studio, glides over to the trio. He’s also in a wheelchair.

This is a rehearsal for AXIS Dance Company, a pioneer in a dance form it calls “physically integrated dance,” which uses both disabled and non-disabled dancers. Though AXIS has been around for more than 20 years, it’s still rare to see this kind of work.

Read more

1:44pm

Wed February 8, 2012
Arts & Culture

Century-old ballet still pushing boundaries

Sonsheree Giles, Was It A Dream I Loved
Heike Liss

One hundred years ago, on a late May evening in Paris, an 11-minute ballet so scandalized audiences that it’s still making waves today.

“Afternoon of a Faun” was choreographed by then-23-year-old Vaslav Nijinsky for the Ballet Russes. The dancers were barefoot and the angular movements of the dance rejected the formal constraints of classical ballet. Then there was the issue of the subject matter, which was overtly sexual in a way that audiences of the time had never seen. 

Read more