Say Bekah, what have you been doing with whatever resembles your free time? I’ve been spending most to all of it getting deep into the world of disability: its politics, its history, its beauty. A lot of reflecting back on times when I was a kid and encountered another kid with a disability and didn’t know how to act and so I avoided them, averted my eyes in the hallway, and a lot of shame circles about that. My next full length play is for Theater Breaking Through Barriers, an NYC company that works with both able bodied and disabled actors. Through them, I e-met Simi Linton, a leading activist and spokesperson for disability and the arts, and through her, I encountered her beautiful documentary Invitation to Dance and through It, I found the work of Axis Dance Company and my new obsession.
Just like Theater Breaking through Barriers, Axis uses both able bodied and disabled dancers ( amputees, wheelchair users, both power and manual, etc.) They have basically completely redefined dance, developing what’s now called physically integrated dance. They pull the focus off of the disability, and instead subtly highlight the fact that every body is different. Why does that have to be sad or weird? Instead, isn’t it kind of UNBELIEVABLY BEAUTIFUL?