Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Celebrating 25 Years of Physically Integrated Dance

(Axis Dance Company peforming "Decorum")

Stuff Stuff Stuff going on next weekend in Oakland, California kids!
(and it's also going on this weekend in Cleveland, OH with Dancing Wheels....and the weekend of June 3rd in Atlanta, GA with Full Radius Dance)

Three physically integrated dance companies are touring together and hosting events in each of their three home venues.

If you are an arts enthusiast, an dance enthusiast, a dancer, a dancer with disabilities, a dancer without disabilities (that would like to enrich your dance experience trying something new), just plain old curious...hell, whoever you are....then you really should come check this stuff out.

Aside from being a beautiful art form, if you haven't seen it before, physically integrated dance can be a real mind bender.

Here's a little tidbit about my own exposure to physically integrated dance:
I saw Axis peform maybe 15+ years ago (long before having a disability of my own) and it totally changed me. I betcha you never look at a person in a wheelchair the same again. I sure didn't. And my having seen Axis is probably a huge reason why when I woke up in the hospital with a leg missing, it never even occurred to me that I would have to give up dancing. In more recent years, I've been bold enough ask able-bodied members of physically integrated dance companies why they would choose to do this work (when they have the option to dance with a fully able bodied company). Personal reasons aside, the general consensus is that this work is extremely rich and challenging, more so than what is found in an all able-bodied ensemble.

So next weekend, Axis will host a Master Class for only $15 (and that does not mean you need to BE a master, it means it's being taught by one! and in my experience, all levels are welcome at Axis classes, so dont be intimidated)...and there will be a performance by all three companies Saturday night. I'm particularly excited about this showing, not just because I get to see two dance companies I haven't seen before, but because they are also presenting "Pheonix Dance", a short film about the late Homer Avila (he died a few weeks after my accident...and I'm so bummed I never got to see him or write to him...he's my hero).

So come check it out.
And if you do, look for me and say hi...I'll be there in the audience for the show, and I'm hoping I'm able to attend the class (waiting to see if I can duck out of Dandelion rehearsals early that day).

Here's the full details:

Saturday, May 20, 2006 @ 8pmHosted by AXIS Dance Company.
Tickets are $20 General, $16 Seniors/Disabled, and $10 for youth under 18 years of age.The festival will feature a performance of “Terre Brune” (2004) choreographed for AXIS by Sonya Delwaide with an original music score by former Kronos Quartet cellist Joan Jeanrenaud; the world premiere of Dancing Wheels' "Echoes of an Angel" choreographed by Rebecca Darling of Pilobolus; and “Both Sides Now” a premiere work by Artistic Director Douglas Scott of Full Radius Dance. Also included on the program will be "Phoenix Dance", a new film by Karina Epperlein. Winner of a SF International Film Festival Golden Gate award, this film chronicles the life and artistry of dancer Homer Avila who had been dancing with Twyla Tharp, Bill T. Jones, Mark Morris and Momix among others prior to losing his right leg and then his life to cancer. "Phoenix Dance" is a heroic journey from loss to faith, trust & beauty.
To order tickets call the box office at: (925) 798-1300
For more information call (510) 625-0110
(or go to the Axis website to order tickets online)

Master Class
Physically Integrated Dance Technique & Choreography -
taught by members of Cleveland's Dancing Wheels & Full Radius DanceFriday, May 19th, 2:00 - 5:00pmMalonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts, 1428 Alice Street, Oakland, CA, Studio E
Dancing Wheels will provide an overview for students on the basis of its technique, which is a traditional classical/modern technique that is adaptable to wheelchair dancers or enthusiast who are interested in this specific integration. The class begins with a warm up and moves to center and across the floor combinations. Specific partnering techniques are discussed, demonstrated and put into practice. The class is open to students who are 14 years and up with and without physical disabilities. Experienced dancers, dance enthusiasts and those interested in the therapeutic aspects are welcome. For more information on Dancing Wheels visit
Full Radius Dance will lead participants in a choreography workshop centered around the creation of a short dance work utilizing the principles established in Dancing Wheels' technique class, as well as through the use of improvisational movement. This workshop will focus on adaptation of movement, body awareness, physical and emotional relationships with other dancers, and musical and rhythmic awareness. For more information on Full Radius Dance, please visit
Class Fee is $15. Limit 30 per class. To register, please call (510) 625-0110, or email


Also, save the date!
Physically Integrated Dance Summer Intensive 2006
August 26th - September 1st

I'll post more about that soon.