Disability. Dance. Artistry.


Dance/NYC established the Disability. Dance. Artistry. Fund (DDA Fund) as part of its Disability. Dance. Artistry. Initiative. The purpose of the DDA Fund, made possible by the generous support of the Ford Foundation, is to generate dance making and performance by and with disabled artists. This activity is intended to advance artistic innovation and excellence— and, by extension, further disability rights.

“The Ford Foundation is pleased to partner with Dance/NYC to advance equity and inclusion in the dance sector,” said Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation. “Dance and the arts have the tremendous power to inspire audiences and to transform hearts and minds. We hope the Disability. Dance. Artistry Fund will create more opportunities for artists engaged in integrated dance to share their passion with the world.”

In February 2017, Dance/NYC announced the following recipients of funding:

AXIS Dance Company
Jess Curtis / Gravity
The Dancing Wheels Company & School
Full Radius Dance
Alice Sheppard / Kinetic Light
Heidi Latsky Dance

Individual grants ranged from $30,000 to $15,000 and were dedicated to production costs for integrated dance performances in the metropolitan New York City area from January 2017 through March 2018. These six grantees were selected by panel review and were among a competitive pool of 27 self-identified integrated companies who submitted applications in response to an open call. Key evaluation criteria included artistic excellence; central roles for disabled artist(s) in the proposed projects and demonstrated values of diversity, equity, and inclusion; commitment to sustain engagement with disabled artists in the future; and organizational and financial capacities to execute the projects.

Dance/NYC Disability. Dance. Artistry. Fund Grantees’ NYC Performances:

Heidi Latsky Dance’s ON DISPLAY
ON DISPLAY – disrupting the urban landscape is this dance installation, a mostly still human sculpture court in public spaces where periodic bursts of movement weave throughout featuring performers ranging in age, disability, race, and size. In 2015, at the invitation of the Mayor's Office, ON DISPLAY began as a series of guerilla site specific installations across NYC to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. After activating local, national, and international sites for the last two years, ON DISPLAY will energize iconic NYC sites with a new version featuring nuanced and daring images of varied people this Disability Pride Month.

July 13, 2017, 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m., Cherry Hill at Central Park, entrance at West 72nd Street
July 24, 2017, 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m., King’s County Hospital, 451 Clarkson Avenue, Brooklyn
July 24, 2017, 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. State Office, 163 West 125th Street
July 28, 2017, 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m., The Whitney/High Line, 99 Gansevoort Street
July 29, 2017, 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m., Hearst Plaza, 40 Lincoln Center Plaza
August 3, 2017, 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m., The Duke at 42nd Street, 229 West 42nd Street
For details visit: www.heidilatskydance.com

Dancing Wheels Company & School’s Physically Integrated Dance: Past Present and Future
Dancing Wheels’s restaging of a work by Agnes DeMille, performance of current works in its repertory that were choreographed by New York City–based choreographers, and commissioning and premiering of a work by choreographer David Dorfman.

October 7, 2017, 8:00 p.m., The Ailey Citigroup Theatre. For details visit: www.dancingwheels.org

Full Radius Dance’s Do You Know What You Are Doing Now?
Full Radius Dance’s presentation of a physically integrated dance performance with choreographic work by Douglas Scott and Alice Sheppard including “Do You Know What You Are Doing Now?” “Do You Know…” speaks to how insecurity causes uncertainty and anxiety about oneself, others, the situation, and the process of creation. As noted American actress Meryl Streep said, “I have various degrees of confidence and self-loathing...You can have a perfectly horrible day where you doubt your talent...Or that you’re boring and they’re going to find out that you don’t know what you’re doing.”

October 13-14, 2017, 7:00 p.m., Harlem School of the Arts: The Herb Alpert Center, 645 Saint Nicholas Avenue. For details visit: www.fullradiusdance.org

AXIS Dance Company’s Radical Impact
Directed by Marc Brew, Radical Impact will be created in collaboration with Composer/Pianist JooWan Kim, Artistic Director of Hip-Hop Orchestra Ensemble Mik Nawooj. Brew and Kim will be teaming up for the first time, exploring what it means to be human through music and movement. They will investigate themes around politics and identity, while drawing on each dancer’s unique experience of how they exist in the world and how their stories can be told through the medium of dance. This performance is part of Gibney Dance’s POP series, a program supporting curated rental opportunities for the dance community.

November 16-18, 2017, 8:00 p.m., Gibney Dance: Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center, 280 Broadway. For details visit: www.axisdance.org

Jess Curtis & Claire Cunningham’s The Way You Look (at Me) Tonight
How do we look at each other? How do we allow ourselves to be seen? How do our bodies shape the ways we perceive the world around us? Can we change how we see others? The Way You Look (At Me) Tonight is a social sculpture-a sensory journey, for two performers and audience. Developed in collaboration with noted author and philosopher of perception Dr. Alva Noë, leading UK disabled artist Claire Cunningham and international choreographer and performer Jess Curtis dance, sing, tell stories and ask questions combining performance, original music, and video to wrestle (sometimes literally) with important questions about our habits and practices of perceiving each other and the world. The New York City run will also feature a workshop and symposium about disability, performance, and the philosophy of perception with Movement Research.

January 10-13, 2018, Gibney Dance: Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center, 280 Broadway. For details visit: www.jesscurtisgravity.org

Alice Sheppard/Kinetic Light’s Descent from Beauty
Alice Sheppard/Kinetic Light’s performance of Descent from Beauty, an evening-length dance work that tells the story of Venus and Andromeda, choreographed by disabled dancer Alice Sheppard in collaboration with disabled dancer Lauren Lawson and disabled lighting and video artist Michael Maag.

March 22-24, 2018, 7:30 p.m., New York Live Arts, 219 West 19th Street. For details visit: www.kineticlight.org

Related Resources:
Announcement of DDA Conversation Series (June 26, 2017)
Announcement of DDA Fund (August 17, 2016)
Call for Proposals, including application and budget form (October 20, 2016)
Review Panel and Review Panel Charter
Disability. Dance. Artistry. Research Report (February 27, 2016)
Discovering Disability: Data & NYC Dance Research Report (May 28, 2015)

These and all products generated by Dance/NYC for the Disability. Dance. Artistry. Fund are licensed to the public subject to the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.


Disability. Dance. Artistry. Fund in the News

Helping Dance Reflect the Diversity of Disability

Theatre Development Fund Stages, Lauren Kay, October 11, 2017


Staking a Claim to Radical Space: Dance Grants Promote Integrated Performances by Disabled Artists

Nonprofit Quarterly, Erin Rubin, February 17, 2017


More Disability. Dance. Artistry. Fund in the News

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