I recently got my first glimpse into the world of DanceAbility: an internationally renowned method that creates opportunities for people with and without disabilities to move and dance together.
This Friday afternoon, Dec. 18, the DanceAbility method will be on spectacular display when graduates of a DanceAbility Teacher Certification Course dance their way through part of downtown Austin, starting a choreographed street parade at 4 p.m. at the Federal Building Plaza next to Republic Square Park.
The graduates will present a series of structured improvisations — fluid, sculpture-like pieces formed by groups of dancers, as seen above — using the skills they developed during a two-part teacher certification course taught by Alito Alessi, the artistic director of Eugene, Oregon-based DanceAbility International and co-founder of the DanceAbility method.
Alessi, who teaches DanceAbility courses worldwide, taught the first half of the Austin-based teacher certification course in May in The University of Texas’ Anna Hiss Gym. The course’s second half, also being held over a 10-day stretch in the Anna Hiss Gym, will culminate with Friday’s street parade — a rare opportunity for Austinites to see DanceAbility in action.
Alessi is globally recognized as a pioneering teacher, performer, and choreographer in the fields of contact improvisation and dance and disability. Alessi’s motto is powerful, and simple: DanceAbility is dance for everyone. Likewise, the self-described vision of DanceAbility International is that through dance and movement, people from diverse backgrounds experience the art of being together.
As further described on DanceAbility International’s website, www.danceability.com, the organization’s work decreases prejudice and misconceptions about diversity in the field of dance, and, by extension, in society.
It was my privilege last week to help photograph portions of part two of the teacher certification course being held on the UT campus. It will be my delight on Friday to help document the graduates’ street parade: a celebration of a dance method designed to be all-inclusive.