About Alice Sheppard
Los Altos, California
Alice Sheppard (CBA ’20) creates movement that challenges conventional understandings of disabled and dancing bodies. Engaging with disability arts, culture, and history, Sheppard attends to the complex intersections of disability, gender, and race. She is the founder and artistic lead of Kinetic Light (KL), a project based collaborative working at the intersections of disability, dance, design, identity, and technology. Through rigorous investment in the histories, cultures, and artistic work of people with disabilities and people of color, KL promotes disability as a creative force and access as an aesthetic critical to the creative process, not a retroactive accommodation.
(de)Formed Movement: Locating Histories of Disability in Ballet
The traditional notion of a dancer’s body is predicated on the absence of what is commonly described as disability, and yet disability in ballet is everywhere: in offstage lives, onstage characters, and as the absent yet tangible presence that defines what ballet is not. That said, histories of disability in ballet extend beyond the knotty and unresolved questions of how disabled dancers execute ballet’s movement: disabled dancers can work in an art form that is defined by disability aesthetics and culture and yet recognizable as ballet. The tensions of these two perspectives of disability in ballet are the subject of Sheppard’s CBA fellowship project.