DanceAbility International

DanceAbility International

Performing in the 2014 Green Show Tuesday, August 26.

This is their second season in the OSF Green Show.

Award-winning dance by professional dancers with and without disabilities.

Joint Forces Dance Company is the parent company of DanceAbility International. Joint Forces Dance Co. is based in Eugene, Oregon, and tours internationally. It pioneered breakthroughs in on-state gender equality and physicality. Alito Alessi has been the Artistic Director since 1989. The DanceAbility method connects people with and without disabilities. Since 1987, Alito has been developing the method, together with the wisdom and contributions of each person he has worked with. The DanceAbility method is practiced in about twenty countries--through Alito’s visits, and through more than 300 Certified DanceAbility Teachers. He has received National Endowment for the Arts, Oregon Arts Commission, and Hong Kong Choreographer of the Year awards. He is a Fulbright Senior Fellow, Ashoka Fellow, and a Guggenheim Fellow.

Emery Blackwell is a principal dancer with DanceAbility International and Joint Forces Dance Company, and a certified DanceAbility teacher. He was President of Oregonians for Independent Living. (He has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair.)

Karen Daly began dancing in 1991 when she stumbled upon Paula Josa Jones' Authentic Movement class in Cambridge, MA. From there, she went on to work with Karen Nelson (Diverse Dance), Lisa Nelson (Tuning Score), Carolyn Stuart (Contact Improv), Olive B (BodyCartography) and Alito Alessi (DanceAbility). She studied at the Authentic Movement Institute in Berkeley and was certified as a DanceAbility instructor in the first training in Eugene, OR. She's taught and performed internationally with DanceAbility. When not dancing, Karen works as a nurse.

Laura Hiszczynskyj holds a B.F.A. in ballet from Texas Christian University and got her MA in Dance at the University of Oregon. She is a certified DanceAbility instructor and has taught seminars in Montevideo, Uruguay, and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Laura continues to enjoy sharing her love of dance with students of all ages, levels, and abilities at Lane Community College, The Shedd Institute of the Performing Arts, South Eugene High School, and Churchill High School. Her choreography is often seen around Eugene in various Musical Theater productions.

DanceAbility on Community: We are especially well-known within improvisation, contact improvisation and post-modern dance circles, and among people with disabilities and people working for human rights. The DanceAbility method works well for all people, including people with mental or severe disabilities, etc. We produce the annual Breitenbush Contact Improvisation Jam each March, for 9 days, and have done so for 31 years. It is the longest-running multi-day Contact Improv jam in the world, and is regularly attended by both recreational dancers and master practitioners, including the annual presence of influential post-modern dance artist Steve Paxton. Our mixed-abilities performance work is rooted firmly in artistic excellence (as opposed to a therapeutic approach). Our workshops are welcoming of all people, with and without any dance experience, with and without disabilities. We love to perform for children as well, helping to dissolve prejudice in one fun hour of dance.