500 Prospect Street
Pawtucket, Rhode Island 02860
Phone: 401-725-0247
Fax: 401-725-0397
TTY: 1-800-745-5555 Relay
Executive Director Jeannine Chartier
VSA arts of Rhode Island is dedicated to providing opportunities for people with disabilities to actively participate in high quality programs in literary, performing, and visual arts. It is a member of VSA Arts and is the only organization of its kind in Rhode Island.
Petra Kuppers
60 Salisbury Road
Glocester, Rhode Island 02814
Phone: 401-232-6455
Jeannine Chartier
Phone: 401-725-0247
In conjunction with VSA Arts, the Olimpias Performance Research Series has staged The Tracks and Scar Tissue projects for physically disabled people interested in the arts (including dance). Director Petra Kuppers will be out of the country until June of 2006. No new projects are expected until then.
PO Box 1264
Newport, RI 02840
Phone: 401-849-8898
Their mission is to provide mainstream, complementary and recreational therapeutic services that develop independent living skills for children, teens and adults who have experienced spinal cord injury and related nervous system disorders.
Rhode Island dance company exploring choreography for the older body.

July 28 2005
If you are a physically disabled dancer and always dreamed of a dance career, here's your chance! Axis Dance is looking for several dancers. You have to make a 2 year commitment and, of course, you must have passion and drive. See more below.

DANCE by any other name might be called dis-abled dance for the vast majority of people out there dancing. Many people, who participate in social dancing, suffer from some kind of physical problem although generally speaking they are not cane or wheel-chair users.

Take a quick look at the social dance community and you will see dancers who range from mildly to profoundly deaf, dancers who can barely hobble, dancers with stroke and dancers with serious arthritis, and there are dancers with disabilities that you cannot see such as heart problems, epilepsy or asthma.

There are also serious disabilities, which are never considered, such as loss of muscle function from age and under-use. Most of the people dancing are not considered abled enough to dance in a (what we think of as) performance dance style. Or can they?

It sounds a bit un-PC (although delightfully alliterative), but the term 'Disabled dance' is in use because funding is available and rights are ascribed to the disabled in ways which are not for Joe (or Jane) Unabled, who can generally get along, although not well, in our sedentary culture. Two things to always, always remember, do not be afraid to count yourself among the afflicted and, no matter what, you are not a victim, there is always some way to gain access.

Contact: Deep Chinappa
539 Tremont Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116
Phone: 617-556-4075x20
Access to Theatre is an inclusive theater arts program, created by with and for young people with and without disabilities. It provides fully accessible participatory theater arts experiences, enabling youth ages 13-24 to develop creative expression, improvisational skills, self-esteem, friendship, leadership and independent living skills. Youth in the Boston area work together with professional artists to meet group and individual goals while creating original theater productions. ATT offers a 3-week summer institute, an after school program, quarterly workshops, leadership opportunities, mentoring, and assistance to other organizations interested in creating accessible art programs. In 2004, Partners for Youth with Disabilities Access to Theatre Program won the 2004 COMING UP TALLER AWARD presented by the President's Committee on Arts and Humanities. contact . Cost is $275. Scholarships available for all youth who need them.Access to Theatre was selected as one of 17 awardees from 300 nominations from 46 states, and distinguishes it as one of the top arts and humanities based programs serving youth beyond school hours

. As part of its Cultural Partners Program, The Boston Center for the Arts (BCA) hosts this original performance, created and performed by participants in the Access to Theatre summer institute. Founded in 1968, the Boston Center for the Arts is a performance and visual arts complex with a mission to incubate and showcase new and innovative work of our times. The organizationís facilities span a city block in Bostonís historic South End and encompass 50 studios, a gallery, three small theaters, educational spaces, and the 23,000 square-foot Cyclorama.

Sponsored by The Boston Center for the Arts (website), Partners for Youth with Disabilities (website), Until Tomorrow Productions, VSA Arts of Massachusetts.

Great website which lists websites of Dance companies comprised of variously abled dancers and websites about dance therapy, community dance and dance for blind, deaf and challenged people of all sorts.

Artistic Director Judith Smith
1428 Alice Street, #200
Oakland, CA 94612
Phone: 510.625.0110
Fax: 510.625.0321
Since 1987, AXIS Dance Company has created an exciting body of work developed by dancers with and without disabilities. They are in the forefront of paving the way for a powerful and inclusive dance form, physically integrated dance. The Company has become internationally known for its high artistic and educational standards and innovative movement vocabulary. AXIS performs and teaches nationwide.

Every body can dance...but not everybody is ready to get out on the dance floor and do it. That's where Big Moves steps in, opening the world of dance to people of all sizes! Founded in 2000, Big Moves is the nation's only organization dedicated to increasing size diversity in the world of dance. We host classes and workshops from hip hop to tap, modern to burlesque, jazz to aerial, all taught by size-accepting instructors. We produce shows featuring large dancers, such as our annual professional dance concert, Bodies in Motion. We host performing companies consisting of dancers of all sizes and commission choreography that features large dancers. We also work to educate the public and dance world about issues relating to body image and size acceptance.

It's not all on the internet, but there is amazing research being done on spinal cord injury and until his death, Christopher Reeve had been driving and funding a goodly chunk of it. People with profound disabilities need to keep their body as strong as possible while waiting for the fruits of this research.

Liz Lerman Dance Exchange was founded in Maryland in 1976. Its unique brand of dance/theater breaks boundaries between stage and audience, theater and community, movement and language, tradition and the unexplored. Through explosive dancing, personal stories, humor, and a company of performers whose ages span six decades, Liz Lerman Dance Exchange stretches the expressive range of contemporary dance.

The mission of Atlanta-based, Full Radius Dance is to promote, advance, and enhance the modern dance form for persons with disabilities, for dance artists, and the general community.

National Theatre of the Deaf
139 North Main Street
West Hartford, CT 06107
Movement and sign language integrated with theatre. This company is located in nearby Connecticut and offers performances throughout the country as well as training for people of all ages interested in performing their fascinating and beautiful art form.

Chris Frerichs at (917) 204-8294 or
They do not have a website, but there is a group in New York, which trains teachers in Wheelchair Dance. If interested see the link above for 2004 information.
JULY 2005
Artistic Director Judith Smith
1428 Alice Street, #200
Oakland, CA 94612
Phone: 510.625.0110
Fax: 510.625.0321
AXIS Dance Company is seeking dancers with physical disabilities to join our acclaimed, ground-breaking dance company. We're looking for people with a background in athletics or a strong aptitude for dance as an art form; and/or training in modern dance, Contact Improvisation or other dance techniques. While professional dance experience is not required (extensive training is provided), a genuine interest in and commitment to this work is a must. AXIS offers the ideal opportunity for disabled individuals and athletes looking to try a new direction or to expand their dance career! We are seeking dancers with physical disabilities to join the company preferably for a minimum commitment of two years.

AXIS is a contemporary dance company comprised of dancers with and without physical disabilities that has been active in its San Francisco Bay Area home, nationally, and internationally since 1987. Described as a "visual and physical discovery, creating fascinating works of movement art," AXIS is one of a handful of companies setting a standard for professionalism in the emerging field of 'physically integrated dance.' Under the artistic direction of Judith Smith, our award winning repertory includes works by internationally renowned choreographers Bill T Jones, Ann Carlson, Sonya Delwaide, Joe Goode, Joanna Haigood, Victoria Marks, Stephen Petronio and AXIS company members. Our eclectic dance vocabulary results in a repertory spanning risky and dynamic partnering work; stunning aerial work on a variety of apparatus; quirky and humorous dance theater pieces; and lush, formalistic ensemble work.

AXIS also maintains an extensive dance education and outreach program for students of all ages with and without disabilities, Dance Access and Dance Access/KIDS!. AXIS Dancers also have the opportunity to become Teaching Artists as education and outreach work comprise about 50% of AXIS schedule. Individuals with teaching experience or interest in being Teaching Artists are highly encouraged to apply.

AXIS creates, performs and teaches practically year-round locally and abroad. Rehearsals are two to five times a week. All work is paid and there are opportunities for the right individual to assume other duties including choreography, teaching, and administration.

For more information, see our website at

Please send a cover letter explaining your dance, athletic and/or movement experience and interest in AXIS, bio or resume and a video of you dancing, moving or competing to Judith Smith, Artistic Director.
Oakland, CA, February 24, 2005
AXIS will present its first ever Physically Integrated Dance Summer Intensive August 19 - 28, 2005 at the University of Washington, Seattle, WA. AXIS, Jurg Koch of the University of Washington Dance Department, and Olive Bieringa, of the Body Cartography Project will teach physically integrated contact improvisation, technique, choreography, performance, as well as site-specific dance. The intensive will culminate with an informal performance by workshop attendees and faculty.

Jurg Koch is currently a full-time lecturer and faculty member of the dance department at the University of Washington. He studied dance in Bern, Amsterdam and London and completed his MA in Performance there. From 2000 to 2003, Jurg danced for CandoCo, one of the world's leading dance companies integrating disabled and non-disabled performers. During his time with CandoCo he performed works by internationally renowned choreographers like Javier de Frutos, Doug Elkins, Fin Walker and Jamie Watton. Since then Jurg has increased both his educational and choreographic interests, being commissioned by CandoCo to create the trio A Maze In You

Olive Bieringa, Co-director & dancer for the Cartography Project. She devotes her work to the ongoing art of embodiment through our body's relationship to land, weather and place. The core of her work is informed by improvisational dance & performance forms, somatic movement practices and video creation. Olive holds a BFA in Improvisational Dance from the Netherlands, is a trained DanceAbility teacher and Shiatsu practitioner, and Somatic Movement Educator from the School for Body-Mind Centering. Her dancing has been seen in the work of Katsura Kan, Deborah Hay, Eva Karczag, Jennifer Monson, Sara Shelton Mann, Neil Marcus, Yoshiko Chuma, Stephanie Skura, Karen Nelson and with numerous collaborators across Europe and the USA. She has taught numerous improvisational and site-specific dance and dance video workshops and master classes internationally at retreat centers, universities, schools, dance festivals, Contact Teachers labs and for integrated performance companies such as Axis (CA), Interact Theater (MN) and the DanceAble Festival (FL). For more information on the Body Cartography Project visit

People ages 16 and up, of all dance levels and experience, with and without physical disabilities are invited to attend. Participants in the Summer Intensive may be considered for future part-time dancer positions with AXIS Dance Company. Tuition is $500. Limited full and partial scholarships will be made available through an application process. To apply for a full or partial scholarship, please send a letter of interest, curriculum vitae or resume of dance, theater, and/or athletic experience, plus a 10-15 minute VHS or DVD of yourself dancing to the AXIS office at 1428 Alice Street, Ste. 200, Oakland, CA 94612. Postmark deadline for scholarship application is April 15, 2005.

Tuition does not include the cost of accommodations. AXIS is reserving a block of hotel rooms in Seattle at a competitive room rate. We will make hotel information available to workshop registrants in early May. AXIS will make every effort to assist people in finding affordable accommodations including providing registrants with contact information of others who may wish to share a room for the length of the summer intensive.

Register online by visiting, or by contacting the AXIS office at (510) 625-0110, to receive a registration form. Registration deadline is April 30th. For more information on AXIS Dance Company visit

Deborah Nash at
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