Descent


Alice Sheppard creates movement that challenges conventional understandings of disabled and dancing bodies, and engages the intersections of disability, gender, and race.

Artist Bio

Descent is both a dance experience and a radical experiment in aesthetic accessibility and audience design. Through a mobile application—built in partnership with designer Laurel Lawson—and 360 film experience, Descent enables audiences to encounter wheeled embodiment.


Award Year
2019
Status

In Progress

Alice Sheppard

Los Altos, CA

Alice Sheppard creates movement that challenges conventional understandings of disabled and dancing bodies. Engaging with disability arts, culture, and history, Sheppard examines the complex intersections of disability, gender, and race by exploring the societal and cultural significance of difference. As a queer, disabled dancer, and choreographer of color, Sheppard operates on the belief that dance should engage the critical questions that define us and enable us to function as sensitive, committed citizens off the stage.

Sheppard took her first dance class on a dare, and found she enjoyed moving so much that she resigned her academic professorship in order to begin a career in dance. She made her debut with Infinity Dance Theater, and then joined AXIS Dance Company, touring nationally and teaching in the company’s education and outreach programs. Since then, she has worked with Full Radius Dance, Marjani Forté, MBDance, Infinity Dance Theater, and Steve Paxton, among others.