Kinetic Light creates, performs, and teaches at the intersections of disability, dance, and race. Working in the disciplines of art, design, architecture, and social justice, Kinetic Light showcases freedom of movement and reveals how mobility—literal, physical, and conceptual—is fundamental to participation in civic life. Alice Sheppard performed with Infinity Dance Theater and AXIS Dance Company before becoming an independent artist, while Laurel Lawson has performed with Full Radius Dance for more than 15 years.
Video description: From the tops of plain wooden ramps in opposite corners of a performance space clad in black marley and warm light, Alice Sheppard and Laurel Lawson speed towards each other in their wheelchairs. Alice is a light-skinned multiracial Black woman with short curly brown hair, and Laurel is a pale white woman with short cropped silver hair. Their metallic tank tops and leggings shimmer in shades of bronze, slate, and rust. Laurel lifts Alice onto her shoulder for a partnered spin. Gliding back into separate spaces, their port de bras cuts and curves through the air as they encircle each other. Wheeling backwards, the dancers pause, balancing on two wheels for a moment before another descent, a near miss as each tilts to the side without stopping. Alice ascends a ramp as Laurel falls backwards into her path; Alice pulls Laurel’s wheels into her lap and they begin a series of partnered crawls, wheels stacked on top of wheels, rolling and flipping across each other. As Alice crawls determinedly through center stage, Laurel moves through a series of gestures, curved then jagged. They disentangle; Alice lies on her back against the ramp in the opposite downstage corner, contracting, wheels up, gesturing. Laurel sprints away, pauses in decision; then soaring towards Alice, Laurel flies and lands atop Alice, balanced — arms spread wide and wheels spinning as she gazes down towards Alice, who curves toward her partner in joy.