Abilities Dance is a Boston-based nonprofit that provides a professional platform to learn and perform for dancers of all mental and physical abilities. Since its inception in 2017, outside of our own show, the work of Abilities has been showcased in different festival and venues across the Boston area and beyond, most notably the the Boston Contemporary Dance Festival, Able Artworks Festival, and The Series: Vol IV at the Alvin Ailey Theatre. Audience members have been inspired and excited to see different types of bodies displayed.
On an artistic level, Abilities aims to tell stories in their works focusing on inclusion and other social justice issues. These stories are told by working with dancers to create movements that are suitable for their bodies. Through improvisational exercises and the dancers’ movement interests, they develop choreography that tells stories while letting the dancers’ voices resonate throughout the piece. They also incorporate composers to create original compositions for the pieces. The composers create music that match the movements of the choreography in a feedback process with the choreographer and composer. The collaboration between the three parties creates a unique piece that blends strong voices to tell a powerful story.
Our approach is much different than traditional approaches to choreography, where a choreographer has a vision and attempts to seek dancers to match the vision. From there they perform to already made music or music that has been composed for the piece in a less collaborative way. By putting different abilities first, we ensure that everyone has the safe space to learn and perform in the best way possible for the dancers.
The funding will be used to support our two night evening length show June 2nd and 3rd, 2018 at Hibernian Hall in Roxbury, MA. Specifically, the funding will be used for: rehearsal venue, performance venue, marketing, liability insurance, costumes, and small stipends for dancers and composers. Any additional funding will be used to support other performance opportunities throughout the season.