Abilities Dance is a Boston-based nonprofit that provides a professional platform to learn and perform for dancers of all physical and cognitive abilities. Since our first performance in 2017 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.
On an artistic level, Abilities aims to tell stories in their works focusing on disability rights and other social justice issues. These stories are told by working with adult dancers to create movements that are suitable for their bodies. We also incorporate a composer to create music that match the movements of the choreography in a feedback process with the choreographer and composer.
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 2018-2019 season. Through our self-produced evening length productions; launching classes so that dancers of all ages and abilities can develop technique; and partnering with community organizations to host workshops and honest conversations about making our spaces more inclusive, we hope to disseminate our mission of increasing inclusion in dance for folks with disabilities on a larger scale.