enVISION: Commissioned by Arts Access

SDW was honored to join Arts Access at The Cary Theatre for an inspired afternoon of accessible theater, music and dance featuring performers with mixed-abilities.

We were very proud to present our newest collaboration entitled enVISION, the finale of a three section work commissioned by Arts Access. The work intertwined the dance experiences of two individuals with mixed-abilities and the future of adaptive dance. The piece opened with a duet entitled people like that, choreographed and performed by Lillian Willis in collaboration with Davian Robinson. Willis is Robinson’s movement mentor at UNC where he is currently enrolled as a dance major. Robinson lost his sight as a child and is breaking ground in innovative dance practices for people with low vision.

The second section entitled J’aime ma soeur, is a duet between ShaLeigh Comerford and her long time student Janie Desmond. Comerford and Desmond first began working together in 2005 researching non-ambulatory movement practices and have created an innovative movement relationship and bond that has spanned more than ten years. Their duet first premiered last year at DPAC for Reality Ministries’ annual talent show.

The grand finale enVISION brought together Comerford, Desmond, Robinson, Willis and the dancers of ShaLeigh Dance Works, in a performance that revealed that through collaboration and imagination, anything is possible. The group plans to continue their work together and look forward to many more collaborations to come.
“We feel there is greater potential yet to come with this work and the endless possibilities that are just beginning to be tapped for new movement mentor relationships. As most individuals with mixed abilities are paired with similar abilities, this collaboration really tapped into something new when we paired Janie and Davian to create an improvised duet. They discovered such a special way of relating and listening to each other’s bodies. It was truly remarkable to witness!” says Comerford.

The showcase was hosted by Master of Ceremonies, NC native, and NC Theater’s Artistic Director Eric Woodall. Other Performances included Diantha Lopez (Musician), Doug Kapp (Comedian), Eddie Cisneros and Noah (Musicians).

ABOUT: Arts Access is North Carolina’s only non-profit organization dedicated solely to making the arts accessible to people with disabilities. Founded in 1984 by a group of dedicated volunteers, Arts Access has grown to serve over 2500 North Carolinians annually and to be nationally recognized for its work at the intersection of arts and disability. The mission of Arts Access is to make the arts accessible to both children and adults with disabilities. For more information, visit their website here.

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