Alfred University News

Alfred University’s Riley Lecture, featuring Alice Sheppard, will be held April 13

Alice Sheppard (Photo by Beverlie Lord)
Alice Sheppard (Photo by Beverlie Lord)

Alice Sheppard, Artistic Director of Kinetic Light, a leading disability arts ensemble, will deliver Alfred University’s spring 2021 Riley Lecture at 5:30 pm Tuesday, April 13.


Alice Sheppard, Artistic Director of Kinetic Light, a leading disability arts ensemble, will deliver Alfred University’s spring 2021 Riley Lecture at 5:30 pm Tuesday, April 13. The talk, which will take place on the Zoom platform, is titled Our World Runs Deep: Intersectional Disability Aesthetics and Culture In Dance.

Sheppard studied ballet and modern dance with Kitty Lunn, whose injuries at the age of 36 confined her to a wheelchair but who nevertheless continued her ballet training. Sheppard, who also uses a wheelchair, danced with Lunn’s Infinity Dance Theater, then joined AXIS Dance Company, where she toured and taught in the company’s education and outreach programs.

“For whom do we tell our disability stories?” she asks. “The newly reemerging disability arts movement resoundingly refutes mainstream contemporary narratives of disability, diversity, and inclusion.”

As an independent artist, Sheppard has danced in projects with Ballet Cymru, GDance, and Marc Brew Company in the U.K. and Full Radius Dance, Marjani Forté, MBDance, Infinity Dance Theater, and Steve Paxton in the U.S. Her choreography has been commissioned by Full Radius Dance, CRIPSiE, and MOMENTA.

As a Bessie Award-winning choreographer, Sheppard creates movement that challenges conventional understandings of disabled and dancing bodies. Engaging disability arts, culture, and history, her work examines the intersections of disability, gender, and race.

In addition to performance and choreography, Sheppard is a sought-after speaker and has lectured on topics related to disability arts, race, and dance. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times and in academic journals.

To register and obtain Zoom presentation information for Sheppard’s lecture, please contact Cecilia Beach.

 

Editor’s note: At Alice Sheppard’s request, the following text describes her photograph, above, for visually impaired individuals:

Alice Sheppard smiles broadly at the camera. She is a light-skinned, multiracial Black woman with short curly blonde and brown hair. Her lipstick is a bright fuchsia, which matches the straps of her top. She wears a brightly colored necklace with chunky round beads. Photo by Beverlie Lord.