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Alice Sheppard, a light-skinned Black woman with a crown of short curly hair, is crawling on her hands with her knees in Laurel Lawson's footplate. Laurel, a white woman, is arching her back on the ground as she is dragged along the floor. A sunset appear
Photo by MANCC / Chris Cameron
Walker Art Center and Northrop Present

Kinetic Light

2020-21 Northrop Season
Thu, Dec 3, 8:00 pm CST
About the Event

DESCENT

Under the artistic leadership of “innovator in disability arts” (The New York Times), Alice Sheppard’s Kinetic Light enables new understandings of the moving world. Dancers perch, swoop, and soar on a striking custom-built ramp of curves and peaks in DESCENT in this recorded version making its online premiere. This visually stunning imagining of a queer, interracial love story of mythical figures Venus and Andromeda is a transformative ride testing the limits of what dance, beauty, and disability appear to be.

“Sheppard and her collaborators are reimagining how we experience the form, and at the same time, making striking new shapes that challenge our limited ideas of what dance—and dancers—look like.” (Albany Times Union)

adio described icon The online performance will be audio captioned.

asl iconopen caption iconclosed caption iconThe Artist Conversation will include ASL interpretation and captioning.

 

Notes from Northrop Director of Programming Kristen Brogdon

I’ve been talking with artistic director Alice Sheppard for a couple of years now, and I finally had a chance to see the company in person last November in North Carolina. DESCENT is a dance duet and an incredible distillation of Sheppard’s disability arts aesthetic and her work with Laurel Lawson and Michael Maag. The work features a gorgeous ramp that functions almost like a third character in the piece. Michael Maag’s lighting and projection design with images of the night sky sets the stage for an encounter between Venus and Andromeda, who originate in separate mythological universes. The production also includes access to Kinetic Light’s Audimance, technology developed for and with blind and non visual audiences which features multi-track audio description, providing access and equitable artistic experiences. Kinetic Light are the vanguard of disability arts and I can’t wait to share their work with you.

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Descent image 2
Photo by Jay Newman/BRITT

Alice Sheppard, a light-skinned Black woman, and Laurel Lawson, a white woman, sit calmly in the valley of the ramp, the casters of their wheelchairs on the edge of the slope. They face the horizon of Michael Maag’s projected hillscape. The muscles of their exposed backs are highlighted in shadow, and projections of their spirit guides sparkle above them. 

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Decent image1
Photo courtesy of BRITT /Jay Newman

Alice Sheppard, a light-skinned Black woman, and Laurel Lawson, a white woman, are perched with wheelchairs on very edge of the ramp, backs exposed and sculpted in the light. Above them their fetches shine like spirits. 

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Photo by Jay Newman / BRITT Festival

Laurel Lawson, a white woman, is flying in the air with arms spread wide, wheels spinning, and supported by Alice Sheppard. Alice, a light-skinned Black woman, is lifting from the ground below. They are making eye contact and smiling. 

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Photo by MANCC / Chris Cameron

As the sky transitions from gold to amber to red, green and blue, Alice Sheppard, a light-skinned Black woman, slides in a spider position on her stomach down the shiny ramp. The shadow of her wheelchair is visible beneath; her curly hair glows.

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Photo byRain Embuscado

Alice Sheppard, a light-skinned Black woman with short curly hair, lies on her stomach on the ramp, wheels behind her. She leans off the edge of the ramp to catch Laurel Lawson in her arms. Laurel, a white woman, eyes closed, turns her head towards the camera as she drops backwards. Behind and above them a projected waterscape uses shafts of light to suggest that they are both underwater.

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Photo by MANCC / Chris Cameron

Alice Sheppard, a light-skinned Black woman with a crown of short curly hair, is crawling on her hands with her knees in Laurel Lawson's footplate. Laurel, a white woman, is arching her back on the ground as she is dragged along the floor. A sunset appears behind them.

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Photo by MANCC / Chris Cameron

Shadowy images of Rodin sculptures hang in a lilac-streaked sky. Laurel Lawson lifts Alice Sheppard onto her lap. Alice looks down at the shadowy lines on the deck of the ramp; her wheels hang and her crown of golden curly hair shines in the light. Laurel holds Alice and turns her chair.

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Photo by BRITT / Jay Newman

Laurel Lawson, a white woman, balances on the footplate of Alice Sheppard’s wheelchair, with arms spread wide, wheels spinning. Alice Sheppard, a light-skinned Black woman, opens her arms wide to receive her in an embrace. They make eye contact and smile. A starry sky fills the background, and moonlight glints off their rims.

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Photo by Robbie Sweeny

Alice Sheppard, Laurel Lawson and Michael Maag are all sitting in their wheelchairs in profile. Alice leans onto Laurel who is leaning onto Michael. They are all smiling. 

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Photo by Beverlie Lord

Alice is a light skinned multi-racial Black woman with brown, yellow and copper streaks in her curly hair. She smiles and gazes at the camera. A necklace of Autumn colored beads sits around her neck. 

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Photo by Robert Kim

Laurel Lawson, a white woman with short blonde hair and blue eyes, gazes away from the camera with a wry smile highlighted by crimson lipstick. 

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Photo by Jenny Graham

Michael Maag smiles at you with twinkling eyes. He has white/blond hair with impressive long beard, glasses and a light complexion.

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Photo by MANCC / Chris Cameron.

The ramp sits against a purple starry background; shards of sunrise are visible on the left of the image. On the right, the shadowy outline of a figure hangs just above the black shadowy peak of the ramp. The main deck of the ramp is covered with projections of rippling blue water.

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612.624.2345
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Photo by MANCC / Chris Cameron