Favorite

Let It Roll 

Light Motion introduces wheelchair dance.

Charlene Curtiss used to practice law as a public defender until she discovered wheelchair dance.

"It was an interesting shift in my life," says the Seattle choreographer and dancer. "I had a lightweight sports chair and I did a video on movement in it for the company, in exchange for getting the chair for free. That began my exploration of movement in the chair to music."

Curtiss' dance company, Light Motion, which has performed throughout the country and abroad, this Saturday night will give a concert in Tucson featuring able-bodied dancers on their feet and disabled dancers in wheelchairs. Known as integrated dance, the relatively new art form allows for all sorts of unexpected movement; one New York Times reviewer said it has the "elegance of ice skating."

"You're working with counterbalance," Curtiss explains. "You pull away, you lean in. The chair can move without me having to push it." Adds Steve Anderson of Arts for All, the concert's local promoter, "If you're a 'stand-up,' there are certain things you can't do. Wheelchairs offer a whole new range of movement. A person standing gives a lunge to the wheelchair, and the body whips around the stage. It's pretty interesting stuff."

The performers not only will include Curtiss, seated in a wheelchair, and her non-wheelchair-using dance partner, Joanne Petroff. Also in their number will be members of Tucson's NEW ARTiculations and Zuzi! Move It modern dance troupes, and a dozen or more novice wheelchair dancers from the city. The locals got together with Light Motion for a Sunday workshop and have been in rehearsals all week. The program will be divided up between pieces that are solely Light Motion and pieces danced by the mixed group.

The collaboration, says Curtiss, might even help make wheelchair dance a permanent feature of the Tucson arts scene. "The new relationships that get built can carry on after we've left. People might continue to work in integrated dance."





Light Motion performs at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, January 13, at the Pima Community College Center for the Arts Proscenium Theatre, 2202 W. Anklam Road. Ticket are $9 to $12. For information call 622-1212.

More by Margaret Regan

  • Alive and Well

    TMA’s giant Body Language show proves that body art is thriving
    • Apr 27, 2017
  • Good as Gold

    Three artists in Etherton’s Color Theory show celebrate the colors of spring and stardust
    • Apr 20, 2017
  • The Age of Anxiety

    Two painters at Davis Dominguez paint figures and landscapes that embody the edginess of modern life
    • Apr 13, 2017
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

The Range

Joe Needs a Home

More »

Latest in Review

  • Art Cruising

    Korean woman’s East/West paintings a highlight of Saturday night’s group openings
    • Jun 4, 2015
  • Adventures in Fun

    Two Tucson theaters deliver it year-round
    • May 28, 2015
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Justice Denied

    Then-and-now photos at Tucson Desert Art Museum document the horrors of the Japanese internment
    • Mar 30, 2017
  • The Age of Anxiety

    Two painters at Davis Dominguez paint figures and landscapes that embody the edginess of modern life
    • Apr 13, 2017
  • More »

Facebook Activity

© 2017 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation