Me" is an enthralling modern dance performance that celebrates creativity and the
potential that is only possible when people with and without disabilities work
together as equals. This is the first
professional mixed-abilities performance to ever be shown in Florence. It is
also the first time that DanceAbility International will perform in Florence. The company has performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., and in grand theatres in Hong Kong and all over three continents.
Don't Leave Me is presented by the DanceAbility International dance
company in collaboration with the University of Oregon School of
Architecture, which designed the set structures. The show explores how we are
all dependent on each other and how space determines action and vice versa. The
dancers use the ever-changing set design as apparel, a
s furniture, and as
architecture. The human and architectural bodies act as a symbiotic community.
This performance examines a spectrum of relationships between people
and spaces, from how orientations and structures can constrict to how architecture
can open opportunities for movement by responding to specific situation and
This cross-discipline collaboration of dance and architecture takes
risks with frames and bodies. During a rehearsal, one of the dancers was high
up on the designed structure and felt it start to shake. She immediately called
out to the dancers below her "don't leave me!" This became the title of the
piece. It speaks to our interdependence, and also the DanceAbility method
belief that nobody should be left out or left behind.
This performance will open audience's hearts and minds. It shows the
unlimited potential of people when disabilities are not viewed as something
inferior. The dancers with and without disabilities create and express together
as equals. DanceAbility International performances surprise and delight, as
they dissolve labels and barriers.
The eight dancers are Eugene's top modern dance performers and teachers, and many have toured nationally and internationally. Choreographic direction is by award winning choreographer, Alito Alessi. The Design in Movement team of the University of Oregon School of Architecture and Allied Arts provided set and space design, under the direction of Frances Bronet (former Dean, UO School of Architecture and Allied Arts). The music is an original composition by Jeffrey Stolet.
DanceAbility International creates opportunities for people with and without disabilities to dance and move together. Their vision is that through dance and movement, people from very diverse backgrounds experience the art of being together. In addition to performing, they conduct recreational classes and workshops and train dance educators to be able to be more inclusive.
This project is made
possible in part by Western Lane Community Foundation, Plum Creek Foundation,
Lane County Cultural Coalition, National Endowment for the Arts, with operating support from Lane Arts
Council, and Oregon Arts Commission.