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In this practical introduction to the study of Disability Arts and Culture, Petra Kuppers draws on a wide range of examples, exercises and activities to introduce the key artists and theoretical concepts in this diverse field. Comprehensive and accessible, this is an essential handbook for anyone interested in the disabled body in performance.
Performances in hospices and on beaches; cross-cultural myth making in Wales, New Zealand and the US; communal poetry among mental health system survivors: this book, now in paperback, presents a senior practitioner/critic's exploration of arts-based research processes sustained over more than a decade - a subtle engagement with disability culture.
Mobilizing Metaphor illustrates how radical and unconventional forms of activism, including art, are reshaping the rich and vibrant tradition of disability mobilization in Canada. The artists, activists, and scholars in Mobilizing Metaphor reveal how their work is distinctive as both art and social action, and how disability activism is as varied as the population it represents. Sketching the shifting contours of Canadian disability politics, the authors challenge perceptions of disability and the politics that surround it, leading us to re-examine how we define oppression and how we enact change.
Disability and Contemporary Performance presents a remarkable challenge to existing assumptions about disability and artistic practice. In particular, it explores where cultural knowledge about disability leaves off, and the lived experience of difference begins. Petra Kuppers, herself an award-winning artist and theorist, investigates the ways in which disabled performers challenge, change and work with current stereotypes through their work. She explores freak show fantasies and 'medical theatre' as well as live art, webwork, theatre, dance, photography and installations, to cast an entirely new light on contemporary identity politics and aesthetics. This is an outstanding exploration of some of the most pressing issues in performance, cultural and disability studies today, written by a leading practitioner and critic.
"A testament to the synergy of two evolving fields. From the study of staged performances to examinations of the performing body in everyday life, this book demonstrates the enormous profitability of moving beyond disability as metaphor. . . . It's a lesson that many of our cultural institutions desperately need to learn." -Martin F. Norden, University of Massachusetts-Amherst This groundbreaking collection imagines disabled bodies as "bodies in commotion"-bodies that dance across artistic and discursive boundaries, challenging our understanding of both disability and performance. In the book's essays, leading critics and artists explore topics that range from theater and dance to multi-media performance art, agit-prop, American Sign Language theater, and wheelchair sports. Bodies in Commotion is the first collection to consider the mutually interpretive qualities of these two emerging fields, producing a dynamic new resource for artists, activists, and scholars.
Making an Entrance is the first ever practical introduction to teaching dance with disabled and non disabled students. This clearly written, thought provoking and hugely enjoyable manual is essential reading whether you're just starting out or are already active in the field. Taking improvisation as his focus and as the starting point of choreographic exploration, Adam Benjamin asks what it has to offer as an art form and how it can be better used to meet the changing needs of dance education. In the theoretical section Benjamin explores the history of a disintegrated dance practice, placing it within the wider context of cultural and political movements. He questions what is meant today when we talk about 'inclusive' or 'integrated dance' and what we might expect of it. The book includes over 50 exercises and improvisations designed to stimulate and challenge students at all levels of dance. Benjamin also includes useful hints on the practicalities of setting up workshops covering issues as diverse a class size, the safety aspects of wheelchairs and the accessibility of dance spaces.
This book provides the reader with a ground-breaking understanding of disability and social movements. By describing how disability is philosophically, historically, and theoretically positioned, Carling-Jenkins is able to then examine disability relationally through an evaluation of the contributions of groups engaged in similar human rights struggles. The book locates disability rights as a new social movement and provides an explanation for why disability has been divided rather than united in Australia. Finally, it investigates whether the recent campaign to implement a national disability insurance scheme represents a re-emergence of the movement. It will be of interest to all scholars and students of both disability studies and social movements.

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