Winter 2023 In Dance

stim toys is installed in the lower level of the building. And through it all, access doulas – folks appointed to check in with guests and make sure their needs are being met – roam the crowd. CREATING ACCESS is a continuous practice of learning, and I imagine there are things my collaborators and I might overlook in the process. There may be factors that we don’t have room for in our budget, or consider- ations we don’t initially include in our planning. While we might not get everything right, it feels important to prioritize accessibility first and foremost for what it is: a means of making all aspects of the event available for all who wish to participate. Secondary to this are the aes- thetic embellishments that come within a creative pro- cess. A space can be beautiful, provocative and intrigu- ing, but for whom and how? When artistic and access elements conflict with one another, it’s important to stay grounded in this understanding. Furthermore, our goal is to build a container that holds the trust and flexibility necessary to make adaptations and respond to audience requests as they arise. This becomes a choreography in and of itself – a network of care that reflects the larger intention of this event and the kind of world it wishes to reflect: A world that takes the burden off disabled people to always state our needs first. A world that builds solidarity, compassion and mutual understanding between people with different kinds of disabilities. A world where access is our collective responsibility; a spell that we cast again and again to strengthen the con- nection to our shared humanity. I look forward to diving deeper into these questions and research in the coming six months, finding new queries, collaborators and insights along the way. Whether you identify as disabled or not, all are invited to participate. I hope you’ll join us on the dance floor! Through the power of a booming bass or a soothing chill-out space, a reclined seat or poetic performance description, may we all tap into the unique embodied joy a club can offer – and rediscover parts of our queerest, freakiest and most interconnected selves in the process. OCTAVIA ROSE HINGLE is Bay Area born & raised choreographer and story- teller with a physical impairment. Their performance work centers access as an aesthetic portal to visions of past and future ancestors that travel through the present moment. Under the creative umbrella of Octavia Rose Projects, they facilitate collaborations with artists across movement, sound, video, text and visual design that tap into the transformative powers of our collec- tive imagination. Octavia holds a BA in dance from Middlebury College, and has studied with ODC/Dance, AXIS Dance Company Choreo-Lab and the UCLA Dancing Disability lab and the Headlong Performance Institute. Perfor- mances and commissions include work with LEVYsalon, the SAFEhouse for the Arts RAW residency, the Shawl-Anderson Queering Dance Festival & the National Queer Arts Festival.

surpassed my wildest fantasies of what parties could be. I wanted to contribute to this landscape and produce more events that drew on my previous creative endeavors. But as my physical impairment became more complex, I had to back out from participating in all the ways I wanted. With Crip Ecstasy , I look forward to returning to night- life on my own terms, in a way that is more approachable for myself and my community. I imagine that when audi- ence members enter this production, they are greeted with diverse ways to engage with the space that cater to many different desires and needs. In the main theater, music from a live DJ is simultaneously live-described on projec- tors for the D/deaf community. For those like myself who have difficulty standing or sitting for long periods of time, day beds and lounge chairs are placed around and in the center of the venue – instead of just being isolated to the outskirts. Here folks can lounge, lie down or dance on a horizontal plane and still be able to remain present and immersed in the fabric of the event. Access benefits everyone. While these seating elements

are prioritized for those who need them, all are welcome to experience the club from this unique vantage point. I envision multiple performances by disabled dancers, drag queens and kings happening in between DJ sets.

Access benefits everyone.

This group of artists, (still to be finalized), are invited to translate elements of nightlife performance through the distinct knowledge base of their individual bodyminds. Together, we can activate the space and seating arrange- ments with a tapestry of perspectives, reflecting the infinite sources of wisdom the community holds. An audio describer can translate movement into spoken word, while ASL inter- preters sign dialogue and lyrics. If audience members need to unwind or lie down in a quieter, welcoming environment, a chill-out space with cushion sculptures, calm lighting and


in dance WINTER 2023 44

WINTER 2023 in dance 45

In Dance | May 2014 |

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