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Under the Radar 

Wednesday, Mar 21 2007
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What makes Jess Curtis/Gravity's latest dance performance piece about the intersection between dance and disability so refreshing is that the disabled dancers are not merely window dressing but the central driving force. From the moment Kaz Langley wheels herself onstage in ballet point shoes, we are asked to face our assumptions and preconceived notions about what it means to move. Over the next two hours, we cannot forget the disabilities we see but must embrace them for all the possibilities they hold — yes, Claire Cunningham may have struggled to walk her whole life and now sustains herself on crutches, but can you walk up walls? What we watch being created is an interweaving of different abilities, personas, and dancing and music styles. It would not be nearly so captivating nor such a challenge to our expectations without every performer's contribution to the whole. The power of Curtis' piece lies in his and his dancers' ability to take a subject that we have been taught to turn away from and turn it instead into something of wonder and beauty that we don't want to take our eyes off of. — Molly Rhodes

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Molly Rhodes

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