Alice Sheppard is a disabled choreographer and dancer from Britain. Sheppard started her career first as a professor, but later became interested in dance. She became a member of the AXIS Dance Company and toured with them. She also founded and leads Kinetic Light, an artistic coalition created in collaboration with dancer, Laurel Lawson, and lighting and video artist, Michael Maag.
Sheppard earned a doctorate in medieval studies at Cornell University. She worked as an associate professor of English and Comparative Literature at Pennsylvania State University (PSU). In 2004, after a conference on disability studies, she took on a dare from disabled dancer, Homer Avila, to take a dance class. At the conference, she also met Simi Linton, who is the creator and co-director of Invitation to Dance, where Linton’s own account of disability is intertwined with the stories of others, including Alice Sheppard, whose image graces the cover of the film. According to the other director of the film, Christian von Tippelskirch, “Alice Sheppard...is a central figure [in the film]. She is an amazingly talented, forceful dancer, whether on stage or at a party”.</ref> The first dance lesson Sheppard took was taught by Kitty Lunn. She continued her dance lessons with AXIS Dance Company, became an apprentice dancer in 2006 and then became a company member in 2007.
Post-apprenticeship, Sheppard toured nationally and taught for the Axis Dance Company in their education and outreach programs. In 2012, Alice became an independent dancer and has since worked with companies in the United Kingdom and the United States.
In 2014 Sheppard collaborated with GDance and Ballet Cymru to create the performance Stuck in the Mud. The performance was presented as a promenade – an interactive performance where performers guided the audience through a tour of the site. She has also performed with Full Radius Dance in both 2014 and 2015.
In 2017 she collaborated with Marc Brew Company to create BREWBAND, a performance that combines live rock music with live dance. The show “blurs boundaries between musicians and dancers and challenges audience’s perceptions of what live performance is”.
Currently, Sheppard's dance company, Kinetic Light, is working on a piece entitled DESCENT, performed on an architectural ramp installation. The performance acts out the story of Andromeda and Venus, re-imagined as interracial lovers.
In 2017, Alice Sheppard became one of two 2017-2018 recipients of a fully supported production residencies from Gibney Dance. The award will provides resources to develop and stage new works.
In February 2018, Alice Sheppard performs at the ribbon cutting of an additional 10,000 square feet of space at the Gibney Dance Center. She also spoke at the 2018 Dance/NYC Symposium on a panel about growing the field of disability dance in NYC.
Movement style and choreography
Sheppard's dances use her wheelchair as an extension of her body. She also uses crutches in her routines. In 2016, she incorporated the use of ramps, built by engineering students at Olin College. Below is a list of works choreographed by Alice Sheppard.
|List of Works||Date|
|I Belong to You||2014|
|So, I Will Wait||2015|
|Re-Membering A World To Come||2016|
|Trusting If/ Believing When||2017|
|Where Good Souls Fear||2017|
Awards and grants
- Wynn Newhouse Award (2015)
- Dance/NYC Disability Dance Fund (2017)
- Creative Capital Foundation’s MAP FUND (2017)
- New England Foundation for the Arts [NEFA]: The NDP Production grant (2017)
- “Orosius, Old English translation of,” in Michael Lapidge, ed., The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Anglo-Saxon England. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, (1998), pages 346-347.
- "Of This Is a King's Body Made: Lordship and Succession in Lawman's Arthur and Leir" (2000)
- “The King’s Family: Securing the Kingdom in Asser’s Vita Alfredi,” Philological Quarterly 80 (2001): pages 409-439.
- “Noble Counsel No-Counsel: Advising Ethelred the Unready,” in Via Crucis: Essays on Sources and Ideas in Memory of J. E. Cross, edited by Thomas N. Hall, Thomas D. Hill, and C. D. Wright. Morgantown: West Virginia University Press, (2002), pages 393-422.
- “Love Rewritten: Patronizing Meaning and Authorizing History in the Prologue to La3amon’s Brut,” Mediaevalia 23 (2002): pages 99–121.
- "Families of the King: Writing Identity in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle" (2004)
- “After Words,” PMLA, 120 (2005): pages 647–641.
- “A Word to the Wise: Thinking and Wisdom in the Old English Wanderer,” in Source of Wisdom: Studies in Old English and Insular Latin in Honor of Thomas D. Hill, ed. Charles D. Wright, Frederick M. Biggs, and Thomas N. Hall. University of Toronto Press, (2007). pages 647–641.
- "Black Booty" at Spelman College (2010)
- "Showing Spine" at Barnard College (2012)
- "Embodied Virtuosity: Dances from Disability Culture" at Emory University (2014).
- “Practicing Dance: Backstage with a Disabled Dancer” at Arkansas State University and SUNY Geneseo (2014)
- "The Second Annual Longmore Lecture" at San Francisco State University (2015)
- "Trained to Kill: Disability, Race and Dance" at University of Alberta and Georgetown University (2016)
- "Adaptive Gear, Art, Aesthetics" at Olin College (2016)
- "Disability Across Disciplines Symposium" at University of Virginia (2016)
- “Overturning Expectations: Dance and Disability” at 92Y (2017)
- Weber, Bruce (30 October 2009). "A Dance Company Mixes Arms, Legs and Wheels". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
- White, Jasmine (2016-02-26). "Promoting Disability Activism Through Dance". The Hoya. Retrieved 2017-10-05.
- "Alice Sheppard - Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability". longmoreinstitute.sfsu.edu.
- Palladino, D.J. (29 January 2014). "Invitation to Dance". Independent. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
- "Invitation to Dance: A Consecrated Dance Space". Invitationtodancemovie.blogspot.com. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
- "Invitation to Dance (2014)". IMDb.com. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
- "Dancers with disabilities continue to fight for acceptance". Metro US. 2015-07-03. Retrieved 2017-10-05.
- Ruidas, Kalani (25 February 2015). "Dance artist expresses complex ideas through movement". Golden Gate Xpress. Retrieved 2017-10-05.
- "3Arts". 3arts.org. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
- "Stuck In The Mud - Ballet Cymru". Welshballet.co.uk. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
- "Full Radius Dance". Fullradiusdance.blogspot.com. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
- Full Radius Dance (24 August 2014). "It is four years ago and it is yesterday EXCERPT: Quartet". YouTube.
- "BREWBAND". Marcbrew.com. 27 October 2015. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
- Elderkin, Rachel (26 April 2017). "Marc Brew Company: Brewband review at Sadler's Wells, London". The Stage. Retrieved 2017-10-05.
- "MarcBrewCompany presents: BREWBAND". Indiegogo.
- "Alice Sheppard / Kinetic Light". Dance.nyc. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
- "Alice Sheppard - Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography". mancc.org.
- Barone, Joshua (2017-12-19). "Gibney Dance Expands Its Residency Program". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-03-04.
- "Alice Performs at Gibney Dance Center Ribbon Cutting - Alice Sheppard". alicesheppard.com. Retrieved 2018-03-04.
- "Alice Sheppard Proves It's Time To Redefine Virtuosity". Dance Magazine. 2018-06-18. Retrieved 2018-07-30.
- Putnam, Bailey (20 April 2016). "Physics + dance + wheelchair = art - The Boston Globe". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2017-10-05.
- "Awards". Wnewhouseawards.com. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
- "Fund". Dance.nyc. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
- "2017 MAP Fund Grantees". Mapfundblog.org. 22 May 2017. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
- "NEFA's National Dance Project Announces Awards for New Dance Production and Presentation". Nefa.org. 17 July 2017. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
- SHEPPARD, ALICE (6 October 2017). "Of This Is a King's Body Made: Lordship and Succession in Lawman's Arthur and Leir". Arthuriana. 10 (2): 50–65. doi:10.2307/27869543. JSTOR 27869543.
- Sheppard, Alice (6 October 2017). "Families of the King: Writing Identity in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle". University of Toronto Press. Retrieved 6 October 2017 – via Google Books.
- Jacobs, Hal (14 October 2014). "Alice Sheppard on Disability Dance and Access". Vimeo.com. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
- "Arkansas State to present 'Backstage' with a disabled dancer". Arkansa State University. March 26, 2014. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
- "Mobilizing Bodies: Dance & Disability at 92Y, Petronio at The Joyce, & Work Up 3.1 at Gibney". Culturebot.org. 8 April 2017. Retrieved 6 October 2017.