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Karen Peterson, project director, is a graduate of the Boston Conservatory, has received numerous awards for her choreography and is a past VSA teaching artist, performer and trainer. Karen has developed and led “mixed-ability” dance events with her company (KPD) since 1990 and have represented Florida on a local, national and international level. She has taught and performed mixed-ability at various dance and disability festivals in NYC, Atlanta, Cleveland, Brazil, Italy, Scotland, Bosnia, Serbia, Guatemala, Belgrade and Montenegro. KPD performed for the VSA International Conference in Washington D.C. in 2010 and directed workshops in Guatemala City for “Alas de Libertad” (Wings of Freedom), a VSA Latin American partner. She is a Bank of America Cultural Award Winner from the American Red Cross for 2015. Karen was the facilitator for KPD’s “Miami Lisbon Dance Exchange” and created performances for her troupe in Lisbon (April 2016) and Miami (2016)

May 12th-13th at 8pm

We are delighted to announce that Florida Senator Gwen Margolis and the Honorary Rui Forcada of the Consulate of Portugal will be our guests on Friday, May 13th at 8PM to open up the Miami / Lisbon Dance Exchange performance.

Click here to purchase tickets


Click Here for an IDENTITY video

Karen Peterson and Dancers, a "cultural gem" based in Miami, Florida presents a video retrospective of their physically integrated work since
1990. This three minute film documents the company's work in the Miami
Dade Public Schools, their work abroad and a list of repertory presented
for audiences on a local, national and international level.

The 10th Talent Showcase

  The Talent Showcase, now in its 10th year, is an
   unique dance program for teens with special
   needs. This documentary interviews Parents,
   Classroom Teachers and Students and explains
   why the program is loved so much.

The 10th Talent Showcase will take place on March 11, 2016 at the
Miami Sr High School auditorium, 2450 SW 1st Street, at 10AM. FREE


KPD Concert Ttrailer for May 2015

KPD Presents at the Pinecrest Gardens

Artburst Coverage

Balkan Visitors

Click Here for The KPD 2015 Newsletter

Miami Herald - Letters to the Editor:
May 18, 2016 8:24 PM


It’s not enough to just read about the KPD troupe. Their dance programs must be experienced live to be fully appreciated. The cultural element was compelling in the music and dance.

I was moved by the freedom of the wheelchair dancers and the care shown by their traditional dance partners. The performers were fluid grace in motion in light of limitations and athleticism. In pairs and as an ensemble, the dancers moved so beautifully together.

Bravo to Karen Peterson with her uplifting dance troupe.

Connie Goodman-Milone, Miami


2016 Links:

May 12, 2016
The Miami Herald - Tropical Life: Dance that Crosses Physical and Geographical Boundaries

May 11, 2016
Miami New Times - Artburst Miami: Miami and Lisbon Dance Companies Unite for a Special Two-Day Performance

May 10, 2016
WLRN: Dance With A Message: I Am More Than My Wheelchair

2015 Links:

25th Anniversary Trailer

2014 Links:

Art Burst Trailer

Miamiartzine – May 2014

The 8th Talent Showcase (School Performance)

Group Choreography Excerpts 2012-2014

Miami ArtGuide – May 2014

Video Interview In the Studio

Miami New Times - Karen Peterson's Grit Pushes Limits on Mixed-Abilities Dance

2013 Links:

YouTube – AP Story by Lynn Sladsky

ABC Local News

The Kennedy Center Very Special Arts Newsletter – Karen Peterson and Dancers International Cultural Exchange

2012 Links:

Water Dance with Maria Lino

CBS Local News

2011 Links:

PBS – The Amazing Dancers by Joey Doud


CBS Local News

VIMEO - Karen Petersonand Dancers

VIMEO - Karen Petersonand Dancers - Trio Trees

VIMEO - Karen Petersonand Dancers - Margie and Dia


"Art as a Tool for Social Inclusion of Youth"
Video of the Performance "Body Without a Text"

May 11-17, 2013, UK "Vuk Karadzic" performance of "Body without a text".

The 2013 Miami / Balkan Dance Exchange is sponsored in part by the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, the Cultural Affairs Council, the Mayor, the Miami Dade County Board of County Commissioners and the Cultural Exchange Fund from the Association of Performing Arts Presenter.


The Nation's Premiere
Mixed-Abilities Dance Company
in the Southeast Joins Forces with
Miami's Top Classical Musicians

(MIAMI) - Karen Peterson and Dancers performed to standing ovations with the Crosstown String Quartet and The Miami String Project at the Banyan Bowl amphitheater at Pinecrest Gardens, opening their 23rd season in Miami.
(Photos by Mariolga Ramirez)

"The combination of classical musicians playing onstage alongside contemporary dancers is powerful," said Founder and Artistic Director Karen Peterson. "Feedback from the audiences was electric. Two standing ovations made me feel like I am on the right track as a choreographer. We had new audience members who had never seen the company perform and they were moved."

Karen Peterson and Dancers (KPD) was founded in 1990 in Miami as a not-for-profit dance organization, and commissions and produces the work of dance artists with and without disabilities (performing together in an integrated scope), through its quality-based programs and educational workshops. Dancers with and without disabilities create and perform mixed-abilities dance as an inclusive art form on a year-round basis. The company will tour this year throughout Florida, Europe and Latin America.

KPD is the only full-time, mixed-abilities dance company in the Southeast that educates and entertains year-round, boasting a stellar history of commitment to integrated dance and renowned artistic integrity.

The performances began with the premiere of a work titled Moment which featured the debut of KPD's new youth dancers (ages 15-21) who are diagnosed with physical, developmental and/or intellectual disabilities, alongside the Miami String Project (comprised of young musicians). Audiences experienced never-before-seen works of choreography set to The Lover's Waltz by Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, and The Chinese Folk Tunes by Bright Sheng.

Peterson has been working with her new group of mixed-abilities youth dancers since June of 2012: "I especially loved working with the youth dancers who had little reference to contemporary dance."..."Through improvisation I helped them find a sense of freedom in their own personal movement styles, teaching them to not hold back. Their honesty and sincerity, plus their powerful love of performance, added freshness to our production."

The second half, Potpourria, was a bold blend of synchronicity and spontaneity between the company's senior dancers and the professional musicians from the The Crosstown String Quartet.8 musical selections with original choreography by Karen Peterson were set to music by Vivaldi, Bach, Britten, Grieg, Petersburski, Summers and Piazzola, performed by the quartet.











Also please click the link below to see what WLRN (Miami PBS) is saying about the company by reporter, Joey Daoud,
tagged as dance / documentary / PBS

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“Karen Peterson and Dancers is funded in part by: “the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation's Knight Arts Challenge, helping bring South Florida together through the arts” by The Children's Trust. The Trust a dedicated source of revenue established by voter referendum to improve the lives of children and families in Miami-Dade County, by the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, the Cultural Affairs Council, the Mayor, the Miami Dade County Board of County Commissioners, by the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts." Supported in part by: Coldwell Bankers, The Mildred Pallas Levenson Dance Foundation, Miami Salon Group.  Citizens Interested in the Arts, the Whitten Foundation, CEP APAP Travel Award and Power2Give

Please contact our Accessibility Coordinator, Karen Peterson at karen@karenpetersondancers.orgwith any questions or concerns regarding performances or worksh