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Miami's International Physically Integrated Dance Festival and Conference​
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FORWARD MOTION produced by Karen Peterson and Dancers is one of the first festivals and conferences anywhere in the world showcasing groundbreaking physically integrated dance companies and choreography. This groundbreaking contemporary dance form – inclusive of those with and without disabilities, on stage, and in the audience – challenges artistic and societal perceptions of what defines physical beauty, and beautiful movement. Forward Motion will take place from September 26-28, 2019, and feature some of the best dance companies of any kind, in performance, in discussion and holding workshops.

With leading support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the National Endowment of the Arts, KPD has put together a powerful line-up that will appeal to Miami audiences, as well as help define what physically integrated dance is in 2019. Visiting companies who will perform, in addition to KPD, are:

New York’s Heidi Latsky Dance was founded in 2001 and began integrating its works with people with disabilities in 2006. GIMP (2008) was its first evening-length work featuring a physically integrated cast, and garnered praise for its provocative investigation of inclusion: Dance Magazine called the piece a milestone in contemporary dance Their mission is redefining beauty and virtuosity through performance and discourse, using performers with unique attributes and incorporating those with disabilities. They have received numerous awards, commissions and residencies. PERFORMANCE AT MIAMI DADE COUNTY AUDITORIUM SEPTEMBER 27, 2019 

Step Change Studios is an award-winning, pioneering dance company committed to making dance accessible for everyone. Based in the UK, Step Change Studios offer fun, engaging opportunities for disabled and non-disabled people to dance. By catering to different ages and abilities, they provide regular dance classes; deliver dance in schools, social care, healthcare and community settings; and deliver imaginative bespoke dance projects; and create professional dance productions. Step Change Studios want to support everyone to achieve their dancing ambitions - whether that is to dance socially, or professionally, and to gain the physical, mental, and creative benefits dance provides. PERFORMANCE AT MIAMI DADE COUNTY AUDITORIUM SEPTEMBER 27, 2019


Karen Peterson and Dancers was founded in 1990 and is Florida’s leading dance company dedicated to creating and presenting disability artistry with professional dancers and students through the form of physically integrated dance. The organization has presented an annual season of new work throughout South Florida, has presented their work nationally, from New York to Washington, D.C., and in nine countries, including Brazil, Spain, Ireland, Serbia, Italy, Montenegro, Britain, and Portugal. In honor of her work, Ms. Peterson has received multiple choreography awards from the Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, a “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the New World School of the Arts, a Bank of America "Cultural Award" from the American Red Cross, and a "Queen of the Arts” Award from the Miami Herald.  The organization received a 2011 Knight Foundation Award to support inclusive dance in the Miami Dade Schools, a 2017-2019 Knight Foundation Challenge Grant, an NEA Grant and a 2019 Funding Arts Award (FAN). KPD has also sustained ongoing educational and training workshops including working with over 5,000 teens with special needs since 2006. PERFORMANCE AT MIAMI DADE COUNTY AUDITORIUM SEPTEMBER 28, 2019​ ​

Founded in 2016 under the direction and artistic leadership of Alice Sheppard, San Francisco based Kinetic Light is a disability art ensemble that creates, performs, and teaches at the intersections of disability, dance, and race. Laurel Lawson and Michael Maag, the core collaborators, are joined by a roster of artists who contribute on a project by project basis. The company is committed to intersectional disability aesthetics and culture and accessibility as central parts of the art and creative process. PERFORMANCE AT MIAMI DADE COUNTY AUDITORIUM SEPTEMBER 28, 2019


Most FORWARD MOTION events will be presented with American Sign Language. To request materials in accessible format, and/or any disability accommodation, please contact Carol Coombes 786-498-6756, five days in advance to initiate your request. TTY users may also call 711 (Florida Relay Service).

Support for FORWARD MOTION comes from

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