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Dancers in wheelchairs? Karen Peterson mixed-ability troupe back on Miami stage

Contemporary dance has a way of showing us how harmoniously encompassing art can be. That’s what South Florida’s mixed-ability dance troupe Karen Peterson and Dancers (KPD), together with Portuguese counterparts Amalgama Companhia de Dança and Plural | Núcleo de Dança Contemporânea, set out to prove on Thursday and Friday with the U.S. premiere of the Miami/Lisbon Dance Exchange, a transatlantic creative collaboration of artists that explores bodies of all abilities in motion.

In early April, Peterson and her dancers traveled to Lisbon to work with Amalgama and Plural. The result was Identity, which debuted at Fórum Lisboa in Portugal, and will be the thematic centerpiece of the Miami/Lisbon Dance Exchange program that KPD brings to the Miami-Dade County Auditorium.

“Identity was a tri-collaboration, which in itself is a little tricky, and I was a bit scared of the whole premise of that, but from the minute we arrived [in Lisbon], these groups were incredible,” says Peterson, who founded KPD in 1990. “They just opened up their arms.”

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