Beyond integration: reformulating physical disability in dance

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A thesis submitted to the University of Bedfordshire.
Author: Eimir McGrath

Dance performance that is inclusive of dancers with differing corporealities has the potential to generate positive societal change with regard to perceptions of physical difference. Dance is a valuable site for exploring the placement of the physically disabled body in contemporary society, and for disrupting existing perceptions of disability as transgressive.

The thesis examines the placement of disabled bodies in dance performance from the intersecting perspectives of Critical Disability Studies, Performance Studies and Interpersonal Neurobiology in order to formulate a framework for theorizing perceptions of disability, the act of viewing dance and the impact of choreographic intent on viewers’ perceptions of physical difference.

Thesis: Beyond integration: reformulating physical disability in dance

Photo credits : Matéo H. Casis

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