Dr. Alice Sheppard
Wavelength Lecture Series
Image caption: Alice Sheppard, a coffee-skinned multiracial Black woman with short curly hair, reaches her arms overhead. Her silver crutches extend her reach even further, crossing just above her hands. They glint under the stage light, along with her wheelchair and golden long-sleeved costume. Her eyes are closed as she takes in the moment. Photo by Mengwen Cao, during a performance of Where Good Souls Fear.
Dr. Alice Sheppard
Dancer and Choreographer
Alice Sheppard, a multi-racial Black woman with coffee-coloured skin, blonde, copper, and red striped curly hair gazes towards the camera. She wears a black shirt; her face rests in the palm of her face, her elbow sits on her thigh, and a gold necklace gleams at her neck. Photo by Beverlie Lord.
Accepting the outcome of a dare, dancer and choreographer Alice Sheppard resigned her tenured professorship to train with Kitty Lunn and Infinity Dance Theater. After an apprenticeship, Alice joined AXIS Dance Company where she became a core company member, toured nationally, and taught in the company’s education and outreach programs.
Since becoming an independent dance artist, Alice has danced in projects with Ballet Cymru/GDance, and Marc Brew Company in the United Kingdom. In the United States, she has worked with Marjani Forté, MBDance, Infinity Dance Theater, and Steve Paxton. As a guest artist, she has danced with AXIS Dance Company, Full Radius Dance, and MOMENTA Dance Company. Alice has also performed as a solo artist and keynote academic speaker throughout the United States.
A USA Artist, Creative Capital grantee and Bessie Award winner, Alice creates movement that challenges conventional understandings of disabled and dancing bodies. Engaging with disability arts, culture and history, Alice’s commissioned work attends to the complex intersections of disability, gender, and race. Alice was a 2018 AXIS Dance Company Choreo-Lab Participant made possible with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Her choreography has been commissioned by producers from KQED and UCLA as well as physically integrated companies such as CRIPSiE, Full Radius Dance, and MOMENTA Dance Company.
Her writing has appeared in the New York Times and such journals as Catalyst and Movement Research and Performance Journal.
Alice is the founder and artistic lead for Kinetic Light, a project based ensemble, working at the intersections of disability, dance, design, identity, and technology to create transformative art and advance the intersectional disability arts movement. Through nuanced investment in the histories, cultures, and artistic work of disabled people and people of color, Kinetic Light promotes intersectional disability aesthetics as a creative force and access as an aesthetic critical to the creative process and not a retroactive accommodation.