THE CHOREOGRAPHY OF CLIMBING TREES – DAY DREAMS OF DANCING DURING A DISABLED CHILDHOOD SPENT BETWEEN THE UK AND SOUTH AFRICA

THE CHOREOGRAPHY OF CLIMBING TREES – DAYDREAMS OF DANCING DURING A DISABLED CHILDHOOD SPENT BETWEEN THE UK AND SOUTH AFRICA

Dr. Jessi Parrott

Independent performer, creative and researcher, UK-SA

jessi_parrott@yahoo.co.uk

Abstract

If embodiment is the tangible representation of an idea or concept, then what does disability dance do to our perceptions of and approaches to disability in research?

This panel explored how an intersectional approach to dance and disability that prioritises African conceptual and cultural approaches to disability can impact our work as researchers and dance practitioners. How/ can it widen the scope of research in both areas? Expand, challenge and change the questions we are asking and the methodologies (both theoretical and choreologic) we are developing?

Biography: Dr. Jessi Parrott

Jessi Parrott (they/them) is a non-binary, queer, disabled and neurodivergent performer, creative and researcher. A wheelchair user with Cerebral Palsy, they completed their PhD (which focussed on disability casting as an employment issue in UK theatre and television) at the University of Warwick in 2019. Since then, they have worked freelance, balancing creative practice with research, training and consultancy projects in the arts. All their work centres on equity and inclusion for marginalised groups. As a (current) Londoner with South African and Canadian heritage who has moved a lot throughout their life, they are somewhat culturally confused – but they are also passionate about understanding, learning from, and platforming a plurality of national and sociopolitical perspectives. As their first introduction to the arts was through the medium of integrated dance workshops as a young child, they are honoured to be part of the dialogues in this colloquium.