Elisabeth Motley
Parent Artist Space Grant (2018/2019)

I am a disabled choreographer, scholar, and teacher whose work is concerned with disability as a framework for choreography and creative practice.

Departing from my experiences of neurodivergence, physical disability, and madness, the choreographic proposals I engage with examine how my disability and its principal characteristic of multiplicity offers strategies for choreographic practice.

My work exists in the context of a global conversation around disability arts and culture, and pride-fully culls the materials of my disability as a fierce cultural activism. This work stretches across multiple forms, including choreography, creative auto-ethnographic writing, and the creation of choreographic objects.

My dance-making follows the experimental performance lineages of improvisation, score-making, and community performance and recruits these traditions as liberatory pathways away from the oppressions of medical and archival systems of power.

 The performances I create occur in both traditional and non-traditional theatrical settings. When site-ing my practice in non-theater spaces, I am investigating how to make visible the ways in which disabled bodies are choreographed through various and not always welcoming locations, and am questioning where the performance of disability is meant to exist, in what settings, and for what audiences. Through a choreographic investigation of space and place, I open a discussion on both the potential and restrictions of architectural access for disabled people and the reclamation of spaces by disabled bodies.

In addition to my performance work, I co-conspire with choreographer and teacher Kayla Hamilton on the facilitation of Crip Movement Lab: a movement invitation to all disabled people and their non-disabled accomplices, including and not limited to those that identify as blind, visually impaired, Deaf/deaf, chronically ill, crip, or Mad. The lab asks the key question: How can we be together with movement practices which center disability as a framework for creativity?

Website: https://www.elisabethmotley.com/