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Artist Profile: Wobbly Dance

Artist Profile: Wobbly Dance

Wobbly Dance (Portland, OR): TIDAL

 [Warm toned Black and white photo of 3 figures in surreal costumes. The central figure supports the two flanking figures. All are seated. The central figure wears a 19th century diving bell and a 20th century space suit. The flanking figures wear 19th century linen night shirts and strange breathing masks over their noses. Many spines protrude from each breathing mask, part medical device part undersea creature.]

In their Risk/Reward Festival debut, Wobbly Dance brings an exploration of oceans.
Photo by Kamala Kingsley.


“TIDAL” is an exploration of the relationship between the rhythm of mechanized breath and the rhythm of the oceans. Breathing masks and ventilator tubing transform into diving gear and different creatures. An ancient diver, who calls the ocean home, draws us into his world. We fall, we dream, we dive.


Wobbly is a multi-disciplinary performance company in Portland, OR. Based on improvisation, authenticity, and a touch of Butoh, Wobbly is the unavoidable exploration of the body weathered by life. Wobbly is and is not dance depending on the day and which of us you ask, but we move. With relentless fascination, we still move. Sometimes small and caught on film. Sometimes bigger, outdoors and wild. Wobbly is a way of life, an expression of the belief that disability is a natural variation of the human form and in this variation there is art. With immersive environments, by engaging the senses, Wobbly invites the viewer to step into new worlds of possibility.

Wobbly’s mission starts with the belief that to present a disabled body onstage is a radical act capable of stitch by stitch transformation of the cultural fabric of our community. We believe that performance art cannot happen in isolation. Instead, it is something that must occur within the infrastructure of a larger community. By making our work largely within non-disabled contemporary dance contexts, we have promoted greater standards of accessibility in the theater community. Sometimes this access is architectural but more important than increasing physical access, we believe that by using our bodies in performance we coax audience members into a broader definition of art, beauty, and the lived human experience of people with and without disabilities. It seems to us that making a home for ourselves in the contemporary dance community has gone further towards promoting the full integration of people with disabilities in society than any political action on our part ever will.


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