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Arkansas State to Present 'Backstage with a Disabled Dancer’


JONESBORO, Ark. — Alice Sheppard, a professional dancer intrigued by movement that challenges conventional understanding of disabled and dancing bodies, will perform in the Bradbury Gallery at Arkansas State University, Friday, April 11, at 7 p.m.

The performance “Practicing Dance: Backstage With A Disabled Dancer” is presented by A-State’s College of Humanities and Social Science and the College of Fine Arts. Following her performance, Sheppard will speak to the audience. A reception is scheduled for after the event.

The Bradbury Gallery is located in the Fowler Center, 201 Olympic Drive. Admission is free and the event is open to the public. Seating is limited so reservations are recommended. To reserve a seat or for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accommodation requests, e-mail Dr. Lauri Umansky, Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, at lumansky@astate.edu.

Sheppard received her Ph.D. in Medieval Studies from Cornell University and earned tenure and promotion to associate professor of English and Comparative Literature at Penn State University. In 2005, she resigned her position to learn to dance. She studied ballet and modern with Kitty Lunn, before making her debut in 2006 with Infinity Dance Theater. After an apprenticeship, Sheppard joined AXIS Dance Company in 2007 and toured nationally and taught in the company education and outreach programs.

In 2012, Sheppard resigned from AXIS in order to become a freelance dancer and choreographer. Her choreographic work has been presented in Chicago and New York, and her performing engagements have enabled her to find dance footholds in the United States and the United Kingdom.

She has danced in work by renowned dancers and choreographers Maria Bauman, Marc Brew, David Dorfman, Kim Epifano, Marjani Forté, Joe Goode, Shinichi Iova-Koga, Margaret Jenkins, Alex Ketley, Kitty Lunn, Victoria Marks, Steve Paxton, Douglas Scott, and Kate Weare.

Alongside her rehearsal and performance schedules, Sheppard has developed several dance-lectures. She is currently at work on her second scholarly book, a project about disability and dance.

Alice Sheppard
Alice Sheppard