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Common Thread Contemporary Dance Collaborates With The DisAbility Project and Dance St. Louis

Joan Lipkin has been creating theater with people who have disabilities since 1996, when she co-founded the DisAbility Project.  An outgrowth of That Uppity Theatre Company, of which Lipkin is artistic director, the DisAbility Project brings together amateur and professional performers of all abilities to create theater based on lived experience.

When the organizers of Webster University’s Human Rights Conference approached Lipkin about creating a theater piece as part of this year’s conference focusing on disability rights, she knew that she wanted to work withCommon Thread Contemporary Dance Company Artistic Director Jennifer Medina on the project.  The result is a work titled “One World” which combines personal narrative, stats, rap, poetry, dance and movement — and even a nod to Lady Gaga — to look at disability experience in the U.S. and abroad.

One focus of the Webster University Conference is the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which has been ratified by 126 countries, but not the United States.  Although the Americans with Disabilities Act guarantees rights in the United States, there are many people with disabilities around the world who do not enjoy that protection.

“One World” will be performed on October  10 at 4:00 p.m. in Webster University’s East Academic Building on Garden Avenue.

Common Thread Contemporary Dance Company in Dance St. Louis’ New Dance Horizons II

For the second year, Dance St. Louis is bringing four noted choreographers to St. Louis to work with four local professional companies to perform four world premieres. One of those choreographers, Uri Sands who was a principal dancer with the Alvin Ailey company, has created a work based on the story of Henrietta Lacks to be performed by Common Thread Contemporary Dance Company.  Jennifer Medina told Cityscape host Steve Potter how Sands has used Lacks' story to create the work her company will premiere at the Touhill Performing Arts Center on October 4 and 5.

Related Events

Dance St. Louis Presents New Dance Horizons II
Friday, October 4, 2013
8:00 p.m.
Saturday, October 5, 2013
2:00 and 8:00 p.m.
UMSL's Touhill Performing Arts Center
(314) 516-4949
Touhill Performing Arts Center Website

Webster University's Institute for Human Rights and Humanitarian Studies Presents the 2013 Human Rights Conference: "Disability Rights"
October 9–10, 2013

DisAbility Project and Common Thread Contemporary Dance Company Performance of “One World” October 10 at 4:00 p.m.
Webster University's East Academic Building, 545 Garden Avenue
Webster University Website

Mary Edwards is a producer for St. Louis Public Radio's broadcast program, "St. Louis Symphony."