Symposia > Movement Matters: Past Incapacities

Presented June 23, 2017 at Hairpin Art Studios. Past Incapacities examines the parallels between physically integrated dance, movement therapy and advances in the disability arts movement's parallel evolution from the new political awareness of ableism since the 1970's and '80's.


Jessica Young, Dancer, MA, BC-DMT, LCPC, GL-CMA, Chair, Dept. of Creative Arts Therapies, Columbia College Chicago

Sarah Fuller, Dancer & Founding Teaching Artist, Hubbard Street Dance Parkinson's Project, full-time Instructor, Loyola University Chicago
Julie Brannen, Dancer and Certified Dance Therapist, MA, LPC, R-DMT, GL-CMA

Reveca Torres, Dancer & Founder, Backbones Chicago

Organized and moderated by Michael Workman, Founder and Director of Bridge, a (501) (c) (3) organization, reporter and columnist at Guardian US, Newcity & Sixty Inches From Center

Can art actually heal and help alleviate suffering? Beyond any notions of subjective expressivism, this symposium aims to foster a dialogue on the principles driving a resurgence in therapeutic movement relationships, and of dance as a form of art therapy with verifiable medical advantage. Past Incapacities will also attempt to frame the dialogue as against the advances in the disability arts movement's parallel evolution from the new political awareness of ableism since the 1970's and '80's.

This discussion will seek to relate the history of the field from its beginnings in Marian Chace's early applications of the art form to medical practice, following her suicide attempt in 1936, to a form of psychotherapy at St. Elizabeth's Hospital. It was here she continued her work during a significant period in the development of its applications for treatment that lead to her eventual (and reluctant) establishment of the American Dance Therapy Association in 1966. Subsequent research has established as fact that acute and chronic stress, and other posttraumatic stress disorders, can have negative physical outcomes. In addition, with a new generation of "walking wounded" from American wars in Afghanistan and elsewhere, Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) offers compelling methods already practiced, for instance, in the disability arts movement's approach to physically integrative dance. Positive results have also been verified in the use of dance movement therapies for children of abuse, sexual assault and in the treatment of a variety of psychiatric disorders.

A biweekly column at Sixty, seasonal symposia series and periodic performance initiative, Movement Matters investigates work at the intersection of dance, performance, politics, policy and issues related to the body.

Supported in part by a grant from the Illinois Humanities' Illinois Speaks program. Additional program support is provided by Sixty Inches From Center, the Chicago Dancemakers Forum, Links Hall and Audience Architects.

A program of Movement Matters, The Neo-Judson Project: Dance, Performance, Art, Politics & Philosophy and Bridge, a 501(c)(3) organization.

Thanks to our sponsor Revolution Brewing for their generous support of the Movement Matters series

Movement Matters: Past Incapacities