New book: Sandra Umathum, Benjamin Wihstutz (eds.): Disabled Theater

21 May, 2015

Jérôme Bel’s Disabled Theater, a dance piece featuring eleven actors with cognitive disabilities from Zurich's Theater HORA, has polarized audiences worldwide. Some have celebrated the performance as an outstanding exploration of presence and representation; others have criticized it as a contemporary freak show. This impassioned reception provokes important questions about the role of people with cognitive disabilities within theater and dance—and within society writ large. Using Disabled Theater as the basis for a broad, interdisciplinary discussion of performance and disability, this volume explores the intersections of politics and aesthetics, inclusion and exclusion, and identity and empowerment. Can the stage serve as a place of emancipation for people with disabilities? To what extent are performers with disabilities able to challenge and subvert the rules of society? What would a performance look like without an ideology of ability?
With contributions by Jérôme Bel, Kai van Eikels, Kati Kroß, André Lepecki, Lars Nowak, Yvonne Rainer, Gerald Siegmund, Yvonne Schmidt, Sandra Umathum, Scott Wallin, Benjamin Wihstutz, and actors of Theater HORA.

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