Wired is an immense and intimate experience that traces the fine line between “us” and “them” through aerial and contemporary dance and the metaphoric use of barbed wire. The dancers of Wired spin and soar together in this meditation in sound, light, and movement on the gendered, racial, and disability stories of barbed wire in the United States, showing how this material shapes common understandings of who belongs. Barbed wire is designed as a material for containment. It is used, time and again, to limit individual and community movements and delineate boundaries as large as a nation state and as small as a personal fence. In Wired, this fraught material comes to highlight not only danger and contradiction, but also beauty and interconnection.
To create Wired, the artists of Kinetic Light—Alice Sheppard, Laurel Lawson, Jerron Herman, and Michael Maag—and their collaborators—composers Ailís Ní Ríain and LeahAnn Mitchell and scenic designer Josephine Shokrian—defy both gravity and assumptions about what dance can be. The artists of Kinetic Light see interdependence as a political position as well as an approach to making dance from a disability aesthetic: in which disability is a powerful creative and cultural force, and the many ways of accessing the performance are the art itself.
For a list of all Wired collaborators and funders, visit kineticlight.org/wired.
This project was organized by Tara Aisha Willis; Curator, Performance and Public Practice; with Nolan Jimbo, Marjorie Susman Curatorial Fellow. Wired was commissioned by The Shed (NYC) as part of Open Call.
The engagement model for Wired was developed with support from the New Works Initiative, with lead support provided by Elizabeth A. Liebman. The New Works Initiative puts the creative process at the heart of the MCA’s relationship with Chicago by supporting the development of new performances and creative projects.