Hip Hop artist a.k.a. “Crutchmaster” Bill Shannon will give a lecture demonstration of his amazing career and speak on disability issues at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 29, in Albright Auditorium. Admission is free.
Shannon has used crutches since age 5 when he was diagnosed with Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease, a rare form of arthritis. When his condition improved and walking was possible, Shannon began to be involved in breakdancing and skateboarding; these experiences intersected with his disability, and led to his singular acrobatic crutch/skate/hip-hop movement vocabulary.
Shannon has presented installation, dance and performance, video, and spoken word both nationally and internationally over the past 10 years. He is widely recognized in the underground performance art scene, the New York City hip-hop and club dance scene as well as the disabled artist community. The politics of disability and the role of the disabled artist in society are issues he confronts in lectures, videos, and performance venues around the world. Recent projects include a Cirque du Soleil commission for two works in their “Varekai” production, a collaboration with the national arts organization Creative Time, titled “What Is What,” that explores perceptions of disability, and continuation of his street performances.
Shannon has been honored with a Foundation for Contemporary Performance Art Award and a Colbert Award for Excellence: The Downtown Arts Projects Emerging Arts Award.