Hip Hop ‘Crutchmaster’ Speaks at HWS – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Hip Hop ‘Crutchmaster’ Speaks at HWS

Bill Shannon dances with elegance and fluidity on crutches and a skateboard.

(October 9, 2003) GENEVA, N.Y.–Dancer, choreographer and performance artist Bill Shannon is recognized in both the hip hop dance scene as well as the disabled artist scene nationwide. “Crutchmaster” Shannon will offer a lecture and video presentation on his career and disability issues at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 29, in Albright Auditorium on the Hobart and William Smith Colleges campus. The presentation, titled “Regarding the Fall,” is free and the public is invited.

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.

For more information about the event, contact Cynthia Williams, dance department chair, at (315) 781-3495 or williams@hws.edu.

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