Inclusive Dance Conference set for Miami

Forward Motion Inclusive Dance ConferenceKaren Peterson and Dancers (KPD) in Miami is expanding its work by launching an annual international festival and conference of physically integrated dance. This groundbreaking contemporary dance form – inclusive of those with and without disabilities, on stage and in the audience – challenges artistic and societal perceptions of what defines physical beauty and beautiful movement. Forward Motion, as the four-day event is called, will feature some of the best dance companies of any kind, in performance, in discussion and holding workshops. Its inaugural event will be September 26 – 29, with events being split between The Light Box and Miami-Dade County Auditorium.


With lead support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the National Endowment of the Arts, KPD has put together a powerful line-up that will appeal to Miami audiences, as well as help define what physically integrated dance is in 2018. Visiting companies who will perform, in addition to KPD, are:


Forward Motion Inclusive Dance Conference• London-based Candoco Dance Company, one of the world’s top contemporary dance ensembles of dancers with and without disabilities, works with a range of world-class choreographers, and has led the field in terms of sharing inclusive practice methods, and creating an inclusive youth dance group.


• San Francisco Bay area (Oakland) AXIS Dance Company, the leading physically integrated ensemble in the U.S., who tours extensively and collaborates with some of the most prolific choreographers working today.


Tampa-based REVolutions Dance, which was founded by Dwayne Scheunemann and Amie West in 2005 as a physically integrated dance company, and has gone on to perform around the world.


Forward Motion Physically Integrated Dance Fest “What we are doing is trying to shift the paradigm of what contemporary dance can be,” says Karen Peterson, founder and artistic director of both her own KPD company, and the Forward Motion event. “This is one of the first festivals and conferences to bring these amazing international companies who work in physically integrated dance all together in one place, and we’re so excited that that place is our hometown, Miami.”


The Forward Motion schedule includes a conference, a free opening night event, and workshops and classes for a range of students and communities, with two major performances featuring the dance companies that will take place at the Miami-Dade County Auditorium. For more information, visit


Photos: Candoco’s Beheld and Face In (captured by Hugo Glendinning) and REVolutions’ Cogs in the Machine (captured by Jim Lennon.)