Laurel Lawson

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Laurel Lawson is a modern dancer who performs, choreographs, and teaches dance for dancers in wheelchairs. Lawson became a member of the Full Radius Dance company in 2004 and is currently a member of the Kinetic Light dance collective.[1]

Lawson is best known for her role in Descent, a dance performance by Kinetic Light. This queer and interracial love story was inspired by the stories of Venus and Andromeda.[2][3] The duet takes place on a stage-scale ramp, on which Lawson and Alice Sheppard dance, often with one of them lying on their back and the other perched on top of the other, while their wheels spin.[4][2][5][6] The ramp references accessibility ramps but uses this symbol as a point of departure for exploring movement.[7] The large ramp is 6 feet high and covers a 15 x 24 feet area of the stage.[7]

Descent premiered at the Britt Music & Arts Festival in Oregon in 2017. It has been performed at New York Live Arts in 2018 and EMPAC in 2019, where the artists were in residence. Lawson and Sheppard have performed at the Whitney Museum of American Art[8] and been commissioned by The Shed to create a new performance for their 2019 season.[9] Lawson and Sheppard have held residencies at the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography and Gibney Dance. The collective has also been invited to perform at Jacob's Pillow's Inside/Out.[6] Lawson is a 2019 Dance/USA Artist Fellow. [10]

Lawson attended the Georgia Institute of Technology for undergraduate studies from 1996 to 2001. Lawson is a member of the USA Women's Developmental Sled Hockey team and the product designer and co-founder of an engineering consultancy based in Decatur, Georgia. Lawson lives in Decatur, Georgia.


  1. ^ "Kinetic Light: DESCENT". Retrieved 2019-03-09.
  2. ^ a b Weinstein, Tresca (2018-11-08). "For wheelchair-using dancers, ramp becomes a character in piece called "Descent"". Times Union. Retrieved 2019-05-11.
  3. ^ LaDuke, Sarah. "Alice Sheppard And Kinetic Light Present "DESCENT" At EMPAC". Retrieved 2019-05-11.
  4. ^ Schaefer, Brian (2018-03-15). "8 Dance Performances to See in NYC This Weekend". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-05-11.
  5. ^ Sheppard, Alice (2019-02-27). "Opinion | I Dance Because I Can". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-05-11.
  6. ^ a b "The Pursuit Of Wheel Joy". Dance Magazine. 2018-06-18. Retrieved 2019-03-09.
  7. ^ a b Dries, Kate; Nonko, Emily (2019-01-07). "The Women Building a New Art Form in the World of Dance". Vice. Retrieved 2019-03-09.
  8. ^ "Kinetic Light: Under Momentum". Retrieved 2019-05-11.
  9. ^ Gans, Andrew (2018-10-10). "52 Emerging NYC Artists Chosen for The Shed's Inaugural Open Call Program". Playbill. Retrieved 2019-03-09.
  10. ^ "Dance/USA — The national service organization for professional dance". Retrieved 2019-05-11.