In-visible difference: dance, visibility and law

  • Harmon, Shawn (Principal Investigator)

Project Details


The InVisible Difference project seeks to extend current thinking that surrounds the making, status, ownership and value of work by contemporary dance choreographers. We are researchers from two different disciplines – dance and law – and our primary focus is on dance made and performed by disabled dance artists because we still have a long way to go before dancers with impairments are fully integrated within mainstream dance performance.

We are asking why this is the case; what is it in existing theoretical and legal frameworks that helps or hinders the participation of disabled dance artists in the mainstream? We will work closely with disabled dancers to consider perceptions of creation, interpretation and authorship. In doing so, we seek to uncover and discover new ways of thinking about how dance that is made and performed by disabled dancers contributes to our cultural lives. We hope this will strengthen the case for change (where necessary) in working practices and the legal frameworks that underpin the artists' work.

Layman's description

The InVisible Difference project will examine the different models of disability alongside empirical observations of the development of choreography by and for disabled dancers. The project aims to uncover new ways of thinking about how dance is made and performed by disabled dancers. We will also assess how the nature of this choreography interacts with intellectual property law and the concepts of authorship and ownership. We will consider disability, human rights and copyright law from UK domestic legislation to international law. In this we will assess how the law compliments or conflicts with dance, and the extent to which the legislation encourages and protects the creativity of disabled performers.
Effective start/end date1/01/1331/12/15


  • Other: £9,110.00


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