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Choreography & Presentations


Under the Artistic Direction of Alito Alessi, DanceAbility International offers a full range of choreography services and presentations for conferences and special events. 

DanceAbility International has choreographed pieces for and performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, D.C.), at the International VSA Arts Festival, the Governor’s Arts Awards in Eugene, Portland’s “Artquake” and at many festivals, schools, universities and other venues around the world, including Dance Umbrella in Boston, Jacob’s Pillow (U.S.A.), Vienna International Dance Festival, International Festival of New Dance (Brasilia), Bern Tanz Tage Dance Festival and “Festival of Freaks” (both in Switzerland), and Contact Arte (Italy). 

Other recent commissions for Alessi and DAI to create performance pieces have been completed at SESC in São Paulo, Brazil, Arts with the Disabled Association in Hong Kong, Chemeketa Community College in Oregon, Amstelrade in the Netherlands, and Theater Marie (formerly Freies Theater M.A.R.I.A.) of Switzerland.



Repertory Available for Performance


The following performance pieces vary in length from ten to twenty minutes (with the exception of Joy Lab Research, see below). The Artistic Director will work with you to design a full performance program by either combining an ensemble of short pieces or by redesigning one of the following pieces into a full performance choreographed to suite the needs and interests of your audience. A question and answer session can be included to provide the audience an opportunity to ask questions about disabilities and diversity in the arts.


Wheels of Fortune

In this duet, dancers break down barriers and explore new avenues of communication between able-bodied and disabled people. The program redefines ideas about what dance is and proves that creative movement is for everyone. Two dance pieces are presented where both dancers playfully overturn wheelchairs, crutches and expectations. This piece includes a section of music composed and recorded by Emery Blackwell using a synthesizer adapted to be played by his feet. 


Wizard of Odds

Wizard of Odds is a duet choreographed and performed by Alito Alessi and Emery Blackwell with original music by Rich Glauber. Inspired by the story The Wizard of Oz, the piece is about two travelers on a journey looking for things they eventually realize they already have. Confrontations, conflict and humor reveal to them that what they see is who they are. The dancers’ journey includes meeting beasts, wheelchairs, tornadoes, wizards, airports, crutches, realizations, friendships and what’s on the other side of the rainbow which is actually within us. 


From There and Back Again

The setting for this piece is an institution for the disabled. A nurse in a white coat wheels in Blackwell, who looks especially dejected, and says as she leaves ‘Have a nice day, Mr. Blackwell.’ After she is gone Blackwell tears off his blanket, rolls out of the chair and performs a wild rolling and crawling dance and finally pulls himself into a different wheel chair which is located far across the stage. The nurse returns, ostensibly to collect Mr. Blackwell and deliver him to some other mind-numbing activity. She looks confused as she tries to remember where she left her charge. The dance ends with his ‘care-giver’ asking, “Did you have a nice day, Mr. Blackwell?” The music is composed and recorded by Blackwell using a synthesizer adapted to be played by his feet. 


Tango Tangle

This playful and humorous exploration of the tango features Alessi on roller skates and Blackwell in and out of his wheelchair. Glances fly across the dance floor; Blackwell suspends on his tipped wheelchair and then...audiences gasp as he dives into a somersault. Graceful swoops of the wheelchair are mirrored by the freedom and gliding of the roller skates in this tangled tango. 


Joy Lab Research

This evening long performance was choreographed by Alito for a group of ten dancers with and without disabilities in Brazil. Dynamic solos, soulful duets, and moving quartets are woven in among playful and reverent ensemble sections. Crutches fly and stand on their own like a forest or a metaphor. Madmen cavort with circus contraptions made of wheelchairs. A mythic woman invites power and mystery. We are all researchers of community and guides of play and wisdom in the Joy Lab. It is available for touring. 

Other Choreography Services Available

  • Commission Alito Alessi for integrated choreography pieces for performance in a theatre, studio or gym, ten minutes to 75 minute performance pieces

  • Alito can create a Street Performance Parade with your group of dancers

  • Alito can teach repertory or set new choreography on dancers in university programs

  • Choreography Coaching: Alito specializes in both ensemble and duet work

Special Events Presentations 

  • Video presentation and/or slide show presentation with lively, engaging presentation by Alito about mixed-abilities dance and DanceAbility International, 20 minutes up to two hours.

  • Keynote speaker for conferences and special events with or without demonstration. Among the venues Alito has presented at are Celebrate Wellness Conference in Portland, Oregon; Southwest Conference on Disability in Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Ciudad University/National University of Cordoba Faculty of Philosophy and Humanities Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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