Axis Dance Company Moves Beyond Disability

    Axis Dance Company shifts perceptions with its innovative dance. The ensemble brings its performance to the Ent Center.

    AXIS Dance Company from California will perform at the ENT Center in Colorado Springs
    AXIS Dance Company. Photo by David DeSilva

    Axis Dance Company wants to change perceptions about people with disabilities—and create cutting edge innovative dance. “We strive to produce thought-provoking, bold, artistic and exquisite productions that challenge the misconceptions of those who are disabled,” says artistic director Marc Brew, a ballet dancer and choreographer who was paralyzed from the chest down in a car accident. The Oakland-based company will perform locally at the Ent Center for the Arts on Feb. 22.

    The award-winning ensemble consists of dancers with and without disabilities to demonstrate how they can work together. Brew says there is power in representation that can make a difference in the world. For example, a wheelchair can represent a disability, but Axis strives to shift that perception. “When the audience sees our work, sure, they may notice the wheelchair,” he says. “But what they leave with is a deep, moving and mind-blowing experience that makes them think of dance and disability differently.”

    Axis Dance Company hosts many residency programs, workshops and masterclasses to give the dancers a chance to teach their way of art. The ensemble has also made appearances on the TV show “So You Think You Can Dance.” Its performances are not just a show for the audience, but an opportunity for each dancer to see themselves in an artistic and unique way that might often be overlooked. “I would say that our greatest impact is simply showing the possibility for disabled artists,” Brew says.

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