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'Crutchmaster' will present video lecture

Interdisciplinary performance and media artist Bill Shannon, also known as "The Crutchmaster," will present a video lecture, "Elegance and Accident," about creating street performance on Thursday, Sept. 21 from 12-1:30pm in Kresge Auditorium.

Mr. Shannon, who was diagnosed at about age three with a rare form of arthritis (Legg-Calf Perthese disease), dances on crutches and skateboard with an elegance and fluidity underscored by his street performance explorations into the sociological manifestations of awkwardness. He is recognized nationally and internationally for his work in the underground performance art and hiphop dance scenes and the disabled artist community.

"Suffice it to say I dance on crutches, not with them," Mr. Shannon has said. "Crutches simply make me equal with other dancers in terms of my ability to carry my own weight and experiment. If it is one-in-a-million to become a dancer on crutches, then it is one-in-one-hundred-million to become a great dancer on crutches... yet my aspirations are no less."

Mr. Shannon, originally from Pittsburgh, has earned legendary status on the streets of Chicago and, more recently, New York. His video work has been screened at festivals and other events, his drawings and illustrations have been shown in 'zines and galleries and he has been employed as a choreographer and artist in residence.

This event is sponsored by the MIT Office of the Arts and the Alan Katzenstein Memorial Fund, and presented in conjunction with Mr. Shannon's Boston premiere engagement with Dance Umbrella September 22 and 23.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 20, 2000.

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