Using Jérôme Bel
's Disabled Theater
as the basis for a broad, interdisciplinary discussion of performance and disability
, this series of essays explores the intersections of politics and aesthetics, inclusion and exclusion, and identity and empowerment. Including interviews with Jérôme Bel and with the actors of Zurich's Theater HORA.
Jérôme Bel's Disabled Theater
, a dance piece featuring eleven actors with cognitive disabilities from Zurich's Theater HORA, has polarized audiences worldwide. Some have celebrated the performance as an outstanding exploration of presence and representation; others have criticized it as a contemporary freak show. This impassioned reception provokes important questions about the role of people with cognitive disabilities within theater and dance—and within society writ large. Using Disabled Theater
as the basis for a broad, interdisciplinary discussion of performance and disability, this volume explores the intersections of politics and aesthetics, inclusion and exclusion, and identity and empowerment. Can the stage serve as a place of emancipation for people with disabilities? To what extent are performers with disabilities able to challenge and subvert the rules of society? What would a performance look like without an ideology of ability?
“[Disabled Theater] provides a key to understanding the work of an artist whose influence has been crucial to the development of the so-called performance art renaissance within the contemporary scene. It also explores the possibilities for social emancipation from aesthetic judgment on stage.”