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Sydney Erlikh examines dance and disability

As an educator, doctoral candidate Erlikh continually noticed a lack of dance opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities in the United States.

What is the topic of your doctoral research?

My doctoral research is on dance and disability. I am working on a multi-sited ethnography on inclusive dance companies in South Africa and Finland with dancers with intellectual disabilities.

What drew you to pursue doctoral studies?

As a teacher, I continually noticed the lack of dance opportunities in the United States for people with intellectual disabilities. In other parts of the world, there are training and performance opportunities, I wanted to know why this was happening. Additionally, I want to use my studies to learn and share best practices in disability dance while developing my own artistic practice.  My goal is to use my research and educational practices to fill the gap in dance studies scholarship, pedagogy, and practice, which is underdeveloped and has primarily focused on physically integrated dance in the United States.

What does artistic research mean to you?

Art-making is inherently knowledge-building. I see that artistic research has the possibility to develop and share knowledge that is not linguistically based. Thereby opening up research to communities excluded from research developed in higher education.

Artistic Research

Artistic research is one of Uniarts Helsinki’s specialities. In this blog you can read about latest activities in the field from our community and guest writers. The blog is currently updated by Uniarts Helsinki’s Research Pavilion, the Performing Arts Research Centre Tutke and the Centre for Artistic Research (CfAR).

What is artistic research?

Taiteellinen tutkimus on yksi yliopistomme erityispiirre. Lue blogista yliopistoyhteisömme ja vierailijoiden kirjoituksia ja ajatuksia taiteellisen tutkimuksen ajankohtaisista ilmiöistä ja tapahtumista. Blogia päivittää tällä hetkellä Taideyliopiston Tutkimuspaviljonki, Esittävien taiteiden tutkimuskeskus Tutke ja Taiteellisen tutkimuksen tutkimuskeskus (CfAR).

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