Alito Alessi wants to eliminate that which isolates people from one another. He does it through dance, in particular, a program he co-developed called DanceAbility. Alessi teaches workshops that mix abled and disabled dancers together. As they improvise and touch, they learn from one another.
“I work with all people simultaneously, that’s from the highest-level professional dancers to the most severely disabled you could imagine,” said Alessi. “I have a system that introduces people to their own body, that [explores] how you make relationships non-verbally through movement, using various elements that range from everything from non-touch all the way into touch…. It’s a way to move together.”
While Alessi has traveled the world teaching his methodology, (he estimates he has trained 500 instructors in the DanceAbility method and reached tens of thousands of people) and has been awarded a Guggenheim grant for his efforts, he had not been in Berkeley for 10 years.
Berkeleyside contributing photographer Kelly Sullivan attended the workshop and took photos that capture Alessi’s approach.
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