HEIDI LATSKY: ON DISPLAY
Jul 28, 2017

  • The Heidi Latsky Dance Company on the Whitney De Vos largo. Photograph by Paula Court

  • The Heidi Latsky Dance Company on the Whitney 8 Floor Lee Terrace. Photograph by Paula Court

  • The Heidi Latsky Dance Company on the 8 Floor Lee Terrace. Photograph by Paula Court

As a disabled woman I’m no stranger to feeling like my body is “on display”. Whenever I am traveling in a public space I am acutely aware of my body, and frankly my personhood, not being my own but rather an object of curiosity for the outside spectator.

So when the Heidi Latsky Dance Company approached the Whitney for a collaborative performance with the Friends of the Highline for the twenty-seventh annual celebration of the Americans with Disabilities Act, I was both excited and skeptical. Excited to have a public facing performance of dancers with and without disabilities where non-normative bodies and disability artistry were celebrated and revered; and skeptical about whether or not we live in a time where the performance would be perceived by the public as it was intended.

But, on the day of the performance my anxiety disappeared. The Heidi Latsky Dancers were truly a diverse company of every body imaginable. Spread across the Whitney terraces, Largo, and Highline 14th Street Entrance the dancers struck graceful poses with subtle chorographical movements. The effect was striking.

The Heidi Latsky Dance Company on the 7 Floor Wilson Outdoor Gallery. Photograph by Paula Court

The program was held on a “pay as you wish” Friday and was free to all. Large crowds gathered to watch, take pictures, and strike their own poses for Instagram selfies. At certain points during the performance the lines between performer and spectator blurred. For viewers, like me, it was a rare and beautiful opportunity to see myself represented in an empowering context.

By Madison Zalopany, Coordinator of Access and Community Programs