Coming to DVD tomorrow, Tuesday, June 14: INVITATION TO DANCE
Christian von Tippelskirch and Simi Linton made its bow at Santa Barbara in 2014. Other fests included Margaret Mead, ReelAbilities, Moscow’s Breaking Down Barriers, and Buffalo.
Collaborating with his subject as co-director, von Tippelskirch reveals the life of disabled rights activist Linton, who lost the use of her legs in a car accident while a college student in 1971. Though already an anti-war activist, she was initially unaware of the burgeoning disability rights movement in America until she found herself excluded from the mainstream due to issues of access. Over time, Linton became an outspoken advocate for equality, regardless of ability, as chronicled here in effective parallel with broader developments in the struggle, such as the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Less successfully integrated is Linton’s belief in the importance of dance in the self-expression of people with disability, and the corresponding progress that has made the performing arts more inclusive – dance sequences here more often feel like random interruptions intended to lend the project an air of artiness rather than an organic element to the proceedings.