Not [sic]: Choreographing a radically affirmative perspective of dyspraxia

Research output: Contributions to conferencesPaperpeer-review



‘As litraseey is the norm for most, it is the strate jaket to you hoo are chozen by lojick… Take the langwidj and sine it with your owen hand’
Benedict Phillips, The Agender of the Agresiv Dislecksick.

This paper takes a viewpoint that refuses deficit and sympathetic perspectives of difference. It draws on the performance work of dyslexic artist Benedict Phillips, whose work ‘The Agender of the Agresiv Dislecksick’ acts as an antithesis to socially constructed normative standards of writing. By aggressively resisting against the traditional literary canon, Phillips presents a distinctively dyslexic discourse that aligns with The Affirmative Model of Disability, and argues that the dyslexic is not to be pitied or changed because of their difference, but rather the truth is that they possess a unique advantage.

This presentation applies the affirmative philosophy of Phillips’ work to the lesser-explored field of dyspraxia and choreographic practice. When the choreographic canon commands virtuosic and graceful set sequences of movement, what does this mean for the dyspraxic dancer, whose difference is rooted in difficulty with planning, organising and executing efficient movement? This paper explores the author’s autoethnographic practice-research methodology and the development of their new work ‘–ish’, which seeks to present dyspraxia through a dance that is unashamedly dyspraxic, and that inherently revolts against normative standards of choreographic practice to produce a work that is unique, original and distinctive.


Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished or Performed - 8 Nov 2017
EventCUK Research Student's Conference: Curiosity as a Life Force: Practice, Pedagogy and Performance - The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 6 Nov 20176 Nov 2017


ConferenceCUK Research Student's Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
OtherCuriosity is the force that drives artists, scholars and teachers alike. This one-day conference is intended to generate dialogues and networks, and allow us to share our experiences of the key issues and challenges that we face in our research – and celebrate the unique contribution research students make to the life of UK conservatoires. Together, we will consider our practices, explore inter- and multi-disciplinary approaches, and throw light on the curiosity that drives us on.
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