College of Visual and Performing Arts

AXIS Dance Company Returns to JMU for Residency

AXIS Dance Company - January 2012

SUMMARY: AXIS Dance Company is back at JMU from February 27-March 3 for a five-day residency that includes master classes with JMU students and faculty as well as interactive dance workshops for area youth and veterans.

By Jen Kulju (M'04)

The James Madison University School of Theatre and Dance in cooperation with various constituencies at JMU will host AXIS Dance Company for a five-day residency from February 27-March 3. AXIS Dance Company is one of the world’s most acclaimed and innovative ensembles of performers with and without disabilities. The company was in residency at JMU in 2012.

“When they were on campus, their impact reverberated for quite some time,” says JMU dance professor Kate Trammell. “Everyone who was involved in the residency seemed to be touched in powerful ways.”

During its 2017 residency, AXIS will conduct master classes for JMU students and faculty as well as interactive dance workshops for area youth and veterans. The company will host an informal performance and discussion on Wednesday, March 1 at 8 p.m. in the Earlynn J. Miller Dance Theatre of the Forbes Center for the Performing Arts.

The performance features a new dance theatre work called to go again, a collaboration between AXIS and San Francisco-based choreographer Joe Goode that brings to light issues facing our nation’s veterans and addresses their resilience following severe life changes.

Founded in 1987 and based in Oakland, California, AXIS has become a jewel of contemporary dance and disability culture. The group has paved the way for a powerful contemporary dance form—physically integrated dance—performing across the world and in more than 60 cities nationwide. AXIS has been featured on Fox TV’s Emmy-nominated So You Think You Can Dance.

Tickets are $10. For tickets, call the Forbes Center Box Office at (540) 568-7000 or visit

An entire list of residency events is below. 

Feb. 27 - 1:30-3:30 p.m.
AXIS teacher training workshop in physically integrated dance for students in dance, adapted physical education and occupational therapy 
(Forbes Center - Room 1270)           

Feb. 27 - 4:00-5:00 p.m.              
Kids workshop with AXIS Dance Company (Forbes Center – Room 1270)
-     Taught to children in grades K-4 with and without disabilities by AXIS company members with assistance from JMU students

This dance workshop for area youth with and without disabilities is a collaborative effort between AXIS and JMU’s Overcoming Barriers program, directed by Dr. Thomas Moran of the JMU Department of Kinesiology. This class is taught by AXIS company members with assistance from JMU students in Dance in Community (DANC 325), Adapted Physical Education (KIN 313) and selected courses in Occupational Therapy. Open to children in grades K-4 with and without disabilities. For more information and to sign up, contact Kate Trammell at

Feb. 28 – 3:30-5:00 p.m.             
College of Health and Behavioral Studies AXIS workshop for faculty 
(Forbes Center – Room 1201)

AXIS will discuss inclusion, access and diversity and how those to apply to the departments within the CHBS.

Mar. 1 – 8:00 p.m.                      
AXIS 40-minute performance of to go again (Forbes EJM Dance Theatre) followed by a talk-back with AXIS company members, co-facilitated by Kate Trammell and Valerie Schoolcraft, director of JMU’s Office of Disability Services

Discussion in the talk-back will focus on AXIS’ role in the history and future of the arts and disability movement, as well as insights into the process of creating the work in dialogue with the veteran’s community.

Mar. 2 – 9:00-10:30 a.m.             
AXIS discussion with Dance in Community (DANC 325) class 
(Forbes Center – Room 1298)

This discussion features an introduction to AXIS’ role in the history and present of the arts and disability movement, and includes video excerpts of repertoire as well as discussion of their education program. 

Mar. 2 – 5:15-6:30 p.m.              
Veteran workshop with AXIS (Forbes Center – Room 1299)

This workshop features a 30-minute, guided movement experience as well as the performance of to go again followed by a discussion with participants. Open to veterans and their families, and staff of veterans’ organizations. For more information and to sign up, contact Kate Trammell at

Mar. 3 – 9:00-10:00 a.m.             
Interactive school assembly for grades K-4
 (Stone Spring Elementary School – Harrisonburg, VA)

AXIS dancers with and without disabilities perform innovative choreography that demonstrates how people with differences can work together. The demonstration includes interactive participation by students, plus candid discussion and a Q&A session with dancers.     

For further information, contact Jen Kulju, public relations coordinator for the College of Visual and Performing Arts, at (540) 568-4394 or by e-mail at

AXIS at JMU is supported by: College of Visual and Performing Arts, Cultural Connections Artist-in-Residence Grant, Student Affairs & University Planning Innovation Grant, Office of Disability Services, Center for Multicultural Student Services, Office of Equal Opportunity, School of Theatre and Dance, College of Health and Behavioral Studies Diversity Committee, Occupational Therapy Program, Health Sciences Department, Overcoming Barriers and Department of Kinesiology, Stone Spring Elementary School PTA

Published: Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Last Updated: Tuesday, February 28, 2017

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