Possibility of the corporal movement by wheelchair dancing

Por: E. Orlandi, e .

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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The dancing, in a general way, has a discourse order that was set up historically, which has influenced the wheelchair dance development. Studies have shown that the wheelchair dancers form an imaginary relationship with the dancer’s body. The objective of this research is to understand the working of dancing in wheelchairs with regard to the possibility of body and social changes, establishing verbal and non-verbal hearing to perceive what is being "said/portrayed" by the body gestures in disable people, observing them impose and propose their feelings in their body movement through dancing. The comprehension of the wheelchair dance as art can give important contribution to the wheelchair dance sport.


The techniques used in this study were: the choreography analysis registered on video in the diverse wheelchair dance groups from different regions in Brazil, formal interviews with dancers and choreographers from these groups and, with famous dance instructors from important dance groups in Brazil. The data was collected during 2000 and 2002. The analysis of the verbal information was done through the French Discourse Analysis based on work by Michel Pêcheux and Eni Orlandi and the Movement Analysis based on Rudolf Laban`s theory . The combination of these two methods, compatible by their nature, was to allow the comprehension of body discourse given by verbal and non-verbal language through dancing.


Wheelchair dancing is a dance movement that has developed with the support from different entities in society, such as the disable-dancer organizations, adapted sport movement; disable political force, ethical and esthetical comprehension of disability. These entities, ideas and actions are changing the idea that only "perfect body" can perform dance or sport, which idea has been built up historically in society. The resistance to accept the wheelchair dance, as "perform art" or as "wheelchair dance sport" was found in some information from dancer expert. On the other hand, the wheelchair dancers showed that dancing provide a place with different meaning, such as: to express their bodies "in perfect way", to prevent health problems and a place where the disable people challenge and identify him/herself as "dancer".

Discussion / Conclusions

The wheelchair dance provides the use of citizenship, which fact can help the acquisition of other social role. The comprehension of wheelchair dance, under the historical approach and the meaning of it for the disable people, can be an important issue to be considered in the development of sport. It can be visualized as an important step towards the development of human being. The study shows that there is an attempt to overcome individual ethics imposed by dancing for a more solitary ethics. Thus, this research sends out signs so that dancing can provide contributions for the physically handicapped challenged and which in turn contributes towards the better comprehension of what is the dance itself.


[1]. LABAN, R.(1955) Principles underlying the universality of Laban`s movement notation. London: Laban Center.
[2].FERREIRA, E. Corpo, movimento, deficiência. As formas dos discursos da/na dança em cadeira de rodas e seus processos de siginificação. FEF-UNICAMP, 2003.
[3]. ORLANDI, E.( 1994) Gestos de leitura. Campinas : Ed. da Unicamp.
[4]. PÊCHEUX, M.(1990) O discurso: estrutura ou acontecimento.2. ed. Campinas: Pontes.
[5]. ROCHA FERREIRA, M.B (2002). Reflexões sobre Dança em Cadeira de Rodas. Campinas, Ed. Gráfica R. Vieira.



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