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Denver disability-affirming theatre stages its first fully produced dance show

Phamaly Theatre performing "Indescribable" with Silhouettes dance company
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Posted at 8:51 PM, Oct 31, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-31 22:51:18-04

DENVER — Phamaly Theatre, Denver's disability-affirming theatre company, is once again breaking barriers with its newest show, "Indescribable."

Managing Director Corrine Denny said it's the first fully produced dance show for Phamaly.

"A lot of times people will say, how can a disabled company do a dance show and we really wanted to prove people wrong and show people how we could do that," Denny said.

Actor Lily Blessing, who plays one of the lead characters. is deaf and signs much of her dialogue during the performance.

"I grew up dancing, it's my favorite thing to do, but a lot of people told me I couldn't dance," Blessing said.

She said she was removed from dance classes as a child because of her disability. Now her ability to sign is considered an asset in the production.

Many Phamaly Theatre productions specifically aim to reject ableism by using their artists' unique abilities in an artistic way. For other actors, like Romy Lopez, the goal is not to be noticed for their disability.

"I want to be respected as an actor, as a professional, as someone who has something to offer," Lopez said.

Lopez has appeared in numerous musicals and said Phamaly offers a unique experiences for artists with a disability.

"In this show specifically, nobody is that disabled little kid. We have a master wheelchair dancer, you've got people that have been trained in various types of dance, and then you've got me, who doesn't dance at all," he joked.

"Indescribable" runs Nov. 3 through Nov. 5 at the Aurora Fox Arts Center.

Denver disability-affirming theatre stages its first fully produced dance show