Kinetic Light (Alice Sheppard, Laurel Lawson, Michael Maag & Jerron Herman)

2020 YBCA 100 Honoree

Choreographer and dancer Alice Sheppard trained with Kitty Lunn and was a core company member with AXIS Dance Company. Alice is the founder and artistic lead for Kinetic Light, a project-based ensemble, working at the intersections of disability, dance, design, identity, and technology to create transformative art and advance the intersectional disability arts movement. Alice creates movement that engages intersectional disability arts, culture, and history to challenge conventional understandings of disabled and dancing bodies.  Her writing has appeared in the New York Times and other field-leading journals.

Laurel Lawson is a choreographic collaborator, dancer, designer, and engineer with Kinetic Light. She is the primary costume and makeup designer, and in collaboration with Top End’s Paul Schulte, designed the wheelchairs that she and Alice use in performance, as well as contributes other visual and technical design. She is the product designer for Audimance, the company’s app which revolutionizes audio description for non-visual audiences.

Laurel began her professional dance career with Atlanta’s Full Radius Dance in 2004. Her work was recognized with a 2019-20 Dance/USA Artist Fellowship, made possible with generous funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

Laurel is the CTO and co-founder of CyCore Systems, a boutique engineering consultancy which specializes in solving novel, multi-realm problems of all sizes for a global clientele. A noted public speaker and teacher, Lawson is also a member of the USA Women’s Sled Hockey Team.

Michael Maag is the projection and lighting designer for Kinetic Light. Maag designs at the intersection of lighting, video, and projection for theatre, dance, musicals, opera, and planetariums across the United States. He sculpts with light and shadow to create environments that tell a story. Maag believes that lighting in support of the performance is the key to unlocking our audience’s emotions. Maag also designs and builds electronics and lighting for costumes and scenery.

Jerron Herman began his career as a dancer with Heidi Latsky Dance. Jerron has performed at venues like Lincoln Center and The Whitney Museum of Art, resulting in the New York Times calling him, “the inexhaustible Mr. Herman.” As a strong advocate for disabled athletes and performers, he has been a featured model for both Tommy Hilfiger and Nike. His performances shed light on an often overlooked niche of performance. He currently sits on the Board of Trustees at Dance/USA . As a writer, Jerron was a finalist for the inaugural Lark Play Development Lab/Apothetae Playwriting Fellowship in 2017. He is a 2020 Disability Futures Fellow, a joint initiative of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Ford Foundation.