Dancing feels like my first language, my most primal way of communicating. As an artist, I strive to encourage everyone, especially people living at the intersections of multiple oppressed identities, to reconnect to the dancer within them. I believe dancing is our birthright. My choreographic process is one part connecting to the music, one part excavating what is inside of me, one part allowing the piece to inform me of what it wants to be, and one part magical surrender.
INDIA HARVILLE is an African American, femme queer, disabled, Access-Centered Movement dancer, choreographer, bodyworker, and social justice educator. The unifying thread in India’s work is facilitating people working with their bodies as a vehicle for personal and collective growth and transformation.
India’s chronic health journey has been her most constant influence and most antagonizing dance partner rolled into one; providing equal measures of inspiration and challenge. India seeks to create a dance space where she can fully show up however she is each day. Ultimately India’s work is about radical acceptance as a path to transcendence. India’s work centers the premise that all the ways our bodies show up in the world are perfect and worthy of existing, thriving, creating, ritualizing, and being witnessed. India models this in her own practice, performance, and teaching because she still needs to be reminded of this daily.
India’s performance work addresses racial justice, queer identity, survivorhood, disability and chronic illness. Including an intersectional analysis in her work and offering a critique around the exclusivity of the mainstream dance world is very important to India. She wants to complicate the conversation around what inclusivity in dance means to not just include superficial accessibility, but to also include chronically ill and disabled fat bodies, queer and genderqueer bodies, and all experience levels of dancers. Her aim it to help deconstruct hierarchical structures of dance and to interrupt the racism/ableism/heteronormativi
India has been fortunate to have so many amazing disabled artists, mentors, and colleagues that have influenced her work. Sins Invalid and the work of Patty Berne, Krip Hop and the work of Leroy Moore, Antoine Hunter, Dance Exchange, Inclusive Interdisciplinary Ensemble at Cal State Hayward, the Access-Centered Movement Collective, and the work of DanceAbility International are a few of her biggest inspirations.