Bill Shannon is performing as a part of Ramp Crawl 2017, a benefit for Oakland For All. His performance is open to the public and will begin at Schenley Plaza at 4:45pm. Following that, Bill will perform at various locations throughout Oakland, including the Forbes Digital Plaza.
Oakland For All – Beyond Accessible advocates for the creation of accessible establishments, raising public awareness of accessibility for people with disabilities, and the transportation of Oakland into a model community that can be replicated throughout the nation.
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Bill Shannon is a world renowned interdisciplinary dance artist who creates both site-specific and theater based solo and group works. During his early childhood Shannon evolved a creative movement vocabulary on crutches based in peer survival and play on the streets of Pittsburgh. In the eighties as a teenager Perthes Disease had run its course and Shannon became immersed in the emergent youth cultures of hip-hop and skateboarding. In 1990 Shannon won a full scholarship to The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and got credit for his earliest professional work at the Cleveland Performance Art Festival. While in Chicago symptoms of his disability emerged requiring crutches for any significant weight bearing in his hip joints. In 1996 Shannon left Chicago and moved to NY where he fused his physical history of play on crutches with his knowledge of hip-hop and skateboarding flow into a singular style of performance art, dance and daily mobility. In 2000 the kinetic demands of his movements led him to designing and fabricating a modified crutch for dance and custom padding for extreme body impact. Shannon lived in NYC for a decade into his mid-thirties garnering a Guggenheim and a Foundation for Contemporary Art Award, creating nine interdisciplinary dance works and showing at PS122. DTW and The Kitchen while also competing in street dance battles and becoming a fixture at NYC’s Club Shelter. In 2001 Shannon was offered a starring role in a Cirque Du Soleil production, which he turned down in favor of training an understudy to tour with the show. In 2005 Shannon and his partner expecting a second child made the economic and lifetyle choice to leave NYC for his family’s small Urban Farm in the heart of Pittsburgh. Over the last decade Shannon has taught, lectured, performed and exhibited his work around the world on a project by project basis. Shannon currently is working on a New England Foundation of The Arts, National Dance Production Project titled “Touch Update” with additional support from Heinz Endowments. “Touch Update”, is slated to premiere at Kelly Strayhorn Theater in May of 2018.
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