Light Motion is a two-woman integrated dance company that is in a league of their own as one of the finest and most exciting dance duets.Established in 1988, principle dancers, Charlene Curtiss and JoAnne Petroff join together to form an internationally acclaimed dance team which is refreshingly creative, exciting and physically demanding. Emphasizing “Front End Control”, the duo uses the wheelchair as an expression of movement rather than just a vehicle for mobility. It is their purpose to integrate the chair into the movement of their choreography.
Light Motion is truly a professional exhibition of dance, choreography and music. Director Charlene Curtiss says “One of the directives of Light Motion is to help disabled people discover the untapped, unexplored world of dance and artistic movement and to integrate the art of wheelchair dance with mainstream professional productions.” The end result is a spectacular presentation that is enjoyed for its performance integrity and well as its eye-opening tool as a disability awareness vehicle.
Charlene received a spinal cord injury as the result of a high school gymnastics accident. Never losing her interest in dance and movement through her years as an attorney, she began her new career in 1985 as a dancer and choreographer. Her original dance techniques in “front-end chair control” have redefined dance parameters for wheelchair movement and further the choreographic terminology of wheelchair dance.
Accompanied by her dance partner Joanne Petroff, Light Motion is instrumental in bringing integrated dance to the forefront of new trends in dance. Charlene is also co-founder of Whistlestop Dance, a Seattle-based performance and instructional modern dance company that has been acclaimed for their work with adult and children with special needs. Together they have taught in Artist-in-Residence programs in Washington, Hong Kong, New Mexico, Arizona, Idaho, Alaska, and Hawaii.
Other performances of note include: The Paralympic Games in a Atlanta, Georgia; the Gala Performance for the Disabled People International’s World Congress meeting in Sydney, Australia; the International Computer Music Festival in Banf, Alberta, Canada; and the Twenty-fifth Anniversary Celebration of Very Special Arts in Los Angeles. They are also active in performing for collegiate and corporate disability awareness programs. Microsoft, Southern California Edison and Career Opportunity for Students with Disability Annual Meeting are but a few of the corporate events that have been moved by their creativity.