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Christian von Tippelskirch: “Dance, ladies and gentlemen!”

The film “Invitation to Dance” by the American director Christian von Tippelskirch tells a story of Simi Linton, a student and a college activist who had an accident, was injured and found herself in a wheelchair after hitchhiking from Boston to Washington to participate in protests against the war in Vietnam.

Christian von Tippelskirch: “Dance, ladies and gentlemen!”

Her world turned upside down. She had no teachers or friends with similar issues, no special training. The “new” Simi was basically an alien in New York, just like in the song in the background implies. However, her public speaking talent and her strong personality pushed Simi and her associates out to the streets of New York to fight for the rights of people with disabilities.

Christian von Tippelskirch compares life to a kind of dance, a political and social one. “Many of us are uncomfortable with dancing, afraid to go out into the circle, to declare something important. We get locked in our shells,” says the director. “A dance can be either individual or collective, but it always implies communication of people. The movie is dedicated to the visibility breakthrough for those people with disabilities who just want to dance. Dancing means getting out of one’s shell. For the filmmakers and the participants it means a fight to let people with disabilities to express themselves in dance, to enjoy their bodies and lives.”

By Rozaliya Agadullina

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