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Composers with Disabilities and Momenta Dance!

Saturday, May 11, 2024 at 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Momenta Dance Company's Facebook profile picture of two women wearing flowing white dresses, both in wheelchairs, facing one another with arms gracefully lifted.

This Mother’s Day weekend, celebrate the art of composers with disabilities from around the world! This program, presented in collaboration with the UIC Disability Cultural Center, is free and open to everyone. It includes the world premiere of “Consolation of Persephone,” created in collaboration with Momenta Dance Company, with choreography commissioned of Connor Cornelius, music commissioned of Karen Brown, and danced by Ladonna Freidheim and her daughter Hana Javed! Hear also the world premiere of “In B-Flat” by Brazilian composer Andersen Viana, plus music by composers from Haiti, the UK, South Africa, and the US, including music from the amazing talents of Thomas “Blind Tom” Wiggins, arranged for Crossing Borders Music by AJ Isaacson-Zvidzwa!

Momenta Dance Company cultivates and presents repertory and contemporary dance works that strive to educate, innovate and amplify the artistry of students and professionals, inclusive of artists with disabilities. Momenta was founded by Stephanie Clemens, Larry Ippel and James Tenuta in 1983, and in 2003 expanded its repertory to include physically integrated works for dancers with and without disabilities.

Ladonna Freidheim, founder of ReinventAbility, is passionate about inclusion, dance, science, and joy! An award winning leader in the arts, disability inclusion specialist, and formally trained dancer; Ladonna grew up a bun-headed baby ballerina dancing around Chicago. After a degenerative disability ended her ballerina life, she recovered from surgeries with future paralympic athletes who introduced her to disability culture. With the aid of braces and a cane or crutches she is able to navigate the world much of the time, but it is Ladonna’s wheelchair that has restored her dancers soul. She currently performs with the MOMENTA Dance Company. Ladonna is honored to have received a 2023 Leadership in Dance Award and the Rhythm Within Award and has been nominated for 3Arts Awards in dance and education. Ladonna has served on a number of Boards of Directors, currently for See Chicago Dance, and is on the Chicago ArtsEd Leadership Committee.

Hana Angelina Freidheim Javed is a formally trained singer, dancer, and writer who attends the University of Chicago Lab High School. At only 17 years of age, she has performed extensively at the Civic Opera House, Symphony Center, Harris Theater, Navy Pier, Ravinia and Millennium Park music festivals with the Lyric Opera, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, MOMENTA Dance Company, and the Chicago Opera Theater. Hana is the much beloved only child of Ladonna Freidheim, an Irish-Catholic Chicago born arts professional (bio above), and Adil Javed, a Pakistani-Muslim born into abject poverty who immigrated to the US at ten years old, going on to earn both an MD and PhD. Hana’s background and status as a person with a disability (a degenerative condition) inform and enrich her arts practice.

Covid safety: Masking is encouraged, and we will have extra masks available. More masking means more safety for immunocompromised members of our community.
Access information: 

CART (live captions) will be available for the program. Contact Tom Clowes at tom@crossingbordersmusic.org/773-442-2195 with any accessibility questions or requests.

The Halsted Street entrance to Student Center East (SCE) is equipped with automatic doors, and the Illinois Rooms are accessible by elevator.

There is a drop-off area in front of SCE on Halsted Street, and a pay parking lot with a number of ADA spots across the street at Halsted and Polk. SCE is closest to the Halsted bus, with the Blue Line and a number of bus routes on Harrison Street nearby.

The nearest restrooms have ADA stalls and are gendered “men” and “women.” Please note that the doors are not automatic. Open-door restrooms and all-gender restrooms with ADA stalls are available in other areas of the building. We’re glad to open doors or direct you to these alternatives.

This season of Crossing Borders Music performances is made possible through the support of the Paul M Angell Family Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New Music USA Organizational Development Fund, the John R Halligan Fund, and CliffDwellers Foundation. Crossing Borders Music acknowledges the support of the Illinois Arts Council. Generous support provided by the UIC Disability Cultural Center through Cripping the Arts, a University of Illinois Presidential Initiative for Expanding the Impact of the Arts and the Humanities.

Pictured: Momenta Dance Company’s Facebook profile picture of two women wearing flowing white dresses, both in wheelchairs, facing one another with arms gracefully lifted.


Saturday, May 11, 2024
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm


Illinois Rooms, 3rd floor of UIC Student Center East, 750 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60607, USA
750 Halsted St
Chicago, 60607 United States
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