Kayla Hamilton to Receive Pina Bausch Fellowship for Dance & Choreography

Hamilton will collaborate with Kinetic Light for one year, expanding her knowledge and exploring the possibilities of dance and disability arts.

By: Nov. 14, 2023
Kayla Hamilton to Receive Pina Bausch Fellowship for Dance & Choreography

Disabled dancer/choreographer Kayla Hamilton, Artistic Director of K Hamilton Projects, announces Kinetic Light as her cooperation partner for her 2023 Pina Bausch Fellowship for Dance and Choreography. This collaboration will take place for one year, September 2023-August 2024.

Each recipient self-designs their own Pina Bausch Fellowship according to their own desires and needs. Internationally-known disability arts ensemble Kinetic Light works at the nexus of access, queerness, disability, dance, and race. Though collaborating with Kinetic Light, Kayla Hamilton aims to expand her knowledge in design, organization, and tech-based possibilities of dance. Both as a low-sight dancer and dance lover, Hamilton wants to experience the vibrant multiplicity of the majority sight-centered performance world. While providing Hamilton the space to test and deepen her ideas about dance and disability arts, the Kinetic Light team will provide her with field learnings related to access research, culture, and technology, as well as performing arts production and communications.

"It is important to me to learn from and alongside other Disabled creatives as we deepen our understandings of ourselves and the world around us," commented Kayla Hamilton. "It is a privilege to work with the Kinetic Light team; my work is possible due to other Disabled artists who have come before me."

"I am so pleased and honored Kayla has chosen to collaborate with Kinetic Light as part of her Pina Bausch Fellowship," shared Kinetic Light Founder and Artistic Director

Alice Sheppard. "Kayla's ground-breaking dance and disability arts practice is both expansive and deeply rooted in a way that I believe will shatter what we think we know about dance and sightedness. The entire Kinetic Light team is excited to work and explore with her throughout this fellowship year."

The Pina Bausch Fellowship Jury noted: "Kayla's choreographic work is outstanding by the way she is creating aesthetic experiences through Audio Description - and, thus, expanding dance beyond the visual. Her fellowship with the disability arts ensemble Kinetic Light is an exciting partnership. This cooperation will be a great opportunity for Kayla to develop her art by further exploring and unpacking the potentialities of Audio Description as an aesthetic experience and expressive space of community and communication."


The Kunststiftung NRW and the Pina Bausch Foundation have been following up on Pina Bausch's credo since 2016 with a co-developed grant program and award: the Pina Bausch Fellowship for Dance and Choreography. The Fellowship supports a broad range of cooperation formats: on-site, international or local, hybrid or virtual. By offering a variety of cooperation formats, the Fellowship adapts to recipients' individual needs and interests. It provides freedom in designing cooperation formats that help them develop their unique artistic signature.

The 2023 Pina Bausch Fellowship for Dance and Choreography recipients are Kayla Hamilton, Purnendra Kumar Meshram, Haman Mpadire, and André Uerba. The international jury included Marc Brew, Dr. Keng Sen ONG, and Lia Rodrigues. For a full press kit, click here.


Kayla Hamilton is a Texas-born, Bronx-based performance maker, dancer, educator, and cultural consultant.

Hamilton is a 2023-2025 Jerome Hill Artist Fellow. Her past performance work has been presented at The Whitney Museum, Gibney, Performance Space New York, New York Live Arts, and the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance.

Hamilton co- developed 'Crip Movement Lab' with fellow Disabled artist, Elisabeth Motley-a pedagogical framework centering cross-disability accessible movement practices that are open to every-body. She has taught dance at Sarah Lawrence College, Virginia Commonwealth University and University of Iowa.

As a consultant, she has developed and designed programming for disabled artists for the Mellon Foundation, Movement Research, and The Shed.

As a dancer, Kayla Hamilton was part of the Bessie Award-winning skeleton architecture collective, she has also danced for Maria Bauman, Sydnie L. Mosley, and Gesel Mason.

She is currently in the process of creating a future organization centering the work of BIPOC Disabled creatives and developing a new evening-length performance set to premiere in NY in 2024 (TBA).


Founded by Alice Sheppard in 2016, Kinetic Light is a disability arts ensemble working at the intersections of disability, dance, design, identity, and technology. Through nuanced investment in the histories, cultures, and artistic work of disabled and/or Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), the company promotes intersectional disability as a creative force and access as an aesthetic critical to creating transformative art and affirming the disability arts movement.

Photo credit: Travis Magee

Image Description: A black & white dance image of Kayla, who is a dark-skinned black woman. She is in front of a textured wall that has horizontal layers. Her arms are energetically reaching down to the diagonal as her head is tilting to the diagonal with her dreads moving back in that same direction. She is wearing a diagonally striped long sleeve shirt with pants.