Institute for Dance Studies 2023 Keynote Lecture and Workshop with Petra Kuppers

When and Where

Friday, January 27, 2023 2:00 pm to Saturday, January 28, 2023 11:30 am
Music Room & LCR
Hart House & Morrison Hall
7 Hart House Circle & 75 St. George Street


The Institute for Dance Studies at the CDTPS invites you to its 2023 keynote lecture and workshop presented by disability culture activist and community performance artist Petra Kuppers. 

Keynote Lecture - Eco Soma Methods: Tuning into our Worlds (open to the public)
Date: Friday, January 27, 2023
Time: 2-3:30pm (doors open at 1:45pm and light refreshments will be available)
Location: Hart House, Music Room (7 Hart House Circle, Toronto, ON) 
Register through Eventbrite.

In this talk, Petra Kuppers will explore contemporary performance from the perspective of co-experienced embodiment in unequally distributed power fields. Most traditional somatics teach us how to fine-tune our introspective senses and to open up the world of our own bodies, while eco soma methods extend that attention toward the creative possibilities of the reach between self, others, and the land. Eco Soma proposes an art/life method of sensory tuning to the inside and the outside simultaneously, a method that allows for a wider opening toward ethical cohabitation with human and more-than-human others. Using both video examples and gentle participatory exercises, let’s explore together what this can mean for us as witnesses of our own lives.

ASL interpretation and live captioning will be available for the lecture, and a recording will be sent out to participants following the event. Please e-mail Miggy Esteban at for any other access questions and requests.

Keynote Workshop - Starship Somatics (CDTPS community members will be given priority to attend)
Date: Saturday, January 28, 2023
Time: 10-11:30am
Location: Leonard Common Room (in the basement of Morrison Hall, 75 St. George Street)
Register by e-mailing Miggy Esteban at 

In this workshop, Petra Kuppers will share her Starship Somatics work, a form of disability culture creative practice that emerged from COVID working restrictions. Starship Somatics is a deeply physically felt and yet speculative embodiment journey that can be either experienced internally, lying down, or as an outward movement score. The work is informed by a number of questions: how can somatic practices and sociocultural critique fruitfully develop together and inform each other in generosity and accountability? How can disabled people’s forms of bodymindspirit inform the wider cultural imagination, toward more socially just futures? Come with comfy clothes to move in, and some writing material.

Please e-mail Miggy Esteban at for any access questions and requests.

Presenter's Bio: Petra Kuppers (she/her) is a disability culture activist and a community performance artist. Petra grounds herself in disability culture methods, and uses somatics, performance, and speculative writing to engage audiences toward more socially just and enjoyable futures. Her latest academic study is Eco Soma: Pain and Joy in Speculative Performance Encounters (University of Minnesota Press, 2022, open access). In 2022, she was named a Dance/USA Fellow, in recognition of her work in dance and social change. Petra is Artistic Director of The Olimpias, an international disability culture collective, and she co-creates Turtle Disco, a somatic writing studio, with her wife, Stephanie Heit. She is the Anita Gonzalez Collegiate Professor of Performance Studies and Disability Culture at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Image Description of Poster: A poster with a blue background and event information in yellow and white lettering. In the centre is an image of keynote speaker, Petra Kuppers, taken by Tamara Wade. Petra Kuppers, a white queer cis disabled woman of size, head tilted, smiles with twinkling eyes. She has yellow glasses, a shaved head, pink lipstick, purple scarf, polka-dot top, and one of her hands caresses the handlebars of Scootie, her mobility scooter, in front of an urban building with colored glass windows. At the bottom of the poster are logos of the event's organizers and sponsors including the Institute for Dance Studies, the Centre for Drama, Theatre, and Performance Studies at the University of Toronto, and the Centre for Global Disability Studies.


7 Hart House Circle & 75 St. George Street