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date: 15 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The performative traditions of New Orleans second line parades offer profound insight into localized expressions of health and disability. As public, festive, and symbolic spaces of music, dance and movement, second lines privilege the body as a site of knowledge production and individual improvisation within a collective tradition. This essay focuses on the relationship between dance and disability as observed during second line parades in New Orleans from 2010 to 2013. The narratives of those participants who are marked as disabled by age or circumstance reveal how the public space of dance and embodied movement at a second line parade enables a rewriting of ableist scripts about the body and its potential. This research focuses on the corporeal landscape and how musical traditions inscribe embodied knowledge, and embolden social commentary on the wider workings of race and disability in contemporary New Orleans.

Keywords: New Orleans, second line, dance, disability, wheelchair dance

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