Saturday was the inaugural Dance Parade which grooved its way down a slightly damp 5th Avenue to end in a dance party in Washington Square Park. Dancers in the park included Simi Linton (above left, with banner), her husband David (aka Fuzzy, above right; the roller skates on his feet are sadly outside the frame), and some of their friends who are dancers, including the fabulous Lezlie Frye (above left with Simi; she had tacked a sign proclaiming “Gimps Got Game” on the back of her red top). Also in attendance were me as designated go-fer and impromptu interviewer, and film-maker Christian von Tippleskirsch (try pronouncing that after a few tipples; also above right), who is helping us put together a DVD trailer designed to attract funding for a documentary about how war manufactures disability.
Simi decided the group would dance under the name “Crip Machine”, politely declining my suggestion of “Crip City Rollers” (too English, perhaps). They attracted a lot of attention with their dancing and inventive choreography – at one point there were skates, wheelchairs, calipers and even a Segway in the dance mix.
Sunday’s New York Times reported on the parade in its Metro section. “We happened upon it, and itâ€™s just blowing my mind,” said Marydale Abernathy, 47, a Web developer. “Iâ€™m from Maine, and Iâ€™m bringing my 7-year-old daughter to see the culture of New York City, and this is the feeling I came for, totally. Thereâ€™s wheelchair dancers. How cool is that?”