Laura Tuthall is a disabled interdisciplinary artist, activist, and educator from the San Francisco Bay Area. A self-taught songwriter and musician, Laura is also an accomplished poet, visual artist, and dancer. She dedicated her life to ballet at a young age, missing school regularly to study and perform by the time she was 10. From the beginning, writing and musical composition flourished alongside dance, with over 40 original songs completed by age 13.
Laura finally received her hEDS diagnosis halfway through a BFA in dance from the Boston Conservatory at Berklee, explaining a lifetime of increasingly impairing chronic illness and disability. While processing this information and the experiences that led up to it, she shifted her focus from contemporary ballet to improvisational dance and collaborative performance, and graduated summa cum laude in 2015.
Next, Laura moved to New York City with dual purpose: to seek new ways of living in her body that honor its fragility and to create - through artistic means or otherwise - work that changes lives. She became a certified Alexander Technique teacher while spearheading adaptive methods to apply the awareness-based body education technique to people with hypermobility and other disabilities who need its symptom managing power (work she began while experiencing inaccessibility as a student and continues to develop as a teacher).
She views adaptive somatic practices as just one important component of the care access that disability justice for hypermobile people requires. You can read more about the care and community work she does here.
She is currently planning a collaborative project around her musical piece, “Oxygen”, a longform song about personal and collective survival within deadly societal structures. The project will center disabled and neurodivergent voices through the use of whatever creative modalities collaborators bring to the mix, including visual, verbal, and performance-based mediums. A preliminary showing will take place on February 22nd 2020 in NYC and a full presentation with collaborators will occur later in 2020.