Frank Hull is a long-established, multidiscplinary artist who proudly lives with cerebral palsy and madness, embraces his Mi'kmaq heritage, and celebrates his gay identity.
Originally a choir vocalist, over the past fifteen years, Hull has distinguished himself as one of Canada's most prominent and potent power wheelchair choreographers and dancers. He more recently expanded his repertoire to include live and digital performance. His artistic practice is multidisciplinary, consisting of varied, vibrant works in dance, theatre, music and new media. His artistic vision is to reveal the impacts of trauma and oppression on the body while making "deviant" bodies a source of aesthetic appreciation and desirability.
Frank first took to the stage in 1990, as a tenor in the Mormon Church of Nova Scotia's Halifax Ward Choir. He then took to wheelchair dance in 1999 with his debut performance in The CareTakeR, choreographed by Debbie Wilson, performed with Tracy Pattison, and presented at the Betty Oliphant Theatre in Toronto. That performance garnered Frank a feature in Abilities Magazine – Canada's leading publication on disability issues. He was thereafter awarded a full scholarship to train with Heels & Wheels Adaptive Dance at the Steffi Nossen School of Dance in White Plains, New York and at Ballet Dancing Wheels in Cleveland, Ohio.
Since 2002, Hull has choreographed and performed in many original dance performances across Ontario, as well as in New York State and Florida. He's produced both solo performances and ensemble dance works with Spirit Synott and Kazumi Tsuruoka (Toronto), Alan Shain (Ottawa) and Michele Decottignies (Alberta). Frank was a member of the choir of The Book of Judith (2009), created by Michael Rubenfeld, Alex Bulmer, and Sarah Garton Stanley (Toronto and St. Catherines). He did a choreography residency residency with Propeller Dance in 2015. He's now performing with Andrew Gurza, Frank Hull and Ken Harrower in a show being created and directed by Jonathan Seinen, called Boys in Chairs.
Frank's most recent work within Canada's dis arts domain includes contributing a commissioned digital narrative, OCCUPY THIS, to Stage Left Production's national co-creation, High Art: Drugs, Disability and Dastardly Deeds; collaborating with Michele Decottignies on Open Minds, an original performance portraying psychosis as freedom from oppression. Over the past few years, he's collaborated with Alan Shain and Michele Decottignies on embodied disability aesthetics labs, which symbolized the intersections of disability, masculinity and sexuality into Homo/Erotic, a dance/theatre piece that is now a scene in Closet Freaks, a QueerCrip Physical Theatre production he's currently co-producing with Alan and Michele. Those labs also gave birth to Le Crip Bleu, which Frank recently performed with Alan in Ottawa's Fresh Meat Festival to rave reviews.
Frank also has an extensive history developing and delivering adapted, inclusive dance technique training and community inclusion programming for youth and adults with mobility impairments, including those who use manual and/or power wheelchairs.
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