Experiencing Interruptions?


Body In Refrain: A Stairs Project by Donald Lee

Project Stairs is a series of site-specific movement collages of a bilateral amputee negotiating public staircases in NYC while capturing the occasional stares from passersby. The time-based work explores endurance while commenting on the conceptual longevity of stairs in connection with access.

Sites include Bethesda Terrace in Central Park; Times Square’s Red Steps; Fort Greene Park; Forsyth Plaza in Chinatown; Fort Tyron and Riverside Park; The Cloisters; and step streets in Hudson Heights.

Performance at each location was documented alone or in collaboration with others.

"Light, light, light, light, light"
Music by Stefan Weisman
Text by Timothy Dudley-Smith
Commissioned and performed by the Battell Chapel Choir conducted by Stephen Black

This project is made possible by the City Artist Corps Grant.

  • Donald Lee
  • Donald Lee
    Key Cast
  • Stefan Weisman
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short, Other
  • Runtime:
    6 minutes 54 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 31, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    0 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Donald Lee

Donald Lee is an artist based in Brooklyn and a company dancer with Heidi Latsky Dance, a physically integrated dance company featuring atypical bodies as sights/sites to address the ideas of
beauty, physicality, and transformative inclusive culture. In his own artistic practice, he prides amateurism as an approach to create varied works that provokes response and questions conventions in methods and structures.

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Director Statement

My disability has transformed me physically, challenged me psychologically, and deepened me emotionally. Because disability identity is multi-dimensional and intersectional, it is a complex evolving relationship between loss and impairment, social restrictions, and experience. I have negotiated various physical, psychological, and cultural spaces that seek to erase me for who I am. I check almost every minority category; queer, POC, immigrant, middle-age. Now I realize the category is simply me. My movement is my biography.