Material Bodies – prosthetic limbs in dance

Words by Katie Hagan

Can prosthetic limbs transcend their usual function to be seen and understood as pieces of jewellery or dance companions? They certainly can in film director, Dorothy Allen-Pickard’s Material Bodies, a sensual and provocative aperture into the relationship between amputees and their limbs.

Five artists give personal insight into and share anecdotes about their prosthetics including Candoco Dance Company member Mickaella Dantas.

The film, which was released on NOWNESS, has been recognised globally winning Best Artist Film at My Hero International Film Festival and receiving a Special Mention at Oberhausen. It also screened at Sheffield Doc Fest, Doc NYC, EIFF, Ann Arbor, Galway Film Fleadh, and many other international festivals.

Watch the film on YouTube here:

“Sometimes I think the people perceive like this is something very hard, very strong. And for me it is very simple. It is just my leg.”

Mickaella Dantas.


Director: Dorothy Allen-Pickard. DOP: Jack Wells. Producers: Lucy Pullicino and Julie Machin. Contributors: Mickaella Dantas, Caitlin Mcmullan, Kat Hawk and @iarlaith_macpheorais