By Lauren Huff
November 18, 2020 at 05:30 PM EST

Bill Shannon and his mind-boggling technique of employing crutches for dance and mobility take center stage in an exclusive clip from Crutch, a new documentary about the performance artist.

In the video, above, artist Rafael Xavier explains the method, which has been dubbed the Shannon Technique. "When you want to teach people, they have to understand what it is you're doing and the communication has to be the same, otherwise everything gets lost in translation," he says. "So when you develop a technique, you begin to codify the language for a particular vocabulary. You name it, you call it what it is, and Bill Shannon is doing that with the Shannon Technique."

Also in the clip, a thrilling mashup features Shannon — who has Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease, a rare degenerative condition of the hip — showing off several moves in his repertoire, including the Japan tuck, single-crutch stepping hops, the 360 sweeper, and more.

Crutch, which comes by way of directors Sachi Cunningham and Chandler Evans, chronicles Shannon's extraordinary life and mission as he finds his voice and uses his artistry to expose the secret world of assumptions that people make about those with disabilities. Featuring two decades of exclusive access, including a lifetime of archival footage, it depicts Shannon from his early years to his rise as an award-winning dancer and cutting-edge performance artist.

Crutch is currently available for screening across the U.S. at the DOC NYC fest. Check out the trailer below.

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