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What’s not great about being an artist? No boss to suck up to, no office to dress up for, unlimited hours in which to create, the government raining teeny little grants on your head, the lack of job security, benefits, and health insurance…Homer Avila had it all, insofar as “it” means the delights and drawbacks of expressing himself as one of the most progressive and versatile dancers in the country. He showed up in New York City in 1976 with “an incomplete education” behind him and a dream ahead, and he danced with such contemporary bright lights as Twyla Tharp, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane, Mark Morris, Ralph Lemon, and Momix. He founded Avila/Weeks Dance with Edisa Weeks, missing only one performance despite a chronic, mysterious pain. That’s when the drawbacks kicked in—Avila was not only the proud possessor of two of the most meticulously trained legs in the business but also the victim of chondrosarcoma, a rare cancer that would finally necessitate the amputation of one of those world-class gams. His insurance didn’t pay for the rehab, re-education, and therapy while Avila languished without a source of income. The dance world rallied around him admirably, sponsoring a benefit that would help with Avila’s bills, but he has also used the crisis as an opportunity. This week, Avila brings what he calls his “new morphology” to Washington: an entirely new way of moving and thinking about moving from the world’s most blessed and cursed one-legged dancer. He performs at 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, on the “Millennium Stage,” Kennedy Center, Grand Foyer. Free. (202) 467-4600. (Arion Berger)