Strike a Pose

Hand outstretched to the ceiling with a blue backgroundI’ll call my friends Mr. C and Ms. K. They are choreographers and their creative talent delights me. Within nuanced movement they convey mood and emotion. When I attend productions they perform in or produce, I play a little game. I don’t read the entire program and instead try to decide within the first few positions who directed the number by watching the unfolding series of steps. In December, with monocular in hand, I will be scanning the stage at Radio City Music Hall for Mr. C.–wild costumes may trick me, but I will keep seeking out the familiar, accomplished dancer.

Mr C.’s clean and balanced lines and Ms. K.’s raw, powerful and surprising movements, distinct styles complementing each other, remind me that my eyes haven’t lost all ways of recognizing the work of people I know. The essence of form can stand in for clear perception. A signature posture, tilt of the head, or even the wave of an arm unveils the source.

I cherish the creative expression in dance. One of my favorite podcasts, Helen Zaltzman’s The Allusionist, released an episode called Architecting About Dance. It’s about of course, dance, featuring choreographer Steven Hoggett. It was like sneaking backstage into the synapses and the gray matter of my dancer friends. The episode also features Alice Sanders, an audio describer. She and Steven discuss the challenge of translating dance into spoken language. Obviously, it held my art-loving attention.

Orange background tray with cutouts for letters in a four by four space grid. White shield shaped pieces fit into the spaces to spell out The Allusionist in black.In honor of Blindness Awareness Month, I recommend the audio piece which incorporates two things I appreciate: dance and accessible art. Why not enjoy the artistry and give the fifteen minute episode, Architecting About Dance, a spin. (The podcast is transcribed here in case you need to read rather than listen.) Don’t wait. 5, 6, 7, 8!

When are you a dancer? What productions have you taken in? Were you aware that audio description is available at many theaters for things like ballet and film? How does dancing make you feel? Tell me about it.

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Love your enthusiasm. I have been to an audio described production of the farce Tartuffe. The describers were excellent but the technology failed half way through! The Birmingham Royal Ballet and the Welsh National Opera have audio description for some productions. Your blog has encouraged me to try again next season!

    1. Oh that’s too bad it failed. Good for you to give it another try. I hope it works seamlessly next time. I read Tartuffe in school and remember watching a TV production. In the theater would be so much better!

      1. It was very funny and, as a bonus, we were shown the stage and met the actors before the play started. There was a wonderful fake dog! Glad you know the play.

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