Workshop: Visual Impairment in Dance

Photo credit: Christopher Núñez

For three hours, Battery Dance Company members Mira Cook, Sarah Housepian, Vivake Khamsingsavath, Bethany Mitchell, Razvan Stoian, Hussein Smko and Jillian Linkowski worked with their bodies on visual impairment in dance, incorporating accessibility tools like Audio Description and Way-finding that allowed them to decenter the visual content in dance.

Photo credit: Christopher Núñez

Audio description is widely used in the Arts as a support system to make visual content accessible to people with visual impairments. I argue that in order to offer true access to people with visual disabilities, intellectual and emotional elements present in the dance experience must be considered, not only the visual content.

As a choreographer with visual impairment, I cannot determine distance and volume. In my work I use Way-finding to create and inform the performance. Way-finding helps me define and safely navigate the area where the dance takes place.

Photo credit: Christopher Núñez

My intention is to explore what I have followed intuitively and intellectually in the choreographic process in order to systematize and reflect critically on my experience as an artist working from disability. The workshop is rooted in Disability Culture, visibility, self value and representation. Disabled artists have an essential role in changing the cultural representation of disability.