Dedicated to Improving the Lives of Blind and Visually Impaired People

Free Virtual Workshops on Audio Description in Dance and More

Dark Room Ballet, sponsored by Movement Research, is providing free workshops via Zoom that address the needs of adults who are blind and visually impaired. All workshops are taught by Krishna Washburn, a blind professional dancer and dancing instructor. Upcoming programs include:

On October 29, 2022 ET, No Diagram Anatomy for Dancers in the Dark Room Presents: The Lower Leg Complex (Foot Class): This final workshop in a series of three sessions analyzing specific parts of the body will use movement, touch, and discussion to cultivate scientific knowledge about the foot and lower leg as well as increased body awareness and neurological learning related to “evolutionary history and the marvels of human variation.” No previous knowledge of human anatomy, dance, or self-audio description is required to participate.

Audio Description as an Art Form: November/December Workshops

Audio Description as an Art Form, a series of five workshops held on Saturdays and described below, will explore audio description for dance as its own art form. Each workshop may be taken separately, or students may register for all of them. Classes are suitable for students of all levels, from those with no previous knowledge of audio description to professional audio describers.
1. On November 5, 2022 at 4 pm ET, The Layered Body: Self-Audio Description that De-Centers Sight: Audio description for dance has been “deliberately superficial and visual in its descriptions of movement performance.” Participants in this session will develop greater body awareness to describe how the body feels in movement, rather than strictly how it looks, “rooting itself in visceral language.”
2. On November 12, 2022 at 4 pm ET, Your Memory is Real: Creating Memory-Based Self-Audio Described Dance: This “Blind Art workshop” will provide participants with tools, coaching, and a “safe space” to develop self-audio described movement performances for each other.
3. On November 19, 2022 at 4 pm ET, How it Feels: Integrating Physical Sensation and Emotion in Self-Audio Description: Audio description is often left out of audio description for dance. In this workshop, students will develop self-audio description skills to integrate the description of physical movement with the “accompanying emotional experience.”
4. On December 10, 2022 at 4 pm ET, Forming Effective Audio Description Partnerships Between Dancers and Describers: Audio describers are most effective when they work in partnership with dancers who have self-audio description skills. This workshop will foster teamwork between dancers who’d like to refine their self-audio description skills as well as audio describers wishing to learn what questions to ask when developing descriptions and how to apply the answers in their efforts.
5. On December 17, 2022 at 4 pm ET, Description for Traditional Ballet Performances:
Participants in this session will use Act 1, Scene 1 from the ballet Giselle to develop different expectations for audio description of traditional performances and will then create a “manifesto” for audio description of ballet for widespread dissemination among traditional arts presenters.
To register for these workshops, email: [email protected] and indicate which workshops you are interested in attending.