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Support the Telephone Film and Dark Room Ballet on #GivingTuesday!

Cyber Monday is coming to a close, which means that tomorrow is Giving Tuesday!

You may have heard about the Telephone Film project before. 

If you haven’t, here is some more info:

The first of its kind, Telephone is a work-in-progress short film bringing awareness to the important art form of audio description (AD) for dance. Audio description allows blind and visually impaired people to be included fully in the joy of artistic expression.

Co-directed by Dark Room Ballet founder Krishna Washburn and choreographer Heather Shaw, Telephone is the first screendance film created specifically with a visually impaired audience in mind, while facilitating an immersive sensory experience for audience members of all sight levels.

Created during the global pandemic, the film features diverse disabled and non-disabled artists from across the globe, demystifying and legitimizing AD, not just as an access tool, but as a beautiful, rich art form in its own right.

Telephone is at the forefront of a completely new approach to audio description. Most of what is considered “best practice” for AD is meant for television or film. A neutral AD voice describes the visuals and does not express emotional content. In television and film, the performers’ voices (layered over the AD) inform the audience of the emotional themes. However, in dance, performers rarely speak. Is the neutral AD voice really the best choice for dance? How do those listening to the AD connect with the emotional content of the performance?

The audio describers of Telephone are reshaping the world’s perception of AD, adding emotional context and allowing their words to dance in the same way a dancer’s body moves. The result is a beautiful merge of poetry and movement, proving that:

Dance is visceral – not merely visual.

Telephone Film is in the post-production stage, and is just $600 away from being able to meet a minimum goal to pay for editing and accessibility services.

You can help!

Interested in making a one-time donation? You can do so on Ko-Fi.

Interested in Dark Room Ballet Merchandise in support of Telephone? Limited quantity tote bags* are available at the following links: Air Between My Vertebrae, Fingers Awake and Alive, and Heels like Magnets.

Watch the Telephone film trailer (with credits and expanded description)… and then, do the Telephone Rock!

(The Telephone Rock is a Sesame Street video from 1977 with Muppets singing in and around a telephone booth… remember those? The lyrics are available here.)

Thanks, as always, for supporting the missions of Dark Room Ballet and the Telephone Film!