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News / Announcements

Teacher Training Begins Summer 2024!

The Dark Room Presents: Teacher Training, Summer 2024 (Saturdays, July 6 through August 10)

This special all-virtual course for current and future movement educators continues our commitment to access, inclusion and disability justice for blind and visually impaired people. 

Should I Apply to Register for Dark Room Teacher Training?

Candidates for this course should:

* Be current or prospective movement educators in any movement practice, including but not limited to dance technique, dance improvisation, yoga, pilates, strengthening and conditioning, somatic practices, and choreography. This course prioritizes disabled applicants, especially blind and visually impaired people.

* Be able to commit to six weeks of intensive study from July 6 to August 10, including homework assignments.

* Have a strong commitment to making their own classes accessible to blind and visually impaired people.

Applicants do not need prior experience teaching blind or visually impaired people and they do not need any specific educational or professional background.

What Topics are Covered in Dark Room Teacher Training?

* Fundamentals of the traditional blind dance techniques, including back body posture and using the taped floor as a mirror replacement.

* Extensive practice in creating movement definitions and descriptions that de-center sight.

* Theories of movement curriculum development that support the educational needs of blind and visually impaired people.

* Extensive practice in self-audio description (moving and speaking simultaneously).

* Approaches to answering student questions, and developing a reflection-based teaching practice.

* Breaking down stereotypes about blind and visually impaired students, and the associated stereotypes of best practice for teaching blind and visually impaired students.

Yes, I Want to Apply! What do I do?

Step One: Send an email to info@darkroomballet.com with the subject line Teacher Training 2024.

Step Two: You will receive a Teacher Training application from info@darkroomballet.com; complete the entire application and submit it to info@darkroomballet.com by Thursday, June 28, 2024. 

Step Three: Your application will include a choice of time slots for an interview conversation with Krishna; Krishna will notify you about your interview call, which can take place on the phone or over Zoom. The interview call will last about ten to fifteen minutes and will not only give Krishna a better idea of your work and interests, but also give you and opportunity to ask her questions about the course.

Step Four: Show up to the first class on Saturday, July 6, 2024!

Categories
News / Announcements

No Diagram Anatomy Returns for Spring 2024!

Saturday, May 18, 2024:
The Maxillofacial Complex (Face and Jaw Class)

This highly detailed workshop is a complete analysis of the underlying structures, biomechanics, and muscular actions in the human face and jaw. In this workshop, we will use movement, touch, facial expressions, and conversations to not only cultivate scientific knowledge related to the maxillofacial complex, but also initiate a higher degree of body awareness and neurological learning pertaining to how and why our faces move the way that they do. Evolutionary history and the marvels of human variation will also be addressed in this workshop. No prior knowledge of human anatomy, dance, or self-audio description are required to participate, but all students will come away with deep anatomical knowledge, reduced movement anxiety, and tools to start learning how to talk about movement in a visceral way. Let’s get right down to the real nitty gritty!

Material covered in this workshop will include:
  • The underlying structures of the maxillofacial complex
  • The biomechanical processes of the face and jaw
  • The muscles associated with facial expressions
  • The muscles associated with mastication

All students will receive the complete script of the workshop two days beforehand, and the script can be reviewed either before or after the workshop.

This workshop is designed for the educational needs of blind and visually impaired people and does not use diagrams.

Saturday, May 25, 2024:
The Auditory System (How We Hear)

This highly detailed workshop is a complete analysis of the physical structures involved with hearing, as well as an overview of how the sensory neurons involved with hearing work and what sound actually is. In this workshop, we will use movement, touch, listening activities, and conversations to not only cultivate scientific knowledge related to the auditory system, but also initiate a higher degree of body awareness and neurological learning pertaining to how to listen in a truly active, informative way. Evolutionary history and the marvels of human variation will also be addressed in this workshop. No prior knowledge of human anatomy, dance, or self-audio description are required to participate, but all students will come away with deep anatomical knowledge, reduced movement anxiety, and tools to start learning how to talk about movement in a visceral way. Let’s get right down to the real nitty gritty!

Material covered in this workshop will include:
  • The physical structures of the auditory complex (bones, muscles, connective tissue)
  • How sensory neurons provide us information about sound
  • An understanding of what sound actually is
  • Strategies to develop metacognition around our listening skills

All students will receive the complete script of the workshop two days beforehand, and the script can be reviewed either before or after the workshop.

This workshop is designed for the educational needs of blind and visually impaired people and does not use diagrams.

Saturday, June 1, 2024:
The Genu-Femoral Complex (Knee and Thigh Class)

This highly detailed workshop is a complete analysis of the bones, muscles, connective tissues, biomechanics, and nerves of the knee and thigh. In this workshop, we will use movement, touch, and conversations to not only cultivate scientific knowledge related to the genu-femoral complex, but also initiate a higher degree of body awareness and neurological learning surrounding this extremely strong but extremely fragile region of the human body. This workshop will address injury prevention and injury recovery! Evolutionary history and the marvels of human variation will also be addressed in this workshop. No prior knowledge of human anatomy, dance, or self-audio description are required to participate, but all students will come away with deep anatomical knowledge, reduced movement anxiety, and tools to start learning how to talk about movement in a visceral way. Let’s get right down to the real nitty gritty!

Material covered in this workshop will include:
  • The bones of the genu-femoral complex
  • The muscles and biomechanical functions of the genu-femoral complex
  • The connective tissues of the genu-femoral complex
  • The nerve and nerve complexes of the genu-femoral complex
  • Ways of reducing injury risk and addressing injuries compassionately

All students will receive the complete script of the workshop two days beforehand, and the script can be reviewed either before or after the workshop.

This workshop is designed for the educational needs of blind and visually impaired people and does not use diagrams.


Categories
News / Announcements

Audio Description for Dance Workshops return in January & February 2024!

Are you an audio description for dance student who missed Krishna’s workshops in either 2022 or 2023?

Did you attend the workshops, but want to study again?

Krishna is presenting a limited series of five of her most foundational audio description for dance workshops in January and February 2024. (A sixth workshop will be by invitation only.)

Sponsored by Movement Research, all workshops take place online via Zoom, on Saturdays from 4 PM to 6 PM (Eastern/New York Time)

To register for any or all of these workshops, please write to info@darkroomballet.com as soon as possible to complete the registration process.


Saturday, January 20, 2024:
Four Strategies to De-Center Sight in Audio Description for Dance

When developing audio description for dance, even for blind artists, there is an expectation that the audio describer will “say what is seen.” What if this approach isn’t adequate to express the artistic ideas of the dance? What are strategies that audio describers and dancers can reach for instead? In this workshop, students will learn four strategies to help break them out of the “say what you see” box, and also learn about a popular strategy that might be better off left on the shelf.

Saturday, January 27, 2024:
The Layered Body: Self-Audio Description that De-Centers Sight

Audio description for dance has, for too long, stayed deliberately superficial and visual in its descriptions of movement performance. In this workshop, participants will cultivate the somatic skills and body awareness to describe how the body feels in movement, rather than how it looks, de-centering sight and rooting itself in visceral language.

Saturday, February 3, 2024:
How it Feels: Integrating Physical Sensation and Emotion in Self-Audio Description

Emotional content is often deliberately excluded from audio description for dance. In this workshop, participants will cultivate a self-audio description practice that can help fully integrate the description of physical movement and the accompanying emotional experience.

Saturday, February 10, 2024:
Experimentation in Vocal Tonality for Audio Description for Dance

Most audio description used to support television and film is recorded with a neutral tone of voice. However, we here in the Dark Room propose that dance is a very different art form that deserves a different approach to audio description. Be ready to listen to some interesting examples of audio description, practice using the voice expressively, and pair sound and movement together in artistically effective ways.

Saturday, February 17, 2024:
Yeah, But Was It Good? Learning How to Listen to Audio Description for Dance Critically

Audio description for dance performances is still very rare, but that doesn’t mean that blind and visually impaired audiences should be satisfied when the audio description on offer is of low quality. Students are going to get to listen to many, many examples of audio description for dance, and talk about what works and what doesn’t work, and what we might change in order to improve it.

Saturday, February 24, 2024:
Our Memories Are Real: The Disabled Dancer’s Body

This self-audio description workshop is designed for disabled artists interested in creating self-audio described movement art for one another. Many arts education programs and performing arts institutions have used dance as a tool to police, judge, objectify, and exclude human bodies. It is our belief in the Dark Room that dance at its highest form of artistry should only be used as a tool to express creativity, to explore the infinite physical sensations of movement, and to cultivate human empathy. In this workshop, disabled artists will be given frameworks to safely explore and memories of body policing, judgment, objectification, and exclusion, and will have opportunities to explore integrating storytelling, visceral sensation, and self-ownership through self-audio described dance.
* This workshop is by invitation only.


Image description:

On an orange and tan background, black text reads:

DARK ROOM BALLET WITH KRISHNA WASHBURN

Audio Description for Dance

A LIMITED SERIES OF VIRTUAL WORKSHOPS

SATURDAYS FROM JANUARY 20 TO FEBRUARY 24

ON ZOOM FROM 4 PM TO 6 PM (EASTERN/NEW YORK TIME

MORE INFO/REGISTER AT LINK

OR VISIT DarkRoomBallet.com

Outdoors at sunset, two barefoot dancers wearing flowing white dresses with dark trim and upswept hair stand at a distance while in similar motion, facing away from each other with heads turned to the side, one arm arched above their heads with a palm facing up  and the other bent towards their sides with a palm out.

Categories
News / Announcements

No Diagram Anatomy returns for November & December 2023!

Announcing a new series of three no-diagram anatomy workshops open to all (with priority given to blind and visually impaired students), no prior experience required.

Sponsored by Movement Research, all workshops take place online via Zoom.

To register for any or all workshops, please write to info@darkroomballet.com as soon as possible to complete the registration process.


Saturday, November 18, 2023:
The Dark Room Presents No Diagram Anatomy – The Respiratory System

This highly detailed workshop is a complete analysis of the organs, muscles, nerves, and connective tissues associated with the human respiratory system. In this workshop, we will use movement, touch, breathing, and conversations to not only cultivate scientific knowledge related to the respiratory system, but also initiate a higher degree of body awareness and neurological learning pertaining to how we breathe. Evolutionary history and the marvels of human variation will also be addressed in this workshop. No prior knowledge of human anatomy, dance, or self-audio description are required to participate, but all students will come away with deep anatomical knowledge, reduced movement anxiety, and tools to start learning how to talk about movement in a visceral way. Let’s get right down to the real nitty gritty!

Material covered in this workshop will include:
  • The organs and organ components of respiration
  • The muscles and nerves tasked with facilitating respiration
  • The biochemical processes of respiration and how they affect the body
  • The connective tissues that support the respiratory system

All students will receive the complete script of the workshop two days beforehand, and the script can be reviewed either before or after the workshop.

This workshop is designed for the educational needs of blind and visually impaired people and does not use diagrams.

Saturday, December 9, 2023:
The Dark Room Presents No Diagram Anatomy – The Spinal Complex

This highly detailed workshop is a complete analysis of the spinal complex, which includes the skeletal spinal column, the spinal cord and related nerve plexuses, and the layers of musculature that enable spinal movement. In this workshop, we will use movement, touch, and conversations to not only cultivate scientific knowledge related to the spinal complex, but also initiate a higher degree of body awareness and neurological learning pertaining to our spines. Evolutionary history and the marvels of human variation will also be addressed in this workshop. No prior knowledge of human anatomy, dance, or self-audio description are required to participate, but all students will come away with deep anatomical knowledge, reduced movement anxiety, and tools to start learning how to talk about movement in a visceral way. Let’s get right down to the real nitty gritty!

Material covered in this workshop will include:
  • The bones of the spinal column
  • The connective tissues of the spinal complex
  • The spinal cord itself and its emergent nerve plexuses
  • The layers of torso muscle that act on the spine and create movement

All students will receive the complete script of the workshop two days beforehand, and the script can be reviewed either before or after the workshop.

This workshop is designed for the educational needs of blind and visually impaired people and does not use diagrams.

Saturday, December 16, 2023: The Dark Room Presents No Diagram Anatomy – The Iliopsoas Complex

This highly detailed workshop is a complete analysis of the iliopsoas complex and surrounding pelvic tissues, including the components of the pelvic floor. In this workshop, we will use movement, touch, and conversations to not only cultivate scientific knowledge related to the spinal complex, but also initiate a higher degree of body awareness and neurological learning pertaining to our spines. Evolutionary history and the marvels of human variation will also be addressed in this workshop. No prior knowledge of human anatomy, dance, or self-audio description are required to participate, but all students will come away with deep anatomical knowledge, reduced movement anxiety, and tools to start learning how to talk about movement in a visceral way. Let’s get right down to the real nitty gritty!

Material covered in this workshop will include:
  • The skeletal framework of the iliopsoas complex and pelvic floor
  • The muscular components of the iliopsoas complex
  • The connective tissues of iliopsoas complex and pelvic floor
  • The nerves and nerve plexuses of the iliopsoas complex and pelvic floor
  • Overview of the organs associated with the pelvic floor

All students will receive the complete script of the workshop two days beforehand, and the script can be reviewed either before or after the workshop.

This workshop is designed for the educational needs of blind and visually impaired people and does not use diagrams


*All of these No Diagram Anatomy topics were requested by current Dark Room students! If you are a current or prospective Dark Room student who wants a nitty-gritty anatomy workshop on a specific part of the human body, Krishna will honor your requests for her next semester of courses!


Image description:
A workshop informational poster, anchored at the left with an an abstract image of two dancers with blurred features, wearing flowing, sleeveless, rainbow-colored dresses. A third dancer is just out of frame, and additional arms are visible, along with slender legs and pointed toes.

On black and white backgrounds, contrasting text reads:


DARK ROOM BALLET WITH KRISHNA WASHBURN Announcing a new series of 3 no-diagram anatomy workshops open to all (with priority given to blind and visually impaired students), no prior experience required.

November 18th
The Respiratory System

December 9th
The Spinal Complex

December 16th
The Iliopsoas Complex

3 SATURDAYS 4 PM to 6 PM via ZOOM

CLASS & REGISTRATION INFO AT LINK IN BIO

Categories
Krishna's Thoughts News / Announcements

4 Audio Description for Dance Summer Workshops to go!

70+ people have attended the Dark Room Audio Description for Dance Summer Workshops so far!

There are 4 workshops to go — join us again or for the first time. Students at all levels of vision, dance and audio description experience are welcome!

🎙️ Saturday, July 29: Narrative Components in Audio Description for Dance

✍🏼 Saturday, August 5: Script Preparation Strategies for Audio Description for Dance: Multiple Pathways!

🤔 Saturday, August 12: Yeah, But Was It Good? Learning How to Listen to Audio Description for Dance Critically

🩰 Saturday, August 19: Three Traditional Ballet Variations Explored Through Pedagogical and Theatrical Audio Description

For more info & to register:

Dark Room Presents: Audio Description for Dance Summer Workshops: Saturdays, from July 8 through August 19, 2023



Some of Krishna’s thoughts from recent workshops that social media doesn’t have:

Describing from physical sensation: Whether you start from the inside, or need to start from the mirror with the goal of finding what’s inside, remember that being able to identify and describe physical sensation is a learned skill that comes with practice, just like dancing, just like describing. Personally, I think that spending time thinking about how movements feel in our bodies has intrinsic value, a way of learning about ourselves and learning to trust our bodies and our perceptions. Even if you’re an audio describer exclusively, having understanding, knowledge, and empathy for physical sensations in your own body will only help you in cultivating your skills of describing other people’s movements.

Describing who is dancing: All dances are different and all dancers are different! Always know the names and pronouns of the dancers in the performance you are describing, and it is a common thing in dance performance for performers to portray characters whose names and pronouns are not their own! When a performer is in character, use the character’s name and pronouns, but if someone is dancing as themself, using the dancer’s real name and pronouns is a simple and incredibly helpful addition for your audience. And for dancers: when you are performing, think about your role in the performance, what you contribute to the piece as a whole, and think about how to explain it in words.

Describing emotion: Remember that emotion is why dance exists! Emotion is the birthplace of dance, and everyone deserves to share in that experience. Conversations between audio describers and dancers, choreographers, and the entire creative team can be incredibly fruitful when it comes to emotional communication. Emotional expression is a wonderful and fascinating thing, because all humans experience it, but each one of us expresses it outwardly in our own, unique, authentic way; dance combined with strong audio description can be an incredibly powerful tool for empathy.

Describing within a structure: I know that it is common for audio describers to have very limited access to dance rehearsals, maybe just dress rehearsal at best, but just because it’s common, that doesn’t mean that it’s good. If you are an audio describer who can ask for more time and more access, please do it! You deserve it and your audience deserves it. If you create dance performances, start thinking about audio description at the start of your rehearsal process, not the end! Some of the most wonderful art created for blind audiences today had an audio describer in the rehearsal studio on day one (shout out to Kayla Hamilton!). Having an audio describer as a part of the creative team is something I advocate for.

Categories
News / Announcements

Dark Room Presents: Audio Description for Dance Summer Workshops: Saturdays, from July 8 through August 19, 2023

  • Saturday, July 8: Four Strategies to De-Center Sight in Audio Description for Dance (past session)
  • Saturday, July 15: Experimentation in Vocal Tonality for Audio Description for Dance (past session)
  • Saturday, July 22: Body Language, Movement Shorthand, and Mime for Blind Audiences (past session)
  • Saturday, July 29: Narrative Components in Audio Description for Dance (past session)
  • Saturday, August 5: Script Preparation Strategies for Audio Description for Dance: Multiple Pathways! (past session)
  • Saturday, August 12: Yeah, But Was It Good? Learning How to Listen to Audio Description for Dance Critically (past session)
  • Saturday, August 19: Three Traditional Ballet Variations Explored Through Pedagogical and Theatrical Audio Description (past session)


 

These seven tuition-free workshops are designed to address many different topics pertaining to audio description for dance from many different approaches.

Like all Dark Room curriculum, all of these workshops are designed for the educational needs of blind and visually impaired learners, and these workshops are meant to serve specifically: blind and visually impaired dancers, blind and visually impaired audio description consultants and editors, audio describers of all vision levels, access professionals working for arts organizations and educational institutions, choreographers, dramaturges, and performing arts educators.

Registration is now open! To register for any of these tuition-free workshops, please send an email to info@darkroomballet.com

New students who have never studied in the Dark Room before will need to fill out an intake form. Most audio description courses are very expensive, and almost none of them focus exclusively on dance in their subject matter, so please register at your earliest convenience!

About the instructor:

Krishna Washburn is the Artistic Director and sole teacher for all Dark Room courses. She teaches traditional blind dance technique at the introductory, open, and professional levels, dancer’s anatomy for blind and visually impaired learners (No Diagram Anatomy), and audio description for dance. She holds a M.Ed. from Hunter College and multiple certifications through the American College of Sports Medicine with special focus in biomechanics. She is the Co-Director, along with choreographer Heather Shaw, of Telephone, an educational documentary film that explores artistic philosophy pertaining to audio description and documenting the multiple artistic forms of audio description for dance. Krishna is one of very few blind educators working in the field of dance and audio description, but hopes that will change very soon.


WORKSHOP DETAILS:

NOTE: All workshops take place via Zoom beginning at 4 PM (Eastern/New York Time) and run approximately 2 hours; some may run longer depending on participation.

Saturday, July 8: Four Strategies to De-Center Sight in Audio Description for Dance



When developing audio description for dance, even for blind artists, there is an expectation that the audio describer will “say what is seen.” What if this approach isn’t adequate to express the artistic ideas of the dance? What are strategies that audio describers and dancers can reach for instead? In this workshop, students will learn four strategies to help break them out of the “say what you see” box, and also learn about a popular strategy that might be better off left on the shelf.

 

Saturday, July 15: Experimentation in Vocal Tonality for Audio Description for Dance


Most audio description used to support television and film is recorded with a neutral tone of voice. However, we here in the Dark Room propose that dance is a very different art form that deserves a different approach to audio description. Be ready to listen to some interesting examples of audio description, practice using the voice expressively, and pair sound and movement together in artistically effective ways.

 

Saturday, July 22: Body Language, Movement Shorthand, and Mime for Blind Audiences


Although there are common cultural assumptions about popular body language and movement shorthand, it’s important to remember that they are all learned and not universally known! We’re going to break down some body language assumptions, find ways to integrate effective audio description, and explore the wonderfully hilarious world of mime and exaggerated body language.

 

Saturday, July 29: Narrative Components in Audio Description for Dance


One of the greatest challenges for audio describers of dance is balancing movement description with essential narrative components. While some dance companies provide narrative information about dance in a synopsis before the performance, we here in the Dark Room argue that the synopsis is inadequate to help blind and visually impaired audiences truly immerse themselves in the art. Learn how to connect story and movement through examples and creation.

Saturday, August 5: Script Preparation Strategies for Audio Description for Dance: Multiple Pathways!


Where do audio description scripts come from? It depends! This workshop will discuss multiple approaches to getting started on an audio description script, depending on multiple factors: access to artists involved with the project, prior knowledge, type of audience, style of performance, timeframes, and so on and so forth. This is a great introduction to script writing for audio description novices, and a great opportunity for audio description fans to express themselves.

Saturday, August 12: Yeah, But Was It Good? Learning How to Listen to Audio Description for Dance Critically


Audio description for dance performances is still very rare, but that doesn’t mean that blind and visually impaired audiences should be satisfied when the audio description on offer is of low quality. Students are going to get to listen to many, many examples of audio description for dance, and talk about what works and what doesn’t work, and what we might change in order to improve it.

 

Saturday, August 19: Three Traditional Ballet Variations Explored Through Pedagogical and Theatrical Audio Description


Are you a blind or visually impaired dancer who needs an audition solo? Are you a blind or visually impaired ballet lover who would love a deep-dive into some traditional ballet dances? Are you an audio describer of traditional ballet performance who wants to learn multiple approaches to capturing the magic of ballet in language? If so, this workshop is for you! Learn solos from traditional ballet repertoire: La Fille Mal Gardee, The Nutcracker, and Giselle.

Categories
News / Announcements

Dark Room Ballet at “Eco Somatic readings, conversations and movement” (April 26th at 6 PM EDT)

You are invited to join tonight’s:

Eco Somatic readings, conversations and movement centering disability and LGBTIQA+ ecologies of pain and joy with the environment.

Featuring Stephanie Heit, Petra Kuppers, Krishna Washburn, Taja Will, and moira williams.

Where: Online Zoom Meeting

Zoom Registration link: Eco Somatic Registration April 26th

Access Menu:

  • Access Doula
  • Participation Guide
  • AI Captioning + ASL


Please contact moira670@gmail.com for more accessibility information requests and needs

Flyer Image Description: A tree filled image with a close up of two trees and their large textured bark. Between the two trees a hand from the forearm down and palm forward spreads its fingers. It looks like a ghost hand that is filled with the surrounding forest life. The entire background image is heavily saturated with almost neon reds, pinks, yellows, blues, greens and purples. On top of the glowing forest is white text saying: Eco Somatic readings and conversations: disability ecologies of pain and joy with the environment. Stephanie Heit, Petra Kuppers, Krishna Washburn, Taja Will, moira williams. Online April 26th 6-8pm EST/5-7pm CT/3-5pm PST. Access Menu: Access Doula, Participation Guide, AI Captioning.

Facilitators:

Stephanie Heit is a queer disabled poet, dancer, teacher, and co director of Turtle Disco, a somatic writing space on Anishinaabe land in Ypsilanti, Michigan. She is a Zoeglassia Fellow, and the author of PSYCH MURDERS (Wayne State University Press, 2022) and The Color She Gave Gravity (Operating System, 2017). Stephanie is an active member of the Olimpias; an international disability performance collective. She co-directed the Asylum Project (2015-2019); an experimental and community practice investigation into the many meanings of asylum. Stephanie is bipolar, a mad activist, and a shock/psych system survivor. Link to Stephanie’s website is HERE.

Petra Kuppers (she/her) is a disability culture activist, a wheelchair dancer, and a community performance artist. Petra grounds herself in disability culture methods. She uses eco somatics, performance, and speculative writing to engage audiences toward more socially just and enjoyable futures. She has been engaged in community dance and disability culture production since the late 80s. She continues to lead workshops internationally, in these forms as well as in disability-culture adapted social somatics. She is the Artistic Director of The Olimpias, an international disability culture collective, and co-creates Turtle Disco, a somatic writing studio, with her wife, poet and dancer Stephanie Heit, from their home in Ypsilanti, Michigan, on Three Fires Confederacy Territory, colonially known as Ypsilanti, Michigan. A link to Petra’s website is HERE.

Krishna Christine Washburn is artistic director and instructor for Dark Room Ballet, and co-directed the Telephone Film. She has an M.Ed. from Hunter College, BA from Barnard College, and is certified by the ACSM in biomechanics. She speaks regularly on self-audio description and educating blind/visually impaired dance students. A link to Krishna’s website is HERE.

Taja Will is a non-binary, chronically ill, queer, Latinx (Chilean) adoptee. They are a performer, choreographer, somatic therapist, consultant and Healing Justice practitioner based in Mni Sota Makoce, on the ancestral lands of the Dakota and Anishinaabe. Taja’s approach integrates improvisation, somatic modalities, text and vocals in contemporary performance. Their aesthetic is one of spontaneity, bold choice making, sonic and kinetic partnership and the ability to move in relationship to risk and intimacy. Will’s artistic work explores visceral connections to current socio-cultural realities through a blend of ritual, dense multi-layered worldbuilding and everyday magic. A link to Taja’s website is HERE.

moira williams is a disabled Indigenous artist, cross disability cultural activist/organizer and access doula; co-creating and weaving disability justice together with crip celebratory resistance and environmental justice. moira believes in access as art and “access intimacy” as an attitude needed to push beyond the limitations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Their often co-creative work leads with disability, stemming from the understanding that deep-rooted cultural changes must be made in arts and environmental spaces and practices to become accessible. One part of affecting change is by placing disabled artists and activists in positions of influence to shape culture from within. Another part is acknowledging that entering positions of power is not the end goal. Instead, the end goal is to co-create an active culture where power positions no longer exist. moira’s on-going work with water focuses on access intimacy and water intimacy as ways forward to accessible waterways and joy. A link to moira’s website is HERE.

Categories
News / Announcements

APRIL WORKSHOPS — No Diagram Anatomy: The Distal & Proximal Arm Complex (ARM CLASS)

Hosted by Movement Research, Dark Room Ballet anatomy workshops are designed specifically for the educational needs of blind and visually impaired adults (though all are welcome).

NOTE: This is a FREE class, but donations are welcomed.

No Diagram Anatomy for Dancers in the Dark Room:

➣ The Distal Arm Complex (April 1)

➣ The Proximal Arm Complex (April 8)

4 PM to 5:30 PM (Eastern / New York Time)
This workshop is offered online via Zoom – participants can attend ONE or BOTH sessions.


To register, please email: 
info@darkroomballet.com and let us know which sessions you would like to attend


Workshop Description

In this two-part workshop on the complete arm complex, we will use movement, touch, and conversation to not only cultivate scientific knowledge related to the shoulder, arm, and hand, but also initiate a higher degree of body awareness and neurological learning in this area. Evolutionary history and the marvels of human variation will also be addressed in this workshop.

No prior knowledge of human anatomy, dance, or self-audio description are required to participate, but all students will come away with deep anatomical knowledge, reduced movement anxiety, and tools to start learning how to talk about movement in a visceral way. Let’s get right down to the real nitty gritty!

Material covered in these two workshops will include:
  • The skeletal structure of the shoulder, arm, and hand
  • The locations and functions of musculature of the shoulder, arm, and hand, and their relationships to commonly known dance vocabulary
  • The nerves and nerve plexuses of the shoulder, arm, and hand, and what it means to cultivate neurological connection to this part of the body
  • The connective tissues (fascia, tendons, cartilages and ligaments) of the shoulder, arm, and hand.

All students will receive the complete script of the workshop two days beforehand, and the script can be reviewed either before or after the workshop. Although these two workshops are meant to be taken together, students are allowed to register for one or the other and they can both stand alone.

This workshop is designed for the educational needs of blind and visually impaired people and does not use diagrams.


About No Diagram Anatomy Workshop Series

No Diagram Anatomy workshops are in-depth dancer’s anatomy workshops that de-center sight and are designed for the educational needs of blind and visually impaired people. Participants will learn about their bodies’ layered anatomy from the outside-in using a combination of guided audio description, imagination, touch, and movement experimentation, and will also be given opportunities to practice talking about how the movement feels in the body (self-audio description).

Categories
News / Announcements

WORKSHOP: Audio Description for Traditional Ballet Performances (Saturday, December 17th)

Hosted by Movement ResearchDark Room Ballet is designed specifically for the educational needs of blind and visually impaired adults.

NOTE: This is a FREE class, but donations are welcomed.

Dark Room Ballet Presents:
Audio Description as an Art Form

Audio Description for Traditional Ballet Performances


Saturday, December 17th , 2022
4 PM to 6 PM (Eastern / New York Time)

NOTE: This is a 2 hour class

This workshop is offered online via Zoom


To register, please email: 
info@darkroomballet.com


Workshop Description

Using the framing device of Act 1, Scene 1 from Giselle, participants will develop a different set of expectations for audio described traditional ballet performances, and will co-create a manifesto for ballet audio description for wide-spread dissemination among traditional arts presenters.

Note: this is the last workshop in the Audio Description as an Art Form series, sponsored by Movement Research.

More audio description workshops are planned for 2023!

Categories
News / Announcements

WORKSHOP: Forming Effective Audio Description Partnerships Between Dancers and Describers (Saturday, December 10th)

Hosted by Movement ResearchDark Room Ballet is designed specifically for the educational needs of blind and visually impaired adults.

NOTE: This is a FREE class, but donations are welcomed.

Dark Room Ballet Presents:
Audio Description as an Art Form

Forming Effective Audio Description Partnerships Between Dancers and Describers


Saturday, December 10th , 2022
4 PM to 6 PM (Eastern / New York Time)

NOTE: This is a 2 hour class

This workshop is offered online via Zoom


To register, please email: 
info@darkroomballet.com


Workshop Description

Audio describers can create their best art when they can form real partnerships with dancers that have self-audio description skills. Whether you are a dancer who wants to hone your self-audio description skills or an audio describer who wants to learn the questions to ask when developing descriptions (and what to do with the answers), this crucial teamwork will be cultivated here.

Note: this is the second to last workshop in the Audio Description as an Art Form series, sponsored by Movement Research