Telephone Film

Screenings begin December 2022!

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 is screening!

Upcoming Screening dates:

New York University (New York)
December 2nd, 2 PM-4 PM ET
Co-hosted by the Dance Education Department and the Center for Disability Studies

Private, virtual screening for the NYU community, followed by a Q&A with Telephoneco-directors Krishna Washburn and Heather Shaw, in conversation with NYU Steinhardt Scholar-in-Residence, author Georgina Kleege.

Leadership Network for Accessible Arts Education (Boston)
January 26th, 2023 4-5:30pm ET
Private, virtual screening for members of the Leadership Network, followed by a talkback with Telephone co-directors Heather Shaw and Krishna Washburn.

Carrollwood Cultural Center (Tampa)
February 4th, 2023
Stay tuned for additional details and ticket information for this hybrid live/virtual event hosted by Carrollwood Cultural Center in Tampa, Florida.

Interested in screening Telephone?

If you are affiliated with an arts organization, educational institution, museum, or gallery and are interested in booking a screening of Telephone with the co-directors available for an audience Q & A:

Contact Telephone Film — write to