Telephone Film

You may have heard about the Telephone Film project before. 

Now in The New York Times!
Hear the Dance: Audio Description Comes of Age

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:

Movement Research (New York, NY)

Wednesday, November 15th, 6:30pm ET (3:30pm PT)
Virtual Screening
New York organization Movement Research, one of the world’s leading laboratories for the investigation of dance and movement-based forms, will host a virtual screening of Telephone, followed by a Q&A with co-directors Heather Shaw and Krishna Washburn. Register here. If you encounter any accessibility issues while registering, please email
*ASL interpretation will also be included in the Q & A portion of the event.

Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema (Boulder, CO)

Streaming for Colorado viewers from Nov 27th – Dec 17th
Sans Souci (featured in Dance Magazine) is a dance film festival connecting filmmakers with audiences around the world. We are excited to announce that Telephone has been selected to be a part of the 20th anniversary festival season. Telephone will be streamed (restricted to viewers in Colorado) through Sans Souci from November 27th – December 17th.

Visit the Telephone Film Screenings page for updated info!

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