audio description of choreographic works

Frequent in film and theatre, audio description consists in describing the visual elements of a work for a blind and partially sighted audience in order to facilitate their understanding. Included is a workshop before the performance for the audience to become familiar with the artists’ and narrators’ voices, and different stage elements likes sets and costumes.

Dance requires a slightly different process, with the elaboration of a specific methodology and vocabulary. The narrator attends several rehearsals in the weeks preceding the performance to become familiar with the work and develop vocabulary to enrich the description. They then write a narrative text to serve as a basis for their live description.

It is difficult to consider anything other than live audio description for dance, given the frequency of improvisation and variations in timing. The written document is a reference that the narrator learns ahead of time to facilitate their oralisation during the performance. For the show, they sit in technical booth or in a quiet room with a screen showing a live feed of the dance, as well as a mixing table, a microphone and a headset.

With state-of-the-art equipment installed by Connec-T, and an event-tailored wifi network, blind and partially sighted audiences will need a smart phone (which they can borrow if they do not have one) and headset to download the Sunnheiser app and fully dive into the performance.

In collaboration with Danse-Cité.

Performance offered in audio description for the 2021-2022 season:

Pomegranate by Heather Mah, December 4, 2021 at 2 p.m.

The 55 minutes of the choreographic work will be made accessible to all people who have complete or partial vision loss. Blind and partially sighted audiences will receive live narration by two audio describers: Enora Rivière and Georges-Nicolas Tremblay.

The imagined journey of her own grandmother, born in China in 1895. Inspired by her family history, the work depicts isolation, suffering and the search for new meaning, themes that reverberate within the greater migratory movement of the era. Created around the time of her 60th birthday, Pomegranate also uses the fruit of its title as a prism through which to examine fertility and femininity, rejuvenation and resilience. Moving and poetic, this performance-homage takes the form of an intimate and introspective journey where past and present coexist.

The dance lasts 55 minutes.
The event is presented at MAI (Montréal, arts interculturels)
3680 Jeanne-Mance street, Montreal, QC H2X 2K5.


Ticket price

20$ for people who are blind or partially sighted.
Free for accompanying persons.

Reservation of your ticket

As the number of participants is limited, please reserve your ticket before November 30, 2021 by calling Claudia at MAI at 514-982-1812 ext. 231 or Maud at Danse-Cité at 514-525-3595.

The vaccination passport will be mandatory. COVID-19 sanitary measures will be in effect.

Schedule of the day

12:30/ 12:45 – Welcoming of spectators
1:00 p.m. – Meeting with the audio describers and tactile tour
2:00 pm – Pomegranate, Heather Mah
3:00 pm – Meet the artist & audio describers & audience – free
4:00 pm – End of the event

Download the Sennheiser app before you come

A smartphone to download the Sennheiser app []
Don’t forget your headphones.

Please note that MAI will provide smartphones for those who do not have one.

Source and Contact

Claudia – MAI (Montreal, intercultural arts)
Public Engagement Coordinator
[email protected] – 514-982-1812 ext. 231
Cell: 514-701-4068

Maud Mazo-Rothenbühler – Danse-Cité
Communications and Project Manager – Audiodescription
[email protected] – 514-525-3595