audio description of choreographic works

© Dahlia Katz

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 season 23.24:

Omaagomaan by Waawaate Fobister on February 10th, 2024. 

This 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.

This performance is presented at MAI (Montréal, arts interculturels)
3680 Jeanne-Mance street, Montreal, QC H2X 2K5.


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