Sun Jul 07, 2024

October 23, 2021 — A performance with live audio description for blind and partially sighted people thanks to Danse-Cité and Danse Danse

Montreal, September 30, 2021 - The first evening of dance offered with live audio description for blind and partially sighted people in Montreal will take place on Saturday, October 23, 2021. Danse-Cité (a research/creation/presentation organization) and Montreal presenter Danse Danse will welcome twenty blind and partially sighted spectators to the Cinquième Salle at Place des Arts for the performance of Quebec choreographer Alan Lake's new work, L'effritement des parades, as part of Danse Danse's 2021-2022 season. This work will be made accessible to people who are totally or partially blind; a great first in Montreal and in Quebec.

A known process in film and theatre yet still under utilized in the Quebec dance milieu, audio description is a tool for cultural accessibility that just requires development and engagement. This first collaboration between Danse Danse and Danse-Cité marks the beginning of a pilot year in which multiple dance performances with adapted and facilitated audio access will happen in different venues in the city (Tangente, Montréal, arts interculturels, DLD) ending of December 2022.

Allowing a blind or semi blind person to follow a live choreography requires the implementation of a rigorous protocol. Here is a brief overview of the process when you arrive. A smart phone to download the application Sennheiser and a pair of headphones will be the only tools needed to fully enjoy this new cultural experience. Once seated in the audience the registered spectators will receive a live narration of the work. The live-narration is produced on the night of the show during the performance by 4 audio describers who will offer a multi-voice narration. This process is the end result of more than a month's work co-writing a descriptive text of the show, and the culmination of many hours of discussions and revisions of the lexicon appropriate to its singular audience. Their common challenge is to render comparable, through language, the emotional experience of the visual aspects of the show. 

It is under the guidance and council of Valérie Castan, a French artist and specialist in audio description of contemporary choreography since 2012, that the first live oralisation will take place. Danse-Cité aims to establish this practice and multiply opportunities to make the performing arts accessible in this particular way by facilitating a training session with Valérie Castan. The sixteen local participants will become the first Quebec based professionals equipped with this necessary training. 

The evening of October 23, 2021 is made possible thanks to the support of the Conseil des arts de Montréal and the Canada Council for the Arts, Danse Danse and Place des Arts, as well as the partnership with Connec-T and the organizations working for blind and partially sighted people: Regroupement des aveugles et amblyopes du Montréal Métropolitain, Fondation INCA and Fondation des Aveugles au Québec. 

Practical informations 
Saturday, October 23, 2021 - Alan Lake Factori(e)'s L’effritement des parades, Cinquième Salle, Place des Arts

  • Tickets for the audio-described experience are $20 for both blind or visually impaired people.

  • Free for caregivers. 

  • Danse-Cité can provide smart phones on site if needed.

  • The evening will begin at 6:00 p.m. with a meet and greet with the artistic teams and the audio describers. L’effritement des parades will begin at 8:00 pm. The show will last approximately 75 minutes without intermission.

  • Limited number of seats. 

  • Reservations must be made before October 8, 2021 by calling Maud - Danse-Cité at 514-525-3595. 

Maud Mazo-Rothenbühler
Communications manager and Project manager — Audio description
514 525-3595 —

Picture © Sébastien Durocher