UK dance company comprised of male professional deaf dancers to perform in Azerbaijan
Baku, March 1, AZERTAC
The British Council in Azerbaijan in cooperation with the British Embassy and in partnership with the Yarat Contemporary Space and Nizami Cinema Centre has announced the performance of Ten staged by Deaf Men Dancing.
As a part of the British Council’s Unlimited programme, the project supports disability arts by creating a sustainable network of disability arts practitioners, venues, producers and decision makers, and developing their skills to create and present inclusive work. The performances are a great example of persons with disabilities working with those without to overcome challenges together and produce marvelous works of art.
British Council Director Elizabeth White said: “This is remarkable and beautiful performance, by a very inspiring and innovative company. You will never have seen anything quite like this, and as well as bringing you delight, it will make you think twice about dance and communication.”
Ten will be staged at Yarat Contemporary Art Space on March 12 at 19:00 and at the Nizami Cinema Centre on March 13 at 19:00.
Deaf Men Dancing, led by Artistic Director, Mark Smith, a choreographer and Director is a collaboration of professional male dancers who, like Mark, are deaf. Together they have created and developed a fusion of different styles of dance with sign-language incorporated into choreography creating a unique, interesting and original aesthetic.
Deaf Men Dancing is an all-male deaf dance company with a fusion of different styles of dance incorporating British Sign-Language. Their Artistic Director/Choreographer Mark Smith in collaboration with designer Ryan Dawson Laight and composer Sean Chandler, will present their new work called TEN, inspired by double acts like Laurel & Hardy, Flanagan & Allen, Morecambe & Wise, Abbott & Costello and Gilbert & George. Two deaf men arrive. They set up their Soapboxes and deliver to the audience their ‘Ten Commandments for Deaf Awareness’ in BSL, mime, physical theatre and dance.
The essence of the company practice is to use sign language as an inherent part of the creative process and integrate it into the movement vocabulary, rather than use it as an additional element of the performance. The process for the dancers begins with signing the lyrics of the music to one another, yet this is where the direct interpretation finishes. From there elements of the signing they have used are teased out and drawn into something uniquely beautiful. Small hand gestures become motifs within the choreography that emphasize the emotion and lyrical quality of the accompanying music, which is incredibly detailed explorations of the musical score.
The performance will host representatives of Human Deaf community and people with hearing impairment.