Audio Description for Dance Performances: An Artistic and Collaborative Approach




Dance performances are one of the most difficult events to audio describe, as the onstage reality does not only serve the plot of a choreography, but it also “[creates] and [recreates] a visual array abstracted from narrative content” (Kleege 1994, 9). The nature of dance performances often requires the use of specialised terminology in the audio description, although the audience of the performance is not necessarily expert in dance or performances. To achieve an effective description, balance between the satisfaction of people with some knowledge and people with no knowledge on the topic is needed. However, this is not the only balance that the audio description needs to achieve. Dance performances are markedly events preferably enjoyed live, more than any other type of performance, and the various meanings that are captured by movements, facial expressions, music, and visual effects, rather than a verbal script -even a cryptic one- that is meant to unfold a certain meaning, makes it impossible for the audio describer to work alone. Based on the example of A Clear Midnight, a performance choreographed by Maria Koliopoulou, and audio described in Greek by the author for the 2021 Athens Epidaurus Festival, the aim of this paper is to analyse a more collaborative and creative approach to audio description, one that is mostly called “integrated” audio description and aims at “connecting both audience and performer to each other and the artistic content of a piece in a positive way” (Cavallo 2015, 133).




How to Cite

Patiniotaki, E. (2022). Audio Description for Dance Performances: An Artistic and Collaborative Approach. Status Quaestionis, (23).