Our good friends at Architects of Harmonic Rooms recently put together a trailer for Auricular, a project by Surface Area Dance Theatre. Inspired by British Sign Language and the ability of facial expressions to communicate emotions to people everywhere. It is a performance made with deaf and hearing audiences in mind.
As you can see from the video below the dancers, helped by the intentional room layout engage directly with the audience who sit in a circle along with the three dancers at the beginning as if part of the performance…which they are. Removed from the comfort of being tucked away in traditional theatre layout this makes you part of the whole experience, a two way relationship between audience and dancer. You’re aware not only of the dancers expressing their emotions through movement but also the facial expressions of those around you in reaction to what is being experienced. Something that is further enhanced when each member of the audience is passed a small speaker, a simple gesture but a powerful one. The whole performance must leave the audience with a heightened awareness of how movement and gestures are such powerful communicators…more so than words.
The music you can hear playing is Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy.