Thursday, 18 August 2011

Bristol Harbour Festival - Deaf Men Dancing

A couple of weeks ago we went along to the Saturday of the Bristol Harbour Festival. It was a scorching hot day and thousands attended. The festival is in its fortieth year and the number of performers and stages were greater than ever.

We only got around a small part of what was on offer but this included the dance stage and, in particular, Deaf Men Dancing, an all male deaf company of dancers created by Mark Smith.

Smith is a deaf choreographer (a contributor to Sadler’s Wells’ Shoes). The dancers are able to follow musical patterns and keep in time with each other using a variety of methods such as eye contact, physical contact, peripheral awareness of each others' movements, and feeling the vibration of the strong bass notes in music.

The guys have been working with Rachel Gadsden - an award-winning artist. Painting on the canvases was woven into the choreography:

The result attracted a large and enthusiastic crowd - So much so that it was difficult to attract them back to the main dance stage when the time came. Here is another video from a street performance in Manchester:

And here are some more pictures from a hot and busy day at the festival:

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