Access to dance, theatre, and film for non-visual audiences has traditionally been in the form of audio description. Blind and low vision fans of Kinetic Light shared their desire for a more encompassing, more aesthetic experience of verbal description. Their challenges to current best practice led us to imagine the future of audio description differently.
What if your audio description experience offered you choices—different styles of description, soundscapes, poetry, prose? What if you could listen to dance as an aural artistic experience and not just someone’s description of the experience?.
Developed in association with Kinetic Light’s DESCENT, Audimance is the first app that allows audiences to create their own experience of a dance. Using an innovative interface, audience members can access our specially-developed sound content and choose what to listen to and when.
Whereas current practice requires venues to supply specific listening devices, Audimance is designed to be compatible with most people’s phones or tablets. By focusing on consumer technology, Audimance makes it possible for attendees to access description at venues of all sizes.
Audimance is open source and currently in alpha. We welcome contributions from developers, technical and content writers, mobile designers, and content artists. We are especially looking for people with expertise in spatialized sound in mobile environments.
Once ready for wide release, Audimance will be available to artists, companies, and venues to develop content, create access, and provide this kind of experience to their audiences.
Audio description offers blind, low vision and nonvisual audiences a sonic experience of the performance. Kinetic Light is innovating a number of different styles of description, including poetic, screenplay, soundscape, and sounds of the dancers bodies and the dancers in space.
Experience the world of DESCENT as a sonic universe in its own right: this excerpt offers a taste of some of our mixed poetic and soundscape description.
Advisor: Georgina Kleege
Audio Description: George McRae
Poetry: Eli Clare
Dramatic Script: David Linton
Soundscape: Dylan Keefe
Ramp Sounds: JM Creative Alchemy. Producer Caitlin Robinson; Lead Audio Technologist: Javier Molina; Sound Designer: TK Broderick; Sound Mixer: Aaron Montoya-Moraga
Spatial Ramp and Dancer Sound: Todd Vos
Voice Actors: Erin Deward; Mary Murphy; Ali Silva
Tactile Experience: Lisa Niedermeyer
Audimance is made possible in part by Creative Capital; the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; the Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation; the MAP Fund, supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; and the Mertz Gilmore Foundation.