Audimance: a Mobile App for Listening to Dance
What if you could listen to dance? What if dance were both an aural and visual art form? Disability Dance Works is exploring these questions as we work to build a new mobile app titled AUDIMANCE that offers users a way to experience dance through listening.
Led by people who are blind, visually-impaired, and sighted, DDW is creating audio content by sonifying dancers’ bodies and by rendering the dance itself in sound.
Developed as part of Kinetic Light’s production, DESCENT, AUDIMANCE will be is the first mobile app that allows audience members to create their own auditory experience of dance. Using an innovative interface, audience members can choose from a variety of specially-developed soundtracks, and create their own aesthetic experience of a dance by choosing which tracks they listen to and when.
Access to dance for non-visual audiences has historically been in the form of audio description. The app and its associated content grew from our recognition that there a limited number of qualified audio describers and a growing awareness of audience members’ desire for a more encompassing aesthetic experience.
The application is designed to be flexibly deployed and compatible with any user’s own devices, ensuring ease of technical access and no additional hardware cost for the presenter, and the application code will be generalized, abstracted, and open-sourced for wide use.
This innovative approach shows how access for disabled individuals need not be a retroactive functional accommodation; rather, access drives innovation and the creation of new art forms.