Deaf Signing Dance Performance Hope, Lost

Raewyn Turner & Brian Harris, 2012

The work encompassed working with deaf children and adults. It combines multiple arts: choreography, music, cinematography, smell, interactivity.  Hope Lost is a multisensory performance which takes a dubstep song of love and loss and translates it for the senses. The work is suitable for all audiences, disabled, able bodied, deaf, blind, young children, youth and older people.

Two deaf girls and a boy, ages 9 to 11 were coached by Charlie Grimsdale and Rachel Coppage of Giant Leap in sign – language to translate the emotions of hope, love and trust as expressed in the lyrics. The lyrics are translated by the three dancers in a whole body signing choreography which expresses mixed feelings about the engineering of the environment for industry and consumer desires as well as echoing the gestures of the children.  

The backdrop is the 3rd voice and an interactive character. The projected images show new industrial estate, new housing subdivisions and recently constructed areas of industrialised hoticulture which have consumed much of the landscape around NZ. The audience are invited to sit on the stage to experience the music viscerally through subwoofers.

The music by Mt Eden (105,281,503 hits on Youtube and recently signed by UltraMusic have given permission for their music to be used in the full stage performance of the work.  A sequence of smells wafts amongst the audience: cut grass, industrial odours and substitutes for the smells of nature. The fragrances were supplied by industrial perfumers Flairoma and Plant and Food Research.

Hope, Lost was performed 5 times at the InterACT Disability Festival, October 2012.