BalletNext’s search for innovation led the New York City-based company and its Artistic Director Michele Wiles to a of first-of-its-kind production, a ballet called “Follin.”
“Follin” is a performance that incorporates American Sign Language in both language and movement. To create this accessible piece, Wiles teamed up with deaf dancer and choreographer Bailey Vincent. Their hope is to encourage inclusivity within the dance community, and to increase awareness of the needs of people with hearing impairments, without sacrificing technical or artistic standards.
Vincent and Wiles met after Vincent sent the NextBallet founder a cold email pitching her idea. Now, the collaborators are 2 of the 5 dancers who perform in this groundbreaking ballet.
Both women express their hope that the emotional impact of their piece will resonate across audiences of varying abilities. Vincent believes it will be touching for deaf audience members, because “it elevates this language that means so much to the deaf community.” And as for hearing audience members, Wiles says that “it’s going to open their eyes.”
This HooplaHa original video is produced by Dani Guitelman, shot by Fanny Texier, and edited by Kellie Sieban.
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