We're thrilled to announce that our first dance team has been chosen, the Gallaudet Dance Company. Gallaudet is a university for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, a leader in the field of educating outstanding individuals to take leadership roles in society. The story of the Gallaudet Dance Company begins in 1955, when Dr. Peter Wisher first observed a student signing "The Lord's Prayer" in American Sign Language, during a ceremony in Chapel Hall on the Gallaudet campus. Wisher was so impressed with the beauty and movement of the signs that he wondered why deaf students were not dancing by using signs as a foundation for dance movement. The Gallaudet Dance Company developed, using vision as their primary mode of communication, and dancing in a range of styles, with American Sign Language as a unique foundation.The company is acclaimed for performances at the White House, and on stages in Egypt, Israel, Canada, Costa Rica, Denmark, Peru, Barbados, St. Lucia, Brazil, Guatemala, South Korea, the Bahamas, and France.
Under the direction of Susan Gill-Doleac and assistant director Bridget Metzger, the Gallaudet team plan to incorporate ASL into their original choreography for the filming.
We chose Gallaudet to be a part of the film in tribute to Beethoven, who overcame his own profound loss of hearing when he wrote Symphony No. 9, still creating the most magnificent music in history, and pioneering the use of human voices to sing the words of the poetry of Friedrich Schiller's "Ode to Joy." Gallaudet dancers have pioneered communication through arts and movement, breaking the sound barrier, in the same heart and spirit as Beethoven.
The divine spark that Schiller described, the human spirit, defies limits of all kinds. Dance does more than add movement to music--it tells the human story. We are excited to have this historic and groundbreaking group of performers as part of our "cast."