Gallaudet University was sparkling against a sunny sky as our crew drove onto the campus, to film what for me is a crucial piece of the movie. Since Beethoven battled hearing loss, and wrote his 9th Symphony including human voices singing the poetic words of Friedrich Schiller's "Ode to Joy," we wanted the lyrics to be translated into dance movement.
The Gallaudet Dance Company has pioneered using American Sign Language in dance, and eight of their dancers prepared beautiful ASL choreography for "Dancing Joy."
From one p.m. until 6 p.m., they danced under a hot sun. We were amazed at their stamina and their artistry. They shot five different segments, with breathtaking results.
Their director, Susan Gill-Doleac, along with several volunteer translators, helped the team and the crew work smoothly together. The Gallaudet campus staff were very accommodating, and we were amazed at the way the historic buildings perfectly framed the beauty of the dance.
We are thrilled to have this world-renowned dance troupe play such a central role in the production of this film. They truly brought me to tears.