As part of The American Dance Festivals’ 89th Season, ShaLeigh Dance Works proudly presented enVISION: Sensory Beyond Sight – an immersive performance that does not require a viewer’s vision

A chiaroscuro image of four dancers gently embracing a blindfolded woman with their hands and heads lightly resting on her. Photo by Slater Mapp.
Photo by Slater Mapp

On June 3-5, 2022, ShaLeigh Dance Works premiered enVISION: Sensory Beyond Sight to live audiences opening the 89th American Dance Festival’s Season with five sold-out performances at The Fruit in Durham, North Carolina. The performance was an immersive interdisciplinary performance that did not solicit the viewer’s sight but rather all their other senses. Specifically conceived with and for individuals who are low-vision and blind, the work proposed a new sensorial experience of dance and theater. The work was presented to a live audience who chose to experience the show blindfolded and invited six audience members to join the experience onstage.

The work brought together a team of collaborators around a single challenge: to tell a story through dance and theater beyond their visual dimension. The forty-five minute work was forged by the elaboration of new atmospheres over a specific journey that tells a collective story through textures, movements, sounds, music, scents, storytelling, and audience participation. Participatory audience members who were sighted wore a cover on their eyes as they entered the work from the beginning to the end of the performance allowing both sighted and unsighted people to share the experience.

Chatham Life & Style called it “a new evolution in dance.” IndyWeek praised it as “astounding” and a “bold, immersive performance.” CVNC described it as “a sensational and poetically eye-opening performance,” and Beltline to Broadway chronicled it as “a new sensorial way to experience dance and theater.”

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