Krishna Christine Washburn is the artistic director and sole teacher of Dark Room Ballet, a pre-professional dance curriculum designed for the educational needs of blind and visually impaired people like herself, the only course of its kind in the English-speaking world. Krishna holds a Masters of Education from Hunter College, a BA from Barnard College, and multiple certifications from the American College of Sports Medicine with a focus in biomechanics. Dark Room Ballet has been featured in USA Today (Green Bay Gazette, North Jersey News), BLOOM magazine, Speak Out for the Blind podcast, Eyes on Success podcast, on Bloomberg Quicktake new, and mores. Dark Room Ballet has been hosted by Movement Research, a progressive movement arts institution in New York City; it is believed that the partnership is the only one of its kind in the United States, and that Dark Room Ballet is currently the only pre-professional dance program taught in English. The Dark Room Ballet curriculum is comprised of an eight-week introductory level course for students who have no prior knowledge of ballet or dance, an ongoing open-level class for students of all levels from beginner to professional, a series of anatomy classes that de-center sight and promote body awareness, and workshops on self-audio description as an art form, movement art created by blind performers for blind audiences.
Krishna has performed with many leading dance companies including Jill Sigman’s thinkdance, Infinity Dance Theater, Heidi Latsky Dance, Marked Dance Project, and LEIMAY. She has collaborated with many independent choreographers, including Patrice Miller, iele paloumpis, Perel, Vangeline, Micaela Mamede, Apollonia Holzer, and most notably with A. I. Merino, who especially created her signature role, Countess Erzsébet Bathory, and with whom she founded the artistic collective Historical Performances.
Krishna has been a popular guest educator, in particular in the fields of self-audio description and curriculum development for blind and visually impaired dance students. She has taught workshops at The New School, Philadelphia’s Hook and Loop, Gibney Dance, Indiana Blind Children’s Foundation, and has been company mentor to ShaLeigh Dance Works dance company for the development of their interactive dance theater project, enVISION, led by her mentee, DJ Robinson. She has spoken about ableism in dance education at the 92nd Street Y, New York University, National Dance Educators Organization, and ArtSpark Texas.
Krishna boasts several ongoing artistic collaborations, including work with wearables artist Ntilit (Natalia Roumelioti). Krishna is the Artistic Director of The Dark Room, a multi-disciplinary project with fellow visually impaired dancer, Kayla Hamilton. Krishna is also the Artistic Director of The Telephone Dance and Audio Description Game, or Telephone, an on-going activist screen dance documentary project meant to promote innovative artistic philosophies relating to audio description for dance with choreographer and filmmaker, Heather Dayah Shaw, with a premiere scheduled for December, 2022.