Link December 2018 Volume 27 Issue 6 - Page 33

"My desire was to blur boundaries between performers and audience, shift perspectives about deaf people and dance and music, to engage more with the community and break down physical and communication barriers in society.” moment, then laughing, and then performers, and taken through lie down on the floor. Here, we truly feeling sympathy and anger about a series of dance moves. As the experience music as deaf people do the way people who look different evening progresses, these groups – the bass thrumming into our bodies were, and often still are, treated. finally become one, all dancing through the floorboards. beneath the coloured lights SPIN and mirror ball. The whole time, this unique event, and one of the Once again, the studio foyer of the projections on the screen are synced main performers, said: “With SPIN, Northcote Town Hall Arts Centre is to the music, adding to the dynamism my desire was to blur boundaries packed with people waiting excitedly of the event. between performers and audience, for the event to begin. This time we To end the evening, DJ Callum Anna Seymour, the creator of shift perspectives about deaf people are greeted by a man using Auslan, Padgham comes to the centre of and dance and music, to engage and a woman interpreting for the our dance area and signals to us to more with the community and break hearing members of the audience. down physical and communication Inside the darkened studio, five barriers in society.” people are crouched face-down on She has definitely succeeded in the floor while contemporary music her aim, as has Sarah Houbolt with pounds from big speakers and a her performance of KooKoo the Bird DJ wearing a neon-lit mask stands Girl. Congratulations to Darebin Arts below a huge film screen. This has Speakeasy for staging these two all the hallmarks of a nightclub but shows and bringing together people first, we are an audience watching the with and without disability in such an performers slowly rise from the floor and begin to dance. The music fades as two of them begin a conversation in sign language (with a voice-over Opposite page: Sarah Houbolt is KooKoo the Bird Girl, image by Sarah Louise Cheesmur. This page: SPIN images by Kate Disher-Quill. entertaining and positive way. interpretation) to enlighten us on how deaf people ‘hear’ music and cope at nightclubs. They draw our attention to how they use the bass to feel, rather than hear, the rhythm of the music. They joke about the way deaf people often huddle around the loudspeakers to deepen their experience of the music. We are invited to participate in the show by dancing with the performers; the 100 or so audience members are divided into three groups, each led by one of the main arts 33