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Call for Applications: Professional Training in Audio Description for Choreographic Performances

Danse-Cité, Montréal

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Danse-Cité is an organization that contributes to the evolution of dance and contemporary creation practices by supporting artists in research, creation, production, and/or dissemination. Danse-Cité develops activities that promote universal access to the arts.

Since 2021, Danse-Cité has been developing a hub for dance audio description, a practice previously nonexistent in Montreal, to offer Francophone blind and partially sighted audiences adapted access to choreographic performances. Audio description is a practice aimed at orally and live describing the visual and sensory elements of a choreographic work to enable its transmission, sharing, and experience. It requires knowledge and the development of specific tools.

This call for applications aims to offer the opportunity for 3 future audio describers to acquire theoretical and practical knowledge to professionally perform live audio description of choreographic performances.

Training Description

The training in Audio Description for Choreographic Performances was designed by Danse-Cité, based on the expertise developed over the last three years. Since 2021, dance artist and writer Enora Rivière has been working within Danse-Cité as the chief audio describer and researcher. She has audio-described eight performances of varied aesthetics and supervised four, continuously refining her practice and knowledge. Enora is the main trainer and is associated with external professional speakers to enrich and deepen the knowledge.

The training unfolds in four stages and includes:

  • Participation in person in theoretical and practical workshops offered by the trainer and a panel of speakers between March 2024 and November 2024 (72 hours, during 6 weekends):
    • Workshops on the principles of audio description
    • Writing workshops
    • Meetings with blind and partially sighted people
    • Discovery of the technical and technological setup
    • Voice exercises
    • Introduction to guide-accompanying techniques
    • Meetings with artistic teams
    • Building a pre-show workshop for the blind audience, including a tactile tour
    • Etc.
  • Personal work time between each block of workshops;
  • Observation of a live audio description performed by Enora Rivière during the FTA-Festival TransAmériques 2024 (date to be announced);
  • A practical internship of writing, live oralization, and co-hosting a presentation workshop, supervised by Enora Rivière, during a performance of the 24-25 season offered with audio description (the date and performance are to be determined).

The audio describers will be led to experiment with the various tools proposed to gradually develop their own ways of working.

Sought Profiles

We are looking for two Francophone (spoken and written) individuals and one bilingual French/English (spoken and written) individual.

  • Ability to observe and analyze dance, performances, bodies in motion;
  • Having a writing practice (factual, poetic…);
  • Being comfortable with speaking and vocal work;
  • Precision and conciseness;
  • Adaptability;
  • Autonomy;
  • Enjoyment of teamwork.

Training Conditions

Workshop Schedule Forecast*

Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 5 pm (including a 1-hour lunch break)

  • Block 1: March 30 – 31, 2024
  • Block 2: April 27 – 28, 2024
  • Block 3: June 15 – 16, 2024
  • Block 4: August 31 – September 1, 2024
  • Block 5: October 5 – 6, 2024
  • Block 6: November 23 – 24, 2024
  • The workshop schedule will be validated with each of the trainees during the pre-selection period.

Internship Schedule Observation Internship: June 3 – 6, 2024 (dates and times to be confirmed) Practical Internship: period to be determined between mid-October and the end of November 2024 Workshop Location Le CamélÉon: 420 – 3680, rue Jeanne Mance (4th floor), Montréal, QC, H2T 1A6. Accessible by elevator. Remuneration The workshop days are paid at $30 / day. A lump sum will be offered for the observation internship and the practical internship (writing, oralization, and co-hosting a presentation workshop).

We are working on the project’s development to offer assignments to all future trainees starting in 2025. This training does not guarantee short-term contracts.

Selection Process

The selection process will unfold in five stages:

  • Reception of a letter of motivation and a curriculum vitae: February 15, 2024
  • Pre-selection period: February 15 – 21, 2024
  • Pre-selected candidates will be invited to send a recorded sound clip (description of a dance excerpt, 2 minutes max, .mp3 format, an email of instructions will be sent beforehand): March 4, 2024.
  • Meeting of pre-selected candidates: