Speechless (2011) How do you Say 'I Love You' Without a Voice?
Premiered at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. on the Millennium Stage on October 14 & 15, 2010
Weaving together dance, video, spoken text and live music, Speechless explores the struggle of parents of special needs children with communication issues to care for and understand their silent child in anoisy world. The work was originally inspired by the experiences of choreographer Angella Foster whose cousin, Taylor Ann Clark, relies primarily on non-verbal communication tools to dialogue with the world around her. Along the way, we had the privilege of interviewing my Angellaʼs family as well as three other families whose children face similar struggles to communicate. The honesty, vulnerability and joy in the face of adversity demonstrated by these four families are truly at the heart of this work.
Speechless features original music composed by Rob Collier and performed live by a string quartet under the direction of violinist Allyson Clark. In addition, the work incorporates mixed media art created by Jessica Braiterman.
Speechless was commissioned by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and supported in part by Prince Georgeʼs Arts Council. The work premiered on the Millennium Stage in October 2010 and was performed at Dance Place in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, January 29 & Sunday, January 30, 2011.