By Nacho Doce
The sensations of those who can’t see or hear you.
When I learned of the dance school I knew it was for the visually deficient. But when I arrived I found myself with many who also couldn’t hear or speak.
It was one of the most difficult assignments I’ve ever had. I had to learn quickly the steps of their rehearsals so as not to get in the way of their dancing. They surprised me with steps and jumps in which I feared tripping and injuring them. One of the instructors was also nervous with my position, and although I soon understood their movements I knew they could change at any time. That could have been tragic for them.
What most impressed me was seeing how a deaf-mute dancer helped a blind one, and vice versa. They helped each other by holding hands to learn classic ballet together, with extraordinary simplicity and beauty. Simplicity describes the way they behaved together, and their young age made an even deeper impact on me.
One blind woman, Geyza, who was also one of the teachers, seemed to have the greatest sense of balance. My question was whether or not her better balance came from the fact that she could see until the age of nine, when she became blind.
When I went to their public performance of Don Quixote, I noticed one dancer, Marina, very quiet with her head down. I asked her what was wrong, and she said, “I’m just very nervous.” I then realized that nerves were affecting all of them, dancers, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters.
Their performance and the audience’s reaction were so moving that at one point I realized I had stopped taking pictures to applaud, and watch their smiles in the darkness.
They certainly fulfilled their first dream, to overcome their handicaps and dance classic ballet. I hope they soon achieve their second goal, which is to be invited to dance internationally, against all the laws of science.