Deaf dance circle to perform at music event in Nara Prefecture

June 13, 2014

A music event, "The Music Fest Nara 2014" is due to be opened in various places on June 14 -29 in Nara Prefecture. "SEEL," a dance circle of the Prefecture School for the Deaf, will perform with the Austrian jazz singer Stephanie Hacker in the Kintetsu Nara Station Square at 14:30 on June 22.

The SEEL was formed in October, last year, and the Deaf members from the elementary through the high school practice every Wednesday, instructed by Harumi Rika (春見梨香).

Deaf students had visited her dance studio in Nara where she works as instructor. She thought, "Even if these children wanted to come to a dancing school, they looked hesitated, not having courage to come to the school because they are unable to hear any sound. Why not I teach them how to dance myself."

Harumi started studying sign language and teaching the Deaf students how to dance. According to her, even if a member uses a hearing-aid, he/she hears only the rhythmical sound like "Don Don", but when Harumi takes a rhythm using sign language, gestures, applause, etc., the Deaf children feel music in the whole body and become expressive with the body movement.

The members have practiced eagerly towards their first public performance. A sixth grader talks about charm of dancing, "Although I become tense, I am excited. Dancing is difficult, but I am very happy when all the members get to one with everybody in a dance." He is also intent saying, "We all want to show everybody how wonderful dancing is."

Japanese source:

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