Imagining the Future of Audio Description

Access to dance, theatre, and film for non-visual audiences has traditionally been in the form of audio description. Blind and low vision fans of Kinetic Light shared their desire for a more encompassing, more aesthetic experience of verbal description. Their challenges to current best practice led us to imagine the future of audio description differently.

What if your audio description experience offered you choices—different styles of description, soundscapes, poetry, prose? What if you could listen to dance as an direct, aural artistic experience and not just someone’s description of the experience?

Initially developed in association with Kinetic Light’s DESCENT, Audimance is the first app that allows audiences to create their own experience of a dance. Using an innovative interface, audience members can access our specially-developed sound content and choose what to listen to and when. Kinetic Light's ongoing practice of multitrack description and spatialized aural experience often uses seven to twelve tracks in newer works.

While popular practice requires venues to supply specific listening devices, Audimance is designed to be compatible with most people’s phones or tablets. By focusing on consumer technology, Audimance makes it possible for attendees to access description at venues of all sizes.


A mobile phone screen sports several pastel colored dots'; the word “Audimance” is visible. The dots represent different soundtracks, and a brown skinned hand reaches into the image pressing on a dot and thereby choosing a mix of tracks. A set of gray and black headphones rests around the phone.
Contributing to Audimance

Audimance is open source and currently in alpha. We welcome contributions from developers, technical and content writers, mobile designers, and content artists. We are especially looking for people with expertise in spatialized sound in mobile environments.

Once ready for wide release, Audimance will be available to artists, companies, and venues to develop content, create access, and provide this kind of experience to their audiences.

Audio Description

Audio description offers blind, low vision and nonvisual audiences a sonic experience of the performance. Kinetic Light is innovating a number of different styles of description, including poetic, screenplay, soundscape, and sounds of the dancers bodies and the dancers in space.

Experience the world of DESCENT as a sonic universe in its own right: this excerpt offers a taste of some of our mixed poetic and soundscape description.

Audimance DESCENT Content Creators

Advisor: Georgina Kleege

Audio Description: George McRae

Poetry: Eli Clare

Dramatic Script: David Linton

Soundscape: Dylan Keefe

Ramp Sounds: JM Creative Alchemy. Producer Caitlin Robinson; Lead Audio Technologist: Javier Molina; Sound Designer: TK Broderick; Sound Mixer: Aaron Montoya-Moraga

Spatial Ramp and Dancer Sound: Todd Vos

Voice Actors: Erin Deward; Mary Murphy; Ali Silva

Tactile Experience: Lisa Niedermeyer

Audimance Funders

Audimance's initial development was made possible in part by Creative Capital; the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project; the Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation; the MAP Fund; and the Mertz Gilmore Foundation.