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Deaf Men Dancing

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“Deaf Men Dancing are developing something innovative and exciting in their work”
Dan Slipper – The Ouch! Blog

“As four Elvis impersonators flooded the stage to the sound of the Pet Shop Boy’s ‘Always on my Mind’, I knew I was going to enjoy what was in store. Deaf Men Dancing’s Sense of Freedom took dancing to the music (or poem) to a whole new level. They accentuated every beat, gyrated to every rhythm and even mocked their accompaniment when they had to wait for a cue. Lyrical movement stood alongside body pulsing, hip thrusting and sign language, depending on the music that was playing. A perfect example of equally fun-loving and thought-provoking dance.”
Celia Moran – Cloud Dance Festival

“One of the most talked-about companies of the evening was Deaf Men Dancing, directed by Mark Smith of ‘Shoes’ and ‘Iolanthe’ fame and they did not disappoint. Sense of Freedom is an ambitious but slickly-produced piece which combines spoken word, signing and dance into an exquisite performance. Danced by a committed and energetic quartet of male dancers, this piece aims to draw even the most vehement anti-dance protestors into a theatre to watch it. Filled with pop culture references and humour, the dancers were unafraid to appear as fools as they brought to life an abstract concept and made it human. The human element of this piece was emphasised further by the dancers' willingness to incorporate and celebrate their deafness within the piece as part of who they are as individuals and dancers. This made for a truly refreshing take on how dance can transcend all boundaries when it takes over and give ultimate freedom to people. A fantastic piece that Cloud Dance Festival can be proud to have had as part of their programme and well worth a second viewing.”
Kim Lofthouse – Cloud Dance Festival

“In Deaf Men Dancing’s Sense of Freedom, four men dressed in suits with Elvis wigs and dark sunglasses strutted around the stage as if on a catwalk. Spoken words described the mundanity of work, life and Monday mornings; the cast moved freely to catchy pop music, creating a playful and joyous contrast. With its irresistibly camp pelvic thrusts, body ripples and substantial leaps, the piece explored the feeling when the spirit lifts as you totally connect with a piece of music. Sense of Freedom had me tapping my toe along to the beat and grinning.”
Laura Dodge for Cloud Dance Festival.

“Founder and choreographer of Deaf Men Dancing, Mark Smith and his company of four dancers and collaborators performed Sense of Freedom. Beginning with a fun and uplifting quartet, the dancers wear suits, sunglasses and Elvis wigs offering a humorous opening, to which they feel ever rhythm and every beat. Whilst this company was only established back in August 2010, the men have a unity like no other. They meticulously watch each other for visual cues with impeccable awareness for one another. As I expected, this was a treat to watch.”
Susanne Allen - Cloud Dance Festival

“Then five men in Elvis wigs, sunglasses and jeans explode onto the stage and wiggle their way through an upbeat version of You Were Always on My Mind, prompting laughter and delighted smiles. Deaf Men Dancing is the newly established company created by Mark Smith, composed of five profoundly deaf dancers, all from different backgrounds. The choreography is reminiscent of sign language as their movements punctuate the lyrics of the music and I can imagine the simpler sections of the dance becoming a dance craze, emulated by fans everywhere.”
 Candoco Dance Company, 20th Birthday Cabaret, Greenwich Dance at The Borough Hall - Sam Gauntlett

“This is the performance's biggest triumph: its ability to wholly shift the sensory experience, and the accompanying emotions, through dramatic and considered changes to visual and aural elements.” Jamie Lawrence

“Their passion and skill shine through when they're working together and also as individuals. The passion of each performer projects a unique personality” Jamie Lawrence