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Arts, Performing

  • By: Wylene Rholetter
  • In: The SAGE Deaf Studies Encyclopedia
  • Edited by: Genie Gertz & Patrick Boudreault
  • Subject:Physical Disabilities, Otorhinolaryngology (Ears, Nose, & Throat)

Performing arts in the general sense are those that are performed before an audience, a definition that traditionally encompasses drama, dance, and music. Performing arts within the Deaf community are based on visual sense and sign language. Actors are certainly part of the rich reservoir of Deaf performing artists, but so too are poets, mimes, storytellers, dancers (ballet to ballroom), and musicians of many genres. The lines between forms of performing art seem more permeable than in the hearing world. Thus, it is common for actors to be poets, magicians to be mimes, and dancers to be storytellers. Once Deaf performing artists performed almost exclusively for Deaf audiences, but since the founding of the National Theatre of the Deaf (NTD) in 1967, many performances are ...

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