Groundbreaking new interactive performance in Seoul with Ara Go and Haptic Baton

If you caught the 2018 Pyeong Chang Winter Paralympics closing ceremony, you'd remember Go Ara, a 35-year-old deaf dancer. Her journey expanded into choreography, earning acclaim for "Mono, Stereo, Surround," and winning the Presidential Award in 2019. In late 2022, she founded A.R.A (All Real Artists), gearing up for her debut production, Eseo Seo.

The piece explores how deaf individuals perceive spoken language. Eseo Seo represents Go Ara's struggle, catching only seemingly insignificant particles or connectors, like "-ed" from a sentence. This leads to situations requiring inference or clarification.

Deaf individuals often find spoken language isolating. In conversations with hearing individuals, they miss out, developing the ability to interpret situations instead of grasping communication.

The interpretative engagement becomes a novel use of language. Eseo Seo embodies this through the dancer's non-verbal movements.

Human Instruments, creators of the Haptic Baton (BuzzBeat), takes center stage. Haptic Baton aka Buzz Beat empowers hearing-impaired and visually impaired performers to feel the conductor's gestures. In Eseo Seo, Buzz Beat is a vital tool for communication between the dancer and the audience. Unlike its traditional use conveying signals through vibration to disabled artists, in this work, the audience can intervene in the dancer's movements or translate them into sound or light, portraying various situations encountered by deaf individuals in the communication process using spoken language.

The Korean art scene sees increased participation by individuals with disabilities, yet deaf individuals in dance remain rare. A.R.A's Eseo Seo emerges as a globally distinctive work, focusing on deaf experiences. It marks a significant milestone in Korean disability arts, showcasing dance as a non-verbal movement actively used for communication. The transformative contribution of Human Instruments and their Buzz Beat technology adds a groundbreaking dimension to this narrative.