Watch These Dancers Perform Intricate Choreography—Without Hearing the Music

January 29, 2018

For any dancer, there are some days when staying on the music can feel almost impossible. But the dancers of the China Disabled Peoples’ Performing Arts Troupe are known for performing with exquisite musicality—even though they’re deaf.

Founded in 1987, the China Disable Peoples’ Performing Arts Troupe includes both hard-of-hearing dancers and blind musicians. Members of the dance group may not be able to rely on music to synchronize their movements, but their teachers have developed a method to help the performers stay on the music. By clapping to the beat, the teachers create vibrations that the dancers can feel in their body. This approach allows the dancer to sense the beat without using their ears, and has helped them develop a fluidity to their movements.

Watch these dancers as they embody George Balanchine’s famous quote: “See the music, hear the dance.”