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Danse le silence follows my initiatory journey into the world of the deaf and meets luminous and determined personalities to make the voice of silence heard and commit the affront of a magnificent dance to shake up the anchored certainties which make rhyme " dance” and “hear”. Thus Danse le silence tells stories of reality, and through the singular touches the universal: communication is a vital biological necessity. Those who do not have hearing problems take verbal communication for granted and do not pay attention to the fact that for deaf people, a conversation does not go smoothly. Deafness is much more than “not being able to hear” it is also “not being able to communicate”. Our normative society sometimes needs an electric shock to open its eyes to what it does not see. Danse le silence therefore raises awareness of the “shared communication handicap” between the world of the deaf and that of the hearing and encourages us to overcome this handicap by starting with an understanding of what deafness and deaf culture are. The film also shows the power of dance to communicate. It is an ode to bodily expression and silence, a tribute to the daily struggle of deaf people in their integration into society.

More than a film, “Dance the Silence” is an original and innovative cinematic experience which consists of making silence heard, making vibrational waves visible and allowing spectators to “access” the sensory reality of deaf people.

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An innovative documentary film

Initially a letter...

To my mother…

You squint at your finger which is wriggling to mimic this earthworm which taunts the surprised hen which you play by pinching the hollow of your cheeks with your teeth. From this memory resounds in my mind our children's laughter clinging to your mimed tales. This is the beginning of your learning of sign language. It's so funny to see the emotions showing on your face like this. The codes of decorum which have banned gestures and imposed the wearing of cold masks to camouflage our emotions, are the time for these learning sessions, disrupted by signed language. We are therefore as if forbidden in the face of this deaf culture, which nevertheless has its French singularity, for the sake of politeness.

You are a doctor, you have no link with deafness except an attraction to signed language. You begin to see the communication problems that this invisible handicap generates, starting with the difficulty in accessing care. So you are going to fight for this community. This world walled in silence for so long. You will draw inspiration from what is happening elsewhere in the world to set up a care unit for deaf people within the Rennes hospital center.

Mom, I dreamed of this movie. It appeared to me as a tribute to your fight but also as an echo of my youth. Shy, bodily expression was my outlet for me and another way of expressing myself. Dancing allowed me to appreciate myself a little more, to gain self-confidence. You knew how important dance was in my life, you encouraged me to continue practicing and learning new body expressions: Cuban, African, Andalusian… each time with a whole relearning of the codes and techniques relating to it. I could talk to you for hours about this passion that we also shared on the frenetic Malian rhythms. I started giving dance lessons when I was a student. That's where you taught me that many hearing impaired people were eager to learn to dance. Seeing them dance rhythmically on the floating floor covered by the vibratory waves generated by the djembe was an emotion like no other.

I'm not signing, I would like to learn, but in the meantime, dance has allowed me to break down this language barrier, this communication handicap. It is possible to perceive all the emotion transmitted by the candor of movements, the pout of a face, the heart of a gesture, the gentleness of a jump, the power of a look…. In short, one does not write a poem for a language which is one.

So mom, thank you for allowing me to encounter deaf culture and for supporting me in my dancing. I'm afraid as before going on stage, I would so much like this tribute to live up to all the stories that the people who agreed to be part of this adventure will offer us, to the height of your fight, to the height of my hopes.

It goes without saying that as director of the foundation Marie Ridoux waives the x royalties that she could receive on the film and, if any, they will be directly donated to the endowment fund to prefigure the Jean-Jacques Puyoo Foundation, in complete transparency.

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