Caro’s Sign Song Workshop at City Lit

On July 8 2012 I attended Caroline Parker’s Sign Song workshop at City Lit. Sign Song has always been an area of interest to me, the second post I ever wrote, waaay back on August 25 2010 was entitled “Song Sign”, it commented on my own feelings for the creative art form, feelings which haven’t really changed since.

However, in developing my skills in BSL and translation over the years, I had seemingly forgotten all the creativity that I knew, growing afraid of signing songs through getting bogged down on the translation of lyrics. Caro’s workshop was an excellent refresher to remind me about the importance of emotion and rhythm whilst teaching me new skills about how to portray this visually. Having communicated about 50 varying intros in the space of 2 minutes I doubt I’ll ever just launch into only signing lyrics again!

I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in a workshop day. In my recent working life, I have assumed the role of workshop leader so to be in the position where I was commanded to roll my shoulders and move around the space leading with my nose was happily nostalgic of my university and youth theatre training. Caro is a fantastic teacher with a wealth of experience in her field, I found her supportive and encouraging throughout the day.

With my creativity suitably flowing we worked in groups to portray songs visually through sign and physicality. The possibilities and potentials of signed songs to be performed individually and as a group have been opened to me. Collaboration can be both enhancing and artistically frustrating. I finished the one day course with a new found confidence. Maybe I’ll even film and post a sign song of my very own… watch this space!

The course was split over the weekend with a deaf workshop to access rhythm and emotion on the Saturday and a workshop for hearies on the Sunday. I’d love to see an integrated workshop as a progression in the future.

I would highly recommend the course to anyone with any level of BSL, you just need a bit of enthusiasm and a sense of fun. Please contact City Lit expressing your interest and hopefully another course will be run soon.

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