Dancing through the Silence

Friedrich Nietzsche once said: “And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” Well, what if you couldn’t hear the music? Would you dance anyways?

London-based artist and poet Sofia Mattioli asked herself this question one day while riding on a train. She had been listening to music through her headphones, and as she started getting pretty into it, a deaf child approached her. After attempting to sign, the girl opted for a note. She wrote that although she couldn’t hear the music, she could almost feel it through Mattioli’s movement.

Mattioli ran with this idea when English producer Jamie XX asked her to direct a music video for his song “Sleep Sound.” She enlisted the help of members of the Manchester Deaf Centre to dance with her in the video. Although the participants could not hear the song, they were able to recreate it in their imaginations by responding to Mattioli’s movements and the vibrations in the room.

The resulting video is both beautiful and inspiring:

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