Born deaf and raised hearing, Anna Gichan (she/her) is a dancer and emerging artist exploring the stark differences of sound realities between her hearing aids off and on. Her work started with lip drawings mimicking the experience of lip-reading and then a video depicting her relationship to sounds through ocean waves crashing.
She is now developing a performance incorporating principles of DeafSpace, which “address the five major touch points between deaf experiences and the built environment: space and proximity, sensory reach, mobility and proximity, light and color, and acoustics.” Focusing on an awareness of lights, color, reflections, and vibrations in spaces, she will give people the chance to step into a world of sensations created by unseen moving bodies. Anna was recently awarded a Gallim Moving Women Residency to develop seeds for this new work and is a teaching artist through Artist in Education. Her recent performances include Bill T. Jones’ dance production, Deep Blue Sea at the Park Avenue Armory in New York where she represented the Deaf/Hard of Hearing group within the 100 community-member cast and a site-specific work at the Drogarati Cave in Kephalonia, Greece under the direction of Jennifer Rose. Anna is a recipient of the CUNY Dance Initiative for Social Justice in Collaboration with Brooklyn College and Brooklyn Arts Exchange.
Anna grew up living by Helen Keller’s words, “The most beautiful things in the world can not be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart”. Her aim is to share her deaf experiences so that another deaf child may not feel as isolated as she did in hearing centered educational and art spaces. Her hope is that with the power of knowledge of deaf culture, deaf experiences, and disability culture, communities can provide appropriate access needs to support a deaf child’s social, mental, and emotional growth.
Anna graduated from Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts (BFA, Dance) with a study abroad year at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. She loves climbing, handstands, motorcycle riding, and the sound of water in dark spaces.