DANCING THROUGH DISABILITY
Fernanda Bianchini, a former professional ballerina, studied as a physiotherapist and is now President of the Bianchini’s Association. In her studies she wrote a thesis, developing her own method for working with blind dancers: ‘classical ballet for the blind: Method Fernanda Bianchini’.
For more than 20 years now, she’s leading her pioneering Brazilian school (in São Paulo) where she’s teaching ballet to the blind, deaf, mute and handicapped. Using unique methods of teaching that involve touch, Fernanda was able to teach her students everything about ballet. She helps students improving their posture, balance and spatial sense and lets them regain their self-esteem. The students are breaking down people’s perceptions of what it means to be ‘disabled’. Dreaming of seeing her students on stage, she has finally founded her own ballet company.
“True inclusion only happens when you put yourselve in the other position and learn their limitations, their disabilities” – Fernanda Bianchini Saad
“We show through dance that our body is not just a set of muscles, bones and joints that perform various movements, but it is something that allows us to express the most beautiful feelings, those that live inside of each human being, ourselves. This way, we can go beyond our limits, and show the world that anything is possible in life when you have willpower and believe in a dream. We believe that what the eyes don’t see, the heart and body can feel. I feel that I’m very lucky and I’m thankful to God for being able to work in such an inspiring and transformative project. Seeing the work of these real warriors on stage and in life, I learn much more than I teach. I often learn that when we close our eyes, which can be extremely judgmental, and open the eyes of our hearts, we can see a more beautiful and meaningful world.” – Fernanda Bianchini Saad
(English subtitles are available for the video)
The movie ‘Looking at the stars’ is a documentary about world’s only ballet school for the blind.
Filmmaker: Alexandre Peralta