Speechless, inspired by ‘The Little Mermaid’ by Hans Christian Andersen.

was filmed on the beautiful coastline of Studland, Dorset. The filming takes place in the sea, on the beach, around rock pools and on a footbridge.

The choreography embodies the themes from the story of the little mermaid, who yearns for a new life above the sea, and her love at first sight for the Prince, who she rescues from a storm. Sadly the mermaid is destined, to become mute and “flipperless” whilst the prince abandons her to her fate. The title Speechless was used for the film, as it reflects the personal journey of the mermaid, who having sacrificed her voice, is unable to vocalise her love and needs to the prince.

The piece examines the similarities and parallels of the perception of human love through a fairy tale. The viewer may recognise aspects of themselves in the portrayal of the little mermaid.

The film explores personal issues of self identity and how becoming absorbed with the notion of love, can make one more vulnerable both emotionally and physically. Issues explored in Speechless chime with contemporary human experiences, for example, career changes, relationships and immigration.

Speechless was screened for The Ignite Choreographic Platform, Derby Dance Centre 2006. The film was selected to be screened for an Arts Council of England conference, as a case study, about the development of an innovative dance company in the East Midlands.

Dancers Gemma Roebuck
Music Composition by Sion Littledyke (Coda-Productions)
Choreography by Katie Ward
Mentorship by Retina Dance Company
Edited by Panton Hall
Directed and Filmed by Katie Ward

Photography by Katie Ward