STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN – People with hearing impairments will now have the ability to follow the Eurovision Song Contest with the support of international sign language performers.
Host broadcaster SVT has announced that sign performers will take on Eurovision songs, a practice which has been in use at the Swedish national selection Melodifestivalen since 2010.
“We think in a different way than the artists do. Every song contains so much more than just the music, like the dance, the choreography and the lighting. To us it is very important to find sign performers with good knowledge of language but who also beam energy through the TV screen”, said Julia Kankkonne, Producer of the international sign performances for the Eurovision Song Contest.
She added, “Our sign performers must understand the music and the songs to be able to translate it into international sign language in a way which is understood, expressive and enjoyable”.
A total of nine performers from Lithuania, Germany, Iceland, Russia and Denmark will perform all participating songs in international sign language.
DID YOU KNOW?
SVT has used sign language performers at its national selection for six years. A number of these performances have become extremely popular, the latest of which was earlier this year when sign performer Romel Blecher came into the spotlight after taking his shirt off during the performance of “Bada Nakna” by Samir and Viktor.