Apr 7, 2024

National Ballet of Canada Helps Young Leaders See Performance in a New Way with a Relaxed Performance

Image of Fighting Blindness Canada Young Leaders, friends and staff at National Ballet
Stela Trudeau (Young Leader), Jackie Rosen, Morgan Ineson, Hersha Rele (Young Leader), Violet Ineson, Larissa Moniz & Jenna Brown (Young Leader)

This March, the National Ballet of Canada opened its doors to disability communities with a relaxed performance that offered those with vision loss a clear view of the stage, and an option to listen to an audio description and a pre-performance touch tour of the costumes.

Fighting Blindness Canada Young Leaders, friends and staff were invited to join the National Ballet of Canada at the Four Seasons Centre in downtown Toronto in March for an accessible performance of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Parts II and III. The National Ballet has been offering relaxed performances since 2021.

These events are designed to welcome the disability community into artistic spaces. Each relaxed performance is structured to ensure that children and adults who are neurodiverse, members of the deaf or hard of hearing and other disability communities feel safe, celebrated, and cared for.

In addition to watching and listening to the performance, we were fortunate to be invited to a special touch tour prior to the ballet.

Stela Trudeau (Young Leader)

National Ballet educators led a session in which they talked about the process of making the costumes and accessories and detailed the incredible work that goes into making the stage performance come to life. They also shared information about ballet shoes, including how they are made and customized.

Educators brought costumes and shoes in various stages of construction around the room and spent one-on-one time with each of the participants, allowing them to touch and feel each item. This experience set the stage for the afternoon performance and led to a deeper understanding of the story and the visuals that would be on display.

During the performance we were treated to seats that allowed for a clear view of the stage and were given the option to listen in to audio description of the performance that spoke to the costumes, set design and dance that was happening in real time.

FBC Young Leaders that attended the event had a wonderful experience.

“To say I love the arts is an understatement! Having the opportunity to attend the Ballet was an experience like no other because I was able to fully connect to the show in ways that I haven’t been able to since I acquired my sight loss. With the immersive tactile tour and accessible seating, I was able to see the ballet in a whole new way!” said Young Leader Stela Trudeau.

Another Young Leader, Jenna Brown, added, “I had a really good time at the ballet, and I appreciated that we were given this opportunity to enjoy it in an accessible way. Usually, things like this are difficult to access for people with disabilities. For me, as a visually impaired person, being in a section where I could see the entire stage, and everything going on, was really nice.”

For more information about the National Ballet of Canada, you can visit their website here.

For more information about FBC’s Young Leaders Program, including upcoming events, please visit us here.

Join the Fight!

Learn how your support is helping to bring a future without blindness into focus! Be the first to learn about the latest breakthroughs in vision research and events in your community by subscribing to our e-newsletter that lands in inboxes the beginning of each month.

I have read and accepted the privacy policy