Performances adapted to audiences with various abilities
iPhoto: Baptiste Varenne
In the interest of sharing the benefits of dance and making the discipline more inclusive and accessible, Les Grands Ballets has been organizing relaxed performances since the spring of 2022.
Offered for free to the public, these performances, presenting shows from the company's regular season, are adapted to an audience with various abilities. Light, sound and accessibility are adjusted to the sensory needs of the audience, who can move and express themselves during the show and, if necessary, leave the theatre. Rest areas are provided outside the theatre for those who need a break.
This initiative has created a direct relationship between the communities served by the National Center for Dance Therapy and the mission of Les Grands Ballets. Since the first experience with Romeo and Juliet in the spring of 2022, almost 2,000 guests, aged from just a few months to 100 years, have enjoyed these performances, thanks to the participation of some thirty community, educational and health organizations.
Thus, neurodiverse people can have access to the world of professional dance, parents of young children can enjoy a magical family moment, people with reduced mobility are provided with a support adapted to their needs and people with neurocognitive disorders and their loved ones can share an outing in a safe environment.
To provide participants with a positive experience, Les Grands Ballets has developed a model that accompanies the public before, during and after the show.
Preparing for the show
A pedagogical guide and an access guide are shared with the public before the show. The pedagogical guide allows the public, often with the support of families and educators, to familiarize themselves not only with the show synopsis and characters, but also with the world of ballet. It includes sketches, photos, links to videos, games and educational exercises.
The access guide is an essential tool to allow neurodiverse people to prepare for their visit, thanks to a social scenario (in simple words and pictograms) and photographs of the theatre.
In the theatre
Several adaptations in the theatre make it possible to offer a positive experience to the public.
To adapt to the sensory needs of the public, the show's music is assessed by the professionals of the National Center for Dance Therapy, who recommend adjustments to the volume and sound quality.
During the show, the theatre lights are dimmed, to allow guests to move and express themselves, as well as to enter and leave the theatre as needed.
Outside the performance hall, rest areas are set up, for those who need a moment to rest or self-regulate. There are mattresses with cushions, sensory objects, compression objects, and tables with drawing material.
Throughout the show, the staff of the National Center for Dance Therapy provide support and assistance to the participants, their staff and their families.
Meetings with the dancers
Audiences of the relaxed performances have the opportunity to meet the company's dancers before the show and during intermission. These meetings are unforgettable moments for the guests as well as for the dancers of the company.
Relaxed performances offered by Les Grands Ballets :
March 2022: *Romeo and Juliet
2 shows in the Studio-Théâtre of Les Grands Ballets