Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Advances Accessibility

 

 

(Photo via Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre)

 

In 2013, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre premiered a sensory-friendly performance of The Nutcracker. The production was designed to serve audience members with autism, or other sensory sensitivities. This year, the company will double its offering, performing The Nutcracker in December and Beauty and the Beast in February. In addition to Northwest Florida Ballet, which has performed a sensory-sensitive version of The Nutcracker for over 15 years, PBT is one of the few companies to offer this kind of performance.

A sensory-friendly performance is tailored to the audience in several specific ways: there are quiet areas outside of the theater, startling light and sound effects during the performance are minimized and the house rules are relaxed to allow families to stand up and move around when they need to.

PBT partnered with several local advocacy groups to make sure they were building the best possible experience for audience members with sensory-related special needs. In addition to sensory adjustments, PBT also offers audio descriptions, and large-print and braille programs for audience members who need additional support.

Congratulations to PBT (and Northwest Florida Ballet) for taking direct action to dismantle a barrier to accessibility. The company is giving that many more kids the chance to develop a love of ballet and dance.

Latest Posts


Getty Images

Ask Amy: How Can I Make the Most of Performance Opportunities in a Pandemic?

My school is connected to a professional company that operates on a show-to-show basis. Students can audition for company performances when they're 15. My 15th birthday is in February, and I think that our directors are choosing people to participate in virtual performances based off of whether they have performed with the company before. This was supposed to be my big first year with the company, but COVID-19 has changed that. How do I make it known that I want to participate? Do you think I should wait until things are more normal? —Lila
Keep reading SHOW LESS
Courtesy ABC

Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Alicia Mae Holloway Talks About Her Time on ABC's “The Bachelor”

Bunheads tuning in to the season premiere of ABC's "The Bachelor" on January 4 may have recognized a familiar face: Dance Theatre of Harlem's Alicia Mae Holloway, literally bourréeing out of a limousine to greet bachelor Matt James. While Holloway unfortunately didn't get a rose that night, she did thoroughly enjoy being the long-running reality franchise's first professional-ballerina contestant, as she told Pointe in a recent Zoom call.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Jayme Thornton for Pointe

Join Us for a Q&A With ABT's Gabe Stone Shayer on January 21

Gabe Stone Shayer, American Ballet Theatre's newest soloist, has long been a standout onstage. But the 27-year-old dancer—the first African-American male to graduate from Russia's Bolshoi Ballet Academy—is also branching out into choreography and spearheading a flurry of creative projects. Shayer has big ideas for ballet's future. "I want to be the person who facilitates the idea of possibility in this historically exclusive world," he told us in our December/January digital cover story. "And I want to present the possibility of success through my own story."

Now you have a chance to ask Shayer about his training and career, his advice on navigating a path in ballet, his recent work with Alicia Keys, his thoughts on diversity in dance and more. Click here to register for free with your questions. Then tune in for an exclusive conversation and Q&A with Gabe Stone Shayer on Thursday, January 21, at 7 pm Eastern.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks