By Janet Dziak
North Pointe Ballet (NPB) returns to Hope Community Church Auditorium in Olmsted Falls this spring to present another full-length classical ballet featuring a cast of professional dancers from the company as well as local dance students in children’s roles. The company will perform the ballet Cinderella set to Sergei Prokofiev’s 1944 score. The dancers tell the tale of how Cinderella finds true love with a little help from her Fairy Godmother, despite being held captive by her wicked stepmother and stepsister. Director Janet Dziak’s original choreography is comical, light-hearted, and easy-to-understand for the whole family. Performances are May 5 at 7:30pm, May 6 at 2:30pm and 7:30pm and May 7 at 2:30pm. Girl Scout troops wishing to earn their “Creative Play” badge by attending a special workshop before the May 6 performance should contact email@example.com for more information.
All of NPB’s performances are held at the beautiful 1,000-seat Hope Community Church Auditorium, 6941 Columbia Road, Olmsted Falls, Ohio 44138.
Purchase show tickets on the NPB website www.northpointeballet.org
Group tickets can be purchased by contacting the box office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Organized groups of 10 or more will receive a $3 discount per ticket. A 50% non-refundable deposit is required at time of reservation.
Military and Senior discounts will be required to present ID at will call when picking up tickets. Seniors and military with proper ID will receive $2 off per ticket.
For questions about tickets email: email@example.com.
In addition, North Pointe Ballet will offer a sensory-friendly performance of Cinderella for individuals on autism spectrum and with other sensory needs on May 4.
North Pointe Ballet was established with the mission to make classical ballet accessible to everyone in our community. Part of fulfilling this mission includes offering a special sensory-friendly preview performance providing an accommodating version of all of its productions. Many individuals on the autism spectrum or with other sensory needs greatly benefit from live dance productions. Unfortunately, many individuals with sensory needs can’t even step into a dark theater, let alone deal with unexpected sounds or lights. They may exhibit behaviors that bother surrounding patrons and, as a result, are often excluded from the experience that ballet and live theater have to offer. NPB offers a performance that caters to these individuals and their unique needs.
Kristen Metz, Autism Specialist for Elyria City School District, volunteered at NPB’s Sensory friendly performance of The Nutcracker in December 2016. “North Pointe Ballet provides opportunities for everyone to experience the art of dance and ballet,” says Metz. “Sensory-friendly performances allow for those with exceptionalities to experience the ballet in an environment that allows audience members to be themselves. North Pointe Ballet also provides opportunities for individuals with exceptionalities to participate in dance and the arts. The artists work diligently to understand and support those who experience the world in a unique way.”
To provide a supportive and welcoming environment for children and families, dedicated sensory-friendly performances include:
· Reduction of loud or jarring sounds
· Reductions in flashing or strobe lights
· Modification of the house lights during the performance
· Accommodated house rules: audience members are free to talk or move about during the show
· Extra staff and volunteer support.
· Designated “Take a Break Space” in the theater where children can play and families can still enjoy the performance
North Pointe Ballet also features guest performers in special performances, giving children with special needs a chance to get onstage with the professional dancers. In December 2016, NPB’s special guest performer appeared as one of Clara’s friends in the The Nutcracker. When asked what it was like to be onstage in the party scene, she said “It was so amazing—my eyes were popping!”
“As someone who works closely with families with individuals that have special needs, I am so pleased to be a part of an organization that provides opportunities to include everyone, regardless of their sensory needs,” says Elizabeth Radachi, BCaBA and dancer with NPB. “It isn’t just artistic staff that has such a welcoming and tolerant attitude. The dancers in the cast are open to and supportive of audience members who need to stand up and move about, or who are extra verbal. No one minds these things happening, everyone is just happy to have a broader audience with which to share the art of dance. In our last performance, I watched with awe as the neurotypical students in our cast embraced our guest artist for the sensory friendly show by learning about her through personal conversation, offering to help with her hair and makeup, and working with her to create interactions for the stage, even exchanging what we call “merde,” or good luck gifts with her, just like they do with each other. This is how North Pointe Ballet is doing its part to spread inclusion and patience.”
Artistic Director Janet Dziak hopes that the special sensory-friendly performance is as beneficial to families of loved ones with sensory needs as it is to the individuals themselves. “It is important for me to be able to provide a welcoming environment and opportunity for parents and families of children with sensory needs. The families of these kids often suffer, too, without opportunities to see ballet for themselves or with their ‘typically developing’ siblings. I want these families to be able to attend a performance without fear of audience members judging them for their child vocalizing at inappropriate times and let their child run around and experience the theater in his own way while sitting back and enjoying the show for themselves, knowing they are all welcome and safe.”
For more information on our sensory-friendly Performance of Cinderella on May 4 at 6:30pm, visit www.northpointeballet.org/events.html or email firstname.lastname@example.org
About North Pointe Ballet
North Pointe Ballet (NPB) is a professional dance company whose mission is making professional, classical ballet accessible to all families in the western suburbs of Cleveland.
NPB offers education outreach programs to help integrate arts into all curriculums and enforce academic content standards. Dynamic instructors lead children through hands-on workshops and professional, costumed dancers perform excerpts from full-length productions. Email email@example.com to schedule a program customized to your school’s needs.