The Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) has announced a new Relaxed Performances series, designed specifically for people living with autism spectrum disorders, sensory sensitivities, communication disorders, and learning disabilities. The first concert is set to take place in April.
The one-hour, interactive “Let’s Dance!” program will feature music from a variety of dance styles and dancers will join the orchestra on stage. TSO musicians are members of Local 149 (Toronto, ON).
During Relaxed Performances, audience members are welcome to move around and express themselves vocally. A quiet space will be available outside the concert hall for anyone who needs to take a break. Rows of seats at the back of the hall will be kept empty to allow audience members to move away from the stage.
Prior to concert day, a visual guide will explain the concert experience step-by-step, in order to reduce anxiety. An autism awareness consultant with significant experience in the performing arts will provide specialized training to TSO musicians, staff, and front-of-house personnel.