Alberta Ballet welcomes newcomers to the wonder of The Nutcracker
CALGARY -- Everybody speaks dance.
That's why there were no translation issues Monday at a matinee performance of The Nutcracker when the Alberta Ballet played host to 30 Canadian newcomers, clients of Immigrant Services Calgary.
That's one of the organizations the ballet partners with to provide access to the performing arts, in order to better connect with newcomer communities.
Rana Hamaoudh, who works for Immigrant Services Calgary, said the effort was effective.
"It's very important for immigrants to feel the joy in integrating into different communities and the different parts of Calgary and Alberta," she said.
"They come from far away, not knowing what they are about to see, and what they are about to experience. Part of the integration (process) is to introduce them to different services, and one of them is arts."
She said the message of a show like The Nutcracker is similar, no matter where you're from.
"Arts is a piece of joy," she said, "that can make them entertained, can give them that piece of entertainment.
"They are away from home, and they need that at lovely times like Christmas and the holidays."
Alberta Ballet communications manager Kim Jackson said the feeling was reciprocal.
"They appreciate all the new audiences that The Nutcracker brings in, and new Canadians that we welcome every year," Jackson said. "Because again, they're very aware that their art form is the universal language."