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Letter: A call for more inclusive concerts

A call for more inclusive concerts

A call for more inclusive concerts

Last Saturday I attended the first show of Yukon Concerts, Duo Corvi, with my partner and my 4½-year-old daughter at the Yukon Arts Centre. As a music lover originally from France, I want my daughter to experience all types of music and was looking forward to her first encounter with medieval French music.

As I want her to feel comfortable in cultural venues and fully experience the music, I allow her to move freely in the venue to dance in silence if she feels like it. I remove her shoes and let her flow with the sound. Saturday was no different than other times. The music started and carried her, dancing along with the music.

During the intermission, several people from the public came to tell us how much they enjoyed her dancing. Then an usher came to me, to inform me that some patrons were very annoyed by her presence in front of the stage, and that we’d better go in the back of the room if we want to let her move during the second part of the concert. We ended up just leaving the concert, as the connection to the music wouldn’t have been the same back in the small, dark entry.

Music in medieval days was at the centre of social gatherings, and with the beautiful sound of the drums, I could only imagine people dancing and celebrating in those days while listening to most of the songs. Why, nowadays, do we have to sit passively for one and a half hours to enjoy this same music? Especially a child whose body just tells her to move along with the rhythm?

Yukon Concert’s new producer suggested I ask my daughter’s school to attend the concerts they organize for students, but I suspect it is no simple task for schools to organize such a class trip. And why do we have to separate different generations? Can’t we all enjoy these events together? If Yukon Concert patrons don’t become more inclusive with other generations, who might experience music differently from them, audiences for classical concerts will keep shrinking and aging, as we could witness that night.

I was so disappointed about leaving the room, not to mention the not-so-cheap price we had paid to be there; it was supposed to be a special event for us. I only hope that this experience won’t impact my daughter’s spontaneity in future concerts, which would be the saddest outcome of that experience, as she understood she wasn’t welcome by everybody. And I guess I’ll have to check with organizers before purchasing tickets to any future events if it is fine to dance at the shows, which doesn’t make it such an enjoyable experience anymore. I wish such events were more inclusive to everybody and less uptight. There certainly would be more people attending.

Stéphanie Chevalier

About the Author: Black Press Media Staff

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