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Soraya Stories

Visas acquired: Ballet BC will premiere two works on May 6, 2023

By Thor Steingraber

When Ballet BC dancers and crew walked in the door Tuesday, I felt a huge sense of relief. Of course, it’s exciting to see them return for the third time and bring us two world premieres. But my emotions were prompted by different circumstances. As recently as six days ago I feared we would have to cancel their performance. Why? The difficulty in securing international work visas. Increasingly, it is more and more difficult to bring artists into the United States. In fact, just last month we had to cancel the appearance of the Colombian-based ensemble Kombilesa Mí for this very reason.

In the case of Ballet BC, the Vancouver-based company hails from many nations – Spain, Italy, Great Britain, France, Israel, and of course Canada. As of Thursday last week, six individuals were still without visas, and one was given an appointment for his visa review meeting in August 2024!

One of the most important things we do at The Soraya is bring international artists to Los Angeles. No less than 40 nations have been represented on our stage. That may be a difficult trend to continue. It is nothing short of a triumph that Ballet BC will perform here on Saturday.

CSUN and The Soraya are indebted to all of our public officials. In this case, Congressman Brad Sherman went to great lengths in securing the missing visas. We are very grateful to him and his staff.


Rehearsal photos taken at Ballet BC headquarters on Granville Island in Vancouver, British Columbia.

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