We were invited to watch the English National Ballet’s ‘My First Sleeping Beauty’. Performed by graduating students of the ballet school this is a specially adapted version aimed specifically at young children and choreographed by Matthew Hart.
I took my two little princesses with me, although at nine and thirteen years old they are not so little but the theatre was full of two, three, four year olds dressed up as little ballerinas. I am not sure that M, aged four would have sat through the ballet but the young audience here were certainly enthralled and took part in the cheers and hisses much like in a pantomime. Something that is also very different, this ballet has a narrator so that young children can follow the story with ease. At first I found this a little irritating however I can see the ingenious way this teaches children how dance talks to you and she also put quite a lot of humour into the ballet.
This may be a ballet especially for children but no expense has been spared on the beautiful costumes. They are just magnificent, probably some of the best costumes I have seen.
Now I have been to a few ballets before, but I have to admit even as an avid ex dancer that I have never really been completely won over by ballet before, but I felt myself pulled into this ballet, I could really ‘feel’ it and was entranced by it. It was cleverly divided up into sections which is perfect for the short attention spans of little ones and was a perfect length of 1 hour 25 minutes long.
We all loved this and would highly recommend any young ballet fans to go and see this, it is the perfect first introduction to ballet performances with a lovely traditional story that everyone knows along with Tchaikovsky’s well known music, plus a few other well known fairy tales added, and stunning fairy princess costumes. Tickets can be bought here and the ballet is touring until June 2012.