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Found 8 results

  1. I took 2 children aged 7 and 5 to a performance of ENB's My First Ballet: the Sleeping Beauty at Richmond Theatre. They loved it - so job well done. I didn't love it quite so much although I love the concept of these ballets. The ballet was narrated throughout, which was excellent and it also mirrored the mime happening on stage, which I really appreciated. Not sure any of the children did, but never mind. I learned quite a lot about mime. The story of the Sleeping Beauty was changed quite significantly. No spinning wheel (old fashioned I assume), so Aurora is pricked by a rose, not a spindle. This negates the need for the Rose Adagio (as she would have been pricked), but a version of that dance was still presented, but not to the right music! Surely if you are introducing children to the Sleeping Beauty ballet, the most famous dance of all should be represented with the right music which is so famous and so beautiful. Nothing nasty really happens, so Carabosse turns into a good fairy, and the kiss to wake Aurora up is turned into a hug. Oh well, nice for children to think the world is a happy place. The quality of the dancing did not overwhelm but the dancers deserve great credit for keeping their concentration through a noisy audience experience.
  2. I have been asked to take a 5 year old to the ballet for her first visit and would be grateful for some advice. I'm not a parent myself, nor do I have much to do generally with younger children, but have occasionally taken them to the ballet and have, for obvious reasons, stuck with The Nutcracker. When I have taken adults to the ballet for the first time, with no disrespect to other companies, I have taken them to see something at the ROH so that even if they don't particularly like the ballet, they will enjoy the atmosphere, beautiful auditorium, Floral Hall etc. This time, rather than do Nutcracker, I was thinking of trying one of ENB's 'My First' ballets. So, couple of quick questions: Has anyone gone to an ENB 'My First...' - was it good, do children enjoy them? Secondly, and apologies if this sounds a bit odd but I genuinely don't know the answer, do 5 year olds have that 'sense of place' i.e. is a treat a treat whether it is at the ROH, Peacock or wherever or would the 'poshness' (for want of a better word) add to the feeling of what I would like to be a special day out? Any advice gratefully received.
  3. Took 7 year-old DD to see Cinderella last night at the Peacock in London. Remi Nakano was absolutely exquisite as Cinderella and looked like she was loving every second of her performance - DD said she could have watched her for hours and I totally agree, I'll be looking out for her in future. For those that haven't come across the My First Ballet series, they are classical ballets danced by the students at the ENBS and members of the ENB and aimed at younger children. There is a narrator on stage and the whole performance is cut down to around an hour. Last year was Sleeping Beauty which was also excellent. I wasn't too keen on the idea initially - thought the talking would detract from the music and the dance - but it is done fantastically well. She plays the part of the grown-up Aurora or Cinderella looking back at her life, and is a fabulous actress - different voices for all the characters, and explains some of the mime used in the choreography. I have a feeling I will miss her at the next adult ballet as I learnt quite a lot! It's perfect for children who enjoy watching ballet but aren't quite ready for a full-length programme. There is also high tolerance of whispering and fidgeting which is both good (if you own a fidgeter) and bad (if you own a child who can't stand noise), and worth bearing in mind if you are very irritated by mild disruptions. The evening performances are much better than the matinees if you want less background noise. Ticket prices also good - two front row seats in the circle were £40 for the pair.
  4. I went to see this in Poole at the weekend and thoroughly enjoyed it. There were several performances and the one I went to was very full, lots of little girls and their parents - not many boys to be seen! As there was not a cast list for each show, it would be difficult to be certain which dancers were performing, even though there was a very nice informative programme with headshots of them all. So I will not say anything about individuals. The standard was very good, although definitely student rather than professional level, but some promising work. The story was explained by a narrator, who was an older Odette, recounting what had happened. This worked very well, particularly in the mime scenes. The scenery and costumes were sumptuous and all the production values very good. My only caveat is the way the story was a bit mangled. The girls going to the Prince's birthday party were just local girls - Odette and her friends This doesn't really make sense as Princes marry Princesses. In clever theatrical moves, Rothbart isolated the girls one at a time and transformed them into swans. Act 2 by the Lakeside is where I also feel it was wrong to change the story. The narrator kept saying that Siegfried was dancing with a swan, and falling in love with a swan - but in the original, Odette regains her human form at night, so he falls in love with a beautiful girl and at the end of the act she turns back into the swan. This was also carried through in Act 3 where it said that Rothbart changed Odile, his daughter, into a black swan with black feathers! Apart from that it was an excellent production and the audience seemed very appreciative. Do go if you can. Just a final lighthearted comment - in Act 3, to give the boys more to do, the Spanish Dance was for three boys. It was a bit sudden and when the queen announced, via the narrator "Let's have some Spanish Dancing" I couldn't help thinking "Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!"
  5. Coming away from yesterday's general rehearsal and walking up Kingsway, a stream of Little Princesses were descending on the Peacock Theatre to see ENB and ENB Ballet School's, My First Ballet: Coppelia. Narrated this time by Dr Coppelius the little ones should be following the story of Coppelia. Here is a picture from the rehearsal. Archie Sullivan - Franz, Olivia Lindon - Swanilda and Friends More pictures on www.johnrossballetgallery.co.uk
  6. On the first Christmas after the death of my late spouse, my former ward (the nearest I have to a daughter) went into hospital and gave birth to a beautiful little boy whom she called Vladimir. Despite his Slavonic name little Vladimir is entirely African, his mum being Sierra Leonean and his dad Ghanaian. He has a beautifully expressive face and in his play I have seen him balance on one leg one arm outstretched before him the other to his side and his other leg off the ground almost in line with his body. Nobody told him how to do that trick. Now his mum says that all kids can do that. As she sees far more children of that age than I do I am sure she is right. But it is also possible that the little lad has a taste and perhaps even a talent for ballet so I am taking him and his mum to see "My First Ballet: Coppélia" at The Peacock on 13 April 2014 at 15:00. That ballet is aimed at children aged 3 and over so he is just old enough to see it. English National Ballet's website has lots of resources. Vlad's mum is already a balletomane (how could she not be with me as her guardian) but she is very level headed and unlikely to be a tiger mum even if her boy does have talent. The ballet is to open in Shrewsbury on 5 April and then proceed to London, Manchester and various theatres in the home counties, I should be interested to hear from anybody who sees the show before I do. It is of course possible that Vlad does not take to ballet. If that's the case, that's fine too.I have lots of other interests including sport - especially cricket which I love at least as much as ballet.
  7. ENB2's First Cinderella a ballet for children at the Peacock Theatre. A shortened version with a Narrator by English National Ballet School and English National Ballet. It will be going on tour after its London run. The Prince - Mlindi Kulashe with Cinderella - Daniela Oddi More pictures on www.johnrossballetgallery.co.uk
  8. This morning's Times carries a review (by Allen Robertson) of this and it sounds really charming as well as being an excellent idea - has anyone seen it?
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