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Northern Ballet - Ugly Duckling - A Ballet for Children

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I've just found this on Northern Ballet's website:





Ugly Duckling - A Ballet for Children


We are delighted to announce Ugly Ducking, our first ballet especially for children.

A poor duckling is lonely and fed-up, shunned by those around him who see him as too ugly to fit in. Follow the duckling on his journey as he overcomes his troubles and turns into a beautiful swan, beginning a happy new life.

Retelling the famous Hans Christian Anderson fairytale, Northern Ballet's Ugly Duckling is the perfect opportunity to introduce your little ones to the magic of live ballet, music and theatre.

Performed within the relaxed environment of the 230 seat Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre, Ugly Duckling will last approximately 45 minutes.

Dates & times


Monday 29 October to Friday 2 November.

Performances daily at 11am, 1pm and 3pm (except Thursday 1 November when there is no 3pm performance.)

Prices are £5 per ticket, £4 for children.

There are no other discounts or concessions.

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  • 1 month later...

Northern Ballet have released more detail of their new ballet for children:


Northern Ballet announce first short ballet for small people


Ugly Duckling, Northern Ballet’s first short ballet for small people, will be performed in Leeds this autumn. Supported by Leeds Inspired the project is designed to encourage children to see their first ballet and introduce young families across Leeds to Northern Ballet. Ugly Duckling will be choreographed by Northern Ballet dancers Dreda Blow and Sebastian Loe.

Based on the classic Hans Christian Andersen fairytale, Ugly Duckling is the story of a lonely duckling who doesn’t fit in with her friends. Throughout the ballet, the duckling learns about herself and those around her and when she learns to love who she is she turns into a beautiful swan and begins a happy new life.

The colourful production for children aged four and up will feature a host of animal characters including cats, frogs and a fox. The performance time will be 40 minutes in length and the music performed will range from classical compositions to the theme tunes of popular children’s cartoons.

Sebastian Loe said, ‘The great thing about Ugly Duckling and other children's stories is that they teach important and timeless values from a young age. The message we want to put across in Ugly Duckling is that we should be confident in embracing who we are and ultimately we should not be afraid of being ourselves.’

To develop the production, Northern Ballet has employed the expertise of families across Harehills and Chapeltown. Selina McGonagle Director of Learning at Northern Ballet said, “Children will assist in the creation of the work to ensure the production is lively and engaging. Ugly Duckling will be made with children for children. The production will be performed with Northern Ballet dancers in communities outside the city centre to give more people access to live theatre.”

Ugly Duckling will be performed in Leeds communities over the summer and will be accompanied by education activities at duck ponds across Leeds. The performance will tour around the region before coming to the Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre on 29 October for 14 performances.

Dreda Blow who co-choreographed the production said, ‘According to my parents, I saw my first ballet when I was only two years old and was absolutely riveted! I sat perfectly still, my eyes glued to the stage the entire time. If our production of Ugly Duckling inspires children to start ballet lessons then that's great, but most importantly I hope it awakens in them a love and appreciation for the magic of dance and theatre in general. Sebastian and I want to create a performance rich in personality and humour with lots of impressive, beautiful dancing as well. I can't wait to see the children's reactions on première night!’




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  • 3 months later...

Northern Ballet have put some production photographs on their website for Ugly Duckling:




It looks an absolute delight! I've booked to go and see it (even though I haven't got any little ones to take with me).


The photographs were taken by ex-Northern Ballet favourite Martin Bell.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Northern Ballet have published an online programme for The Ugly Duckling. The back page shows the tour dates for Spring 2013:






12 - Middlesborough

13 - Hexham

15 - Liverpool

16 - Huddersfield

19 - Newcastle

20 - Bradford

22 - Whitby

23 - Berwick

26 - Blackpool

28 - Leicester



04 - Barrow in Furness

05 - Lancaster

06 - Harrogate

09 - Barnsley

10 - Hull

13 - Goole

19 - Milton Keynes



03 - Norwich

17 - Sadler's Wells
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