Click here for tickets and access via the website, or use the new ENB App – details here.
Ballet casts its spell on children very early on. Yet parents often wonder whether a typical four-act, three-hour Swan Lake running late into the evening really is the appropriate treat for the little ones.
Mindful of that, English National Ballet (ENB) in association with English National Ballet School has devised a series of special adaptations of the classics with the little ones in mind.
My First Ballet: Swan Lake, recorded during a 2018 performance, is now available to download: bewitched Swan Princess, evil sorcerer, besotted Prince Siegfried, massed ranks of white tutu-ed swans… and all within in one hour.
This version of Swan Lake was choreographed by ENB's ballet master, Antonio Castilla. His approach focuses on the Swan Princess, Odette, following her journey through love to forgiveness
Bearing in mind the need to make the work accessible to very young children, a narrator has been introduced, who picks out the mime and some important story elements.
This is not just My First Ballet: Swan Lake for the audience, though. The dancers, 17- to 19-year-old second-year students from English National Ballet School, get their first opportunity to dance this great classic. Chloe Keneally, who dances Odette in this recording, has since joined ENB as an artist.
There is a happy ending. Rather than plunge together into the lake to die, having been unable to defeat the powerful magic of the evil von Rothbart, Odette and her Prince live happily ever after.
Castilla has, of course, kept the delightful Tchaikovsky score, the white tutus, the dashing prince and the magic of the fairy tale, but made it child-friendly.
All with your little ones in mind!
Age Guidance: 3+
|What||ENB, My First Ballet – Swan Lake online|
|Where||Peacock Theatre, Portugal Street, London, WC2A 2HT | MAP|
06 Apr 21 – 10 Apr 22, Available on demand for £4.99. Dur.: 1 hour