However, at two-hours plus, these full-length narrative works also demand a lot of attention, concentration and even knowledge, which is a bit too much for the youngest tots.
This is where English National Ballet has come up with the right formula by creating a series of short versions of the most famous classics especially adapted for children from three years old onwards.
Called My First Ballet, the series has already tackled Cinderella, Coppelia and Swan Lake. This year it’s the turn of Sleeping Beauty.
Just like he’s done with the previous three classics, the choreographer George Williamson, an ENB Artistic Associate, will shorten and simplify the story, though keeping its bare bones: Princess Aurora is cursed by the evil Carabosse to prick her finger and die on her 16th birthday. She gains a reprieve from her godmother, the Lilac Fairy, who fates her to sleep until awakened by true love’s kiss.
The Prince will duly arrive, fall in love, kiss the sleeping Aurora, and they’ll live happily ever after.
Williamson, whose work for children has won critical acclaim, will use a shortened version of the famous Tchaikovsky score as well as a narrator to help his young viewers follow the story.
The dancers come from both the ENB and the ENB school, the latter eager to use the opportunity to gain stage experience prior to their third and final year before graduation.
Performance times are eminently suitable for the little ones (see full schedule in the Sidebar) and there will also be creative dance workshops for 3-6-year olds on stage from Tuesday 29th March to Friday 1st April at 16:45.
A wonderful Easter treat for the little ones or, in the words of the Daily Express critic, “a clever, instructive and entertaining device.”
|What||ENB My First Ballet: Sleeping Beauty|
Portugal Street, London, WC2A 2HT | MAP
|Nearest tube||Holborn (underground)|
25 Mar 16 – 02 Apr 16, 10:30; 11:00; 14:00; 15:00; 17:30 or 19:00
06 Jul 16 – 10 Jul 16, Also at 2pm and 5:30pm, except Wednesday 6th only 5:30pm
|Price||£10 - £25|
|Website||Click here to book via Sadler's Wells|