For thousands of mini aspiring ballerinas it’s nice to be able to see where their weekly classes and donning of tutus could take them so I love that many ballet companies have been developing shows with a family audience in mind.
Earlier this year we treated the minis to a trip to Cast in Doncaster to see Northern Ballet perform Goldilocks & the Three Bears. Despite mummy and daddy discussing at length (due to traffic jams) exactly how sensible it was to take longer to drive to and from somewhere than the event itself lasts (the show was about 40 minutes long), the minis had a fabulous time with Willow excitedly calling out “bear” every time one of the titular ursine characters took to the stage.
So I was very pleased when I found out that Lincoln’s LPAC was hosting Ballet Cymru’s The Light Princess last weekend and even more delighted to be guests of the arts centre for the family friendly 5pm performance.
Based on George MacDonald’s fairytale which was inspired by Sleeping Beauty, the new production is a full length ballet so the minis were required to sit for a lot longer which did see us finding a space to run around in during the interval to let some pent up energy out.
But, even though the tone for The Light Princess was much more melancholic and romantic than the three bears’ bumbling fun, the minis were quickly spellbound themselves by the spinning and leaping characters relating the magical tale of the floating heroine who finds her freedom under water and in true love.
I loved the atmospheric video projections that further enhanced the ethereal feel and the text captions/chapter heading storytelling elements interspersed throughout the show that also helped to transport the audience into their fairytale world.
(Although I am still waiting to see the aerial circus skills described in the promotional material – maybe it took place during our toilet trip?)
At the end of the show it became clear that the restless legs of the interval were actually simply inspired feet that had an undeniable desire to replicate what they were watching.
And this audience member was treated to a mini aftershow performance of pirouetting, kneeling, beautiful arm movements and leaping on and off the little stage in the foyer that only ended because the arts centre’s (very patient) staff really did need to be able to go home themselves too – a sure sign of the mini ones’ appreciation of the dancers of Ballet Cymru.
The LPAC has two winter shows suitable for a family audience coming soon – Winter in Sherwood and The Winter Whale. Click here to find out more.
The Light Princess is still on tour. Click here to see if it’s coming to a venue near you.