I really want to get my tots into dance, any type of dance, therefore I’m quite delighted that Scottish Ballet has adapted its winter performance of Hansel & Gretel for little ones, engaging children with dance and theatre at a young age. Called Wee Hansel & Gretel the performances have been shortened to a child-friendly hour long show, accompanied by a live performance from the Scottish Ballet Orchestra.
As well as keeping kids active and healthy, dance instils discipline, and I personally loved the teamwork and camaraderie I experienced when a performance was pulled together. There’s also harsh competition to get any lead role so it’s not as gentle an arena as it sometimes appears. Lastly, taking part in dance opened to my eyes to a range of creative careers- lighting technician, violinist, choreographer, theatre manager, make-up artist, costume designer – that I simply wasn’t learning about at school or elsewhere. I’ll get off my tiny soapbox now…
Wee Hansel & Gretel is recommended for those aged three and over. Performances take place in Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre on the 16 December, Glasgow’s Theatre Royal on 13 January, Aberdeen’s His Majesty’s Theatre on 20 January, Inverness’ Eden Court 27 January and Newcastle’s Theatre Royal on 3 February 2017. Admittedly these are Friday afternoons so most children are at school, which is a shame, but an ideal opportunity for 3-5 year olds to get some grand theatres all to themselves without those pesky big brothers and sisters stealing the limelight.
Some of the promotional material shows ballerinas mixing with the children, allowing them to touch the tutu and see the stage makeup and pointe shoes close up. I hope this happens across the country and children begin a relationship discovering the magic of dance.
If you’re not sure if ballet is your bag then an hour long show might be a good reintroduction, and these performances could also be a good excuse for a family city break if you fancy a wee jaunt. Just saying.
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