With the weather turning to bitter cold again, I was so excited to have the opportunity to check out another kids theatre show with Cheese. After our success with Wanda’s Monster, I was really eager to take her to another show. This time, the show was called Ballerina Swan, produced by Making Books Sing (who also produced Wanda’s Monster).
The theatre/dance performance was based on a book, also called Ballerina Swan, by Allegra Kent – a former NYC Ballet ballerina of 30 years. So yes, she is certainly qualified to be writing ballet books. We were privileged to meet Ms Kent before the performance. While her performing days are over, she still bears the look and poise of a life of ballet.
I love ballet. Love, love, love ballet, since I was about age three, according to my parents. Story goes I begged for lessons for two years until they gave in. I’m thankful for that, as it’s been a life-long love of mine, and one that I am now beyond thrilled to be able to share with Cheese. Lately she’s been asking to go to dance class, and has been mimicking the little ballet dancers she sees going into class at NY Kids Club. With this in mind, I thought this was the perfect show for us to be seeing.
Ballerina Swan tells the story of Sophie, a swan who wants to be a ballerina. She watches dancers in class and tried to join in, only to be derided and chased away by the teacher. Once another, more liberal-minded, teacher takes over the class, Sophie is welcomed with open arms (or wings?) by the children, who admire her for her strengths (great neck movements), and help her with the areas that need more work (it’s hard to accomplish turn out with webbed feet!).
Becoming a dancer is hard work, and Sophie gets frustrated with her slow progress. Her fellow dancers urge her to keep trying and practicing, reminding her that it takes dedication to become a dancer. A good lesson for kids, by the way, since it’s a life lesson for anything they will want to attempt.
Sophie works hard and, over time, becomes the dancer she dreams of being. The dual messages of hard work paying off and of accepting those who are different to us are woven into the beautiful scenes of talented ballet dancers.
The show will appeal mostly to girls (there were a few boys who were protesting having to watch a ballet show), who love all things tulle and tutu. Yes there were a few little girls actually attending the show in tutus … At 50 minutes it was a good length – the story flew (sorry, couldn’t help myself) along quickly, with no lagging moments – critical for keeping the attention of small children. The show is also interactive. There is a really fun moment where the dancers ask the audience to dance. I thought Cheese might be too young, but no, she hopped up and copied the dancers’ port de bras, turns and tendus. It literally brought a tear to my eye to see her first actual dance moves.
Cheese insisted on sitting solo during the show (she also enjoyed folding herself up into the seat over and over and over again …).
After the show we met the cast. Despite looking quite sour in this picture, Cheese actually was brave enough to give Sophie a pat and was excited to meet her.
Ballerina Swan runs from November 9 – 24th, 2013.
Wed-Fri 10:30am, Sat & Sun 11am & 2pm
Best for ages 3-8
Buy tickets by calling 646-250-1178 or online at makingbookssing.org.
Save 10% on tickets by using the code “POSTCARD”
After every weekend performance, stick around for a 20-minute meet-and-greet with the cast.
Images of the show by Carol Rosegg
I was not compensated for this post. I was given preview tickets for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.