My First Cinderella
by the English National Ballet
Manchester Opera House
18-19 May 2013
Reviewed by Michelle Wright
To be honest, I am not sure who was more excited about going to see this ballet, me or my 7 year old, Scarlett! I had been contemplating taking Scarlett to the ballet to see The Nutcracker but was concerned that she may not be able to follow it, so this seemed like the perfect introduction for her into the beautiful world of ballet.
I was so excited to be taking my daughter to her first ever production – a really special moment for me, and one I hope we will both treasure.
We arrived at the Manchester Opera House surrounded by little girls dressed in their best dresses and some like Scarlett, in their Cinderella outfits – complete with tiaras of course! The atmosphere in the foyer was one of noisy excitement!
As we took our seats and the curtain rose we were presented with a backdrop inside Cinderella’s house as she cleaned. On stage also was the narrator, who was present throughout the whole production and explained in a simple and at some points, almost pantomime way, the story of Cinderella. This aided all the children in the audience and helped keep their attention. As each character took their place in the story, they were introduced clearly and in Act one the concept of ‘a soloist’ was introduced. Excitement was building as Cinderella was helped by her Fairy Godmother and the Season fairies to get ready for the ball.
And here we had the interval. As expected, the toilet queues were huge and there were excited budding ballerinas dancing in the isles!
Act two built to the excitement of the Royal Ball. There was noticeably less narration and more dancing resulting in ‘oos’ and ‘ahhs’ from the audience! In my daughters words it was full of ‘pretty ballerinas in sparkly dresses floating at the ball’ – needless to say, she was totally mesmerised and I think I got as much pleasure watching the actual ballet, as I did watching the pure joy on her face.
The production was beautifully performed; from the gorgeous costumes, to an introduction to classical music – it was the perfect magical fairytale from start to finish!
The whole performance was an hour and twenty minutes long – just long enough to hold the interest of the children.
Advertised for children aged 3 and above – this is a fabulous taster for ballet; although I would personally say it was aimed perfectly at the age of maybe 5 – 10 years.
A definite 5 out of 5.
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