A couple of weekends ago, just after everyone else had packed away their Christmas decorations for another year, Seren and I were transported back to Christmas Eve and the Land of Sweets … to watch an adapted production of The Nutcracker performed by Let’s All Dance at Finchley’s Arts Depot. The ballet was shortened to under an hour, with a cast of 7 dancers and aimed at a young audience.
Seren loves The Nutcracker tale – she has a book, dressed up as Clara for World Book Day last year and has a cartoon version on DVD. She has never seen a ballet version though (or indeed any professional ballet show) and I was hoping she would have enough concentration span to sit through it and enjoy it too!
I kept it as a surprise for her though as we were sitting down to have a drink before the show, she asked to hold the tickets and managed to read the title of the show (as an aside I’m amazed at how far she’s come in such a short time in Reception – those teachers have magic powers!). In hindsight, I think it would have been better to explain to her the premise of the show as a ballet before it started, as she was a bit confused initially. About few minutes in, she asked me when were they going to start talking? I explained it was a ballet and that the dancers on stage were professional ballet dancers, “even the boys?” she asked (unfortunately there are just girls in her own ballet class).
A while later I asked her if she was enjoying it and she said she wasn’t sure. But by the end she said she loved it – phew! I enjoyed it too, it was a beautiful performance and a lovely way to spend a afternoon.
After the show had finished, the company’s founder, Orit Sutton, invited us up onto the stage to take a photo with the dancers in return for a £1 donation to the group. Seren was thrilled by this! As we waited in line, I mentioned to Orit that Seren had been asking questions through the performance, Orit said that it was good to be inquisitive!
This post was first published in January 2017. Please see the ballet company’s website for details of 2017 show dates –