FEATURE: London Children’s Ballet, June 2022

 

London Children’s Ballet is on a mission to inspire the pursuit of excellence and change lives through dance. As both a performance company and a registered charity, it produces and stages a new ballet in London’s West End each year and runs outreach work in primary schools and the wider community. Essentially, London Children’s Ballet (LCB) encourages everyone – participants, creatives and audience members – to be their best selves by enabling them to experience the life-enhancing benefits of dance.

When I was invited to watch LCB’s 2022 ballet, Anne of Green Gables, I was keen not only because it was a wonderful opportunity to support gifted children who love to dance, but also because it was a new reason to visit the Peacock Theatre. Sadler’s Wells’ West End home is a 1,000-seat theatre that is part of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) campus. So, as well as presenting must-see shows and dance performances, it hosts lectures, conferences and ceremonies for the university.

Gliding across that stage during my graduation from LSE was about celebrating what had been achieved and what was still to come. As a child, I was happiest reading, writing and dancing. As an adult, I am fortunate to spend my professional life reading, writing and dancing. Having graduated from LSE and the Royal Academy of Dance, and qualified as a journalist, editor and ballet teacher, I know a thing or two about striving to fulfil your potential and follow your passions! How uplifting to return to this venue to be entertained by the LCB company – motivated children who are exploring their talent, dancing around their school commitments and learning the reward of persistence and hard work.

 

“Oh it’s delightful to have ambitions. I’m so glad I have such a lot. And there never seems to be an end to them – that’s the best of it. Just as soon as you attain to one ambition you see another one glittering higher up still. It does make life so interesting.”

Anne Shirley, from Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery

 

London Children's Ballet dancers on stage in Anne of Green Gables. A girl, aged about eleven, is standing centre stage, in front of a school chalkboard, on a stool, holding a rolled up piece of paper above her head in triumph. She has red hair in braids and is wearing a full gingham dress and white apron. She is surrounded by girls, who are also wearing dresses, and boys, who are wearing breeches and braces. These children are all cheering and clapping for her.

 

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NEWS: Northern Ballet makes cinema debut with ‘Tortoise and the Hare’ – January 2019

 

Little ones will be dancing with excitement at the news that Northern Ballet’s Tortoise and the Hare is racing onto the big screen at cinemas nationwide this weekend.

The bite-sized ballet is being shown on Saturday as part of Northern Ballet’s first ever cinema season for children.

 

Northern Ballet dancers in Northern Ballet's Tortoise & the Hare march joyfully while dressed as a tortoise, mole, rabbits and hare.

 

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NEWS: Northern Ballet’s ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ just right for young visitors – Milton Keynes Theatre, April 2017

 

Little ones are sure to love Northern Ballet’s Goldilocks and the Three Bears.  

The classic story is the latest offering in the company’s award-winning Short Ballets for Small People series. It follows the hugely successful tours of Ugly Duckling, Three Little Pigs, Elves and the Shoemaker and Tortoise and the Hare – all productions that have since been adapted for television by CBeebies.

With a running time of approximately forty minutes, these productions are specially created to introduce children and young families to the magic of live dance, music and theatre.

 

Northern Ballet's Golidlocks and the Three Bears. Jenny Hackwell as Goldilocks. Photography by Brian Slater.

 

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REVIEW: Northern Ballet’s ‘Tortoise and the Hare’ – CBeebies, March 2016

 

Northern Ballet’s Tortoise and the Hare is a sunny, sporty, springtime delight.

Northern Ballet’s latest family-friendly production is a take on Aesop’s beloved fable Tortoise and the Hare. The show adds to the company’s growing repertoire of short story ballets, which have been carefully concocted with younger audience members in mind.

Previous successes Ugly Duckling, Three Little Pigs and Elves and the Shoemaker captivated theatregoers nationwide and were made into popular television adaptations. As a result, my expectations are high for Tortoise and the Hare (currently on tour) and Goldilocks and the Three Bears (recently announced as the fifth show in the series).

Fortunately, Tortoise and the Hare has also been filmed for the small screen and it made its television debut on CBeebies this morning. Unsurprisingly, it proved to be the perfect Easter Monday pick-me-up.

 

Northern Ballet's 'Tortoise and the Hare'.

 

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REVIEW: Northern Ballet’s ‘Elves and the Shoemaker’ – May 2015

 

A couple of cheeky elves conjure up magical shoes that are made for dancing in Northern Ballet’s latest captivating production for children, Elves and the Shoemaker.

Inspired by the 1806 Brothers Grimm fairytale, Elves and the Shoemaker tells the story of a poor, hard-working and benevolent shoemaker called Bertie and his caring wife, Bettina. Despite their own struggles to make ends meet, they are extremely generous souls who go out of their way to help others. They become the recipients of an act of kindness themselves when two elves, named Tap and Stitch, pay them a visit one night.

These sprightly creatures transform the shoemaker’s very last piece of leather into a pair of magnificent shoes. They are a perfect fit for the next customer who enters the store and the sale means the delighted shoemaker has enough money to restock his workbench. To his amazement, the industrious elves return on multiple occasions and produce footwear to entice an assortment of shoppers. How will the shoemaker and his wife ever repay these helpful visitors?

 

Northern Ballet's Elves and the Shoemaker.

 

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