My daughter (aged 5) has recently become quite obsessed by ballet (which little girl isn’t it). She doesn’t even DO ballet, but her dolls and teddy bears all NEED to have a tutu and she loves to swan around the houses as if indeed in Swan Lake herself. So when the Murley Dance troupe invited us along to see Hail Britannia, I thought, Why Not? Experience has taught me that sometimes, seeing 3-4 modern ballet pieces, opposed to one terribly long traditional one, can be better for inexperience ballet viewers. When you have more than “act” to watch and each act is very different to the next, there is bound to be at least one that you enjoy. So we took the “risk” and took both kids (5 and almost 7) to their first ballet show ever.
So what did we think? Well.. considering it was WAY past their bedtime, and for an October night it was terribly mild and therefore we were all boiling hot, the kids loved it. We had planned to not stay the whole evening (as the kids are young), but they WANTED to stay. Personally, my favourite was the first act – Bollywood meets Ballet. Simply, because it is colourful and fun and I love a bit of Bollywood. Red Ted was seriously impressed by “splits mid air” and how strong the male dancers looked (he is into “being strong” himself). We also enjoyed the final act – the most “traditional” of the four – lovely pink tutus and classic music. I was pleased that there was a “more traditional piece”, especially as this was the kids first ballet and I wanted them to see “proper” ballet too.
The two “middle acts” “Wayward Kinship” (about the conflict between religion and monarchy) and “Frisky Claptrap”, left a bit to be desired of (in my opinion), though had my son in stitches (having said that, he thought the first was “Knights fighting” and totally missed the township puns of the second). Still, he enjoyed it, and that is all that matters.
As to my husband (who is not a big theatre go-er and who recently spent the evening with his Mother at Covent Garden ballet), he commented on the way out “it was a bit like a student production, wasn’t it? I mean, of course it was better, but there was something about it…”. Quite.
Overall, I am glad we went, the kids enjoyed it and we had a lovely evening out.
Disclaimer: Murley Dance provided us with the tickets.