Ballet’s next generation

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The Australian Ballet has long been a jewel in the crown of Australian performing arts, entertaining audiences across the world since the company was founded in 1962.

Now they’re targeting a new audience with the introduction of the Storytime Ballet series, created specifically for children.

“The Storytime Ballet series was developed in response to the overwhelming popularity of The Australian Ballet’s children’s programs and events,” Associate Producer and Tour Manager of Storytime Ballet, Tessa Kay said.

“There has been a significant growth in interest among families asking about ballet events for children in recent years,” she added.

The first production in the series is one of the most loved fairytale ballets, ‘The Sleeping Beauty’.

The story follows the sleeping Princess Aurora as she wanders through the woods and discovers well known characters like Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella and the Big Bad Wolf.

“The large-scale, elegant production will be packed with dazzling dancing, sparkling tutus and enchanting Tchaikovsky music,” Ms Kay said.

“It’s the perfect first ballet for children.”

Creating a ballet for a younger audience is no easy task. But the Australian Ballet has designed the new production to be an engaging and fun experience for children aged three years and up.

“The show will be live and interactive, the ballet will be under an hour in length and will showcase the talents of dancers from the Australian Ballet,” Ms Kay said.

“Children will have the opportunity to learn about ballet in captivating pre-show activities and they will be encouraged to dress up in their favourite ballet-inspired outfits.”

‘The Storytime Ballet: The Sleeping Beauty’ opens in Melbourne this week and will be heading to the Evan Theatre for a run of shows from Tuesday, January 12 to Saturday, January 16.

The series is sure to be a hit with young dancers across the country.

“Over 420,000 children participate in dance activities across Australia every week,” Australian Ballet Executive Director, Libby Christie said.

“We hope to nurture our next generation of ballet lovers and who knows, even Principal Artists.”

The Australian Ballet is one of the busiest companies in the world with around 200 performances annually in cities including Tokyo, Paris, London and Auckland.

The Australian Ballet’s Storytime Ballet production of ‘The Sleeping Beauty’ will be on at the Evan Theatre from Tuesday, January 12 to Saturday, January 16. Shows are on at 11am and 2pm daily plus an extra 4pm show on Saturday, January 16. Tickets are $19-$39. For more information, call 4720 5555.

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