Living in the Philadelphia region gives parents many opportunities to experience the creative arts with their children. Taking a young child to see their first performance of the ballet, especially in a grand theatre setting, such as the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, creates a memorable experience.
The Pennsylvania Ballet has been performing George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker for 25 years now. Mr. Balanchine’s choreography, coupled with the beautiful Tchaikovsky score performed by the Orchestra of the Pennsylvania Ballet, is a magical experience for anyone, but especially children. At a recent matinee performance the audience was probably filled with more children than adults, all dressed in their holiday finest and ready to be dazzled by the experience. Little girls with dreams of being a ballerina sat alongside little boys who admired the soldiers who battled the Mouse King.
Experiencing live theatre, whether it be a play, music or dance, provides a child with opportunities outside of his normal life. From learning about proper behavior in the theatre such as silence and applause, to feeling and hearing live instruments perform, to seeing the visual of performers in real time, children begin to appreciate the arts and expand their minds. A ballet that is geared towards children, such as the Nutcracker, is a great first theatre experience.
The Pennsylvania Ballet’s performance of Balanchine’s Nutcracker continues to delight children and their families year after year creating wonderful holiday memories. The dancers are outstanding, showing their love and dedication to their art. From the breathtaking spins and twirls of the Sugar Plum Fairy to the dramatic leaps by her Cavalier, along with the amusing antics of Mother Ginger, the performance was wonderful. Hearing and seeing the live orchestra was a delight to young and old audience members. The costumes were beautiful, along with the set, all which was updated in 2007. The children in the audience were able to see children dance in the ballet, not just adults, possibly inspiring a new dancer.
Interested in experiencing the ballet with your children? The Pennsylvania Ballet has a special Family Matinee Subscription Series available that is tailored to children ages four and older. Along with attendance at three ballets during the season, families have the opportunity to attend special family day activities for free prior to the performance. From crafts and entertainment to opportunities to meet the dancers, this opportunity provides fun for the whole family.