I'm a working mum writing about life in Edinburgh (and anywhere else we go) with two curious, adventurous, and imaginative children. Visit my blog at www.linzertortes.blogspot.co.uk. Follow me on Twitter: @LinzerLaw
First steps in ballet
When I was 7 or 8, my mother bought me a tape of The Nutracker music, with a voice over narrating the story. I played it every night and fell asleep countless times to the tinkling sounds of Coffee (the Arabian Dance) or Tea (the Chinese Dance). I rarely made to the end, when Clara returns home to the realisation that she may simply have been asleep. I was already asleep, dreaming of my own Land of Sweets.
If there was a ballet that could be said to describe the magic of childhood, then The Nutcracker would be that ballet. Every time I have seen it staged it's been a slightly different vision, but the core themes remain the same. The music remains the same, of course. Tchaikovsky might not have been tremendously keen on composing a ballet, but The Nutcracker score must surely be one of his most-often repeated works, thanks to story being set on Christmas Eve. It's almost as if it was perfectly created to be an annual family outing.
The creative team behind the Scottish Ballet's Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty have a reputation for creating imaginative new interpretations of old classics, and this promises to be another triumph. Actual ballet aside though, one of the best things about the Scottish Ballet is that they have a full programme of events to support ballet, and to widen participation in dance.
For the little people, you can book them in to the Soldiers and Snowflakes workshops which accompany the ballet. They'll be booking from October and they'll take place at the National Museum of Scotland. The workshops have been created for a range of age groups and will combine music and movement, and explore themes from The Nutcracker using games and imagery. There's even some boys only workshops with energetic moves focusing on heroes and villains.
There are different workshops to suit different ages, with parents being able to go along to the 3-4 age group, as these are parent and toddler workshops. All tickets are £6. You can find out more information on when and how to book here.
A soldier from The Nutcracker website.
My 7 year-old self would have absolutely loved these opportunities to get closer to the world of ballet. In her absence, I'll be taking along my two girls, eager to start their own journey into the magical, wintry world of The Nutcracker.