On Sunday 5th May I joined a long queue outside Oxford’s New Theatre; lots of little girls, many in pastel princess dresses and net petticoats, with their mothers.  Inside the auditorium much excitement finding seats, fidgeting to get comfy, sweets and fruit drinks, plastic tiara and fluffy glow wand merchandise.  For this was one of a weekend clutch of performances of My First Cinderella, English National Ballet’s latest initiative to catch a new young and family audience.

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Following the huge success of The Sleeping Beauty revival in 2005, and again in 2008 when it was seen by over 150,000 people, English National Ballet is once again performing Kenneth MacMillan’s sumptuous production of Petipa’s 19th century classic and bringing it to Oxford’s New Theatre in February.  Combining grand sets and costumes, Tchaikovsky’s glorious score and virtuosic dancing, The Sleeping Beauty is a dazzling showcase of classical ballet. (more…)